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2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Overview

Got a middling size family and need a luxury ride with some trailblazing capability? Take a look at the 2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class midsize 5-passenger crossover. This high-end mini- ute flaunts the cachet and the comfort that the German automaker has made famous, as well as a plethora of engine choices, 80.3 cubic feet of toting space (with the rear seatbacks folded) and all the bells and whistles that the well-heeled commuter, mall-hopper or back-woods-vacationer could need.

Featuring a revamped trim lineup for 2015, the M-Class returns the base ML350 while replacing the old ML350 BlueTEC with a new ML250 BlueTEC and the now-historic ML550 with the new ML400. The flagship ML63 AMG, offspring of M-B’s racing division, again sits at the top of the M-Class lineup for the upcoming model year. Meanwhile, all iterations except the ML350 come with standard all-wheel drive (AWD), known as 4Matic in Mercedes-land, with even the entry-level ML350 getting the 4Matic configuration as an option.

Along with the reconfigured trim designations come a couple of new engines. The ML250 BlueTEC replaces the old 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 with a peppier 2.1-liter turbodiesel inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant that now puts out over 300 hp, compared to the past version's 240 hp. Meantime, the new-for-2015 ML400 totes a 329-hp twin-turbocharged V6 engine that’s alleged to be more fuel-efficient via improved variable valve timing (VVT) and auto stop/start technology, while still allowing some 7,200 pounds of trailer-towing grunt when properly equipped.

Of course, the ML350 in both the standard rear-wheel drive (RWD) and available AWD configurations sports the direct-injected (DI) 3.5-liter normally aspirated V6 that’s been tweaked for a bit more fuel efficiency and can tow up to 6,600 pounds of trailer.

Meanwhile, the ML63 AMG returns boasting its over-the-top 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged gasoline-burning V8 that pounds down 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Mileage estimates again run 13 mpg city/17 highway, and this sport-oriented beast again features 7,200 pounds of towing ability with the proper equipment.

All engines, by the way, remain mated with a standard 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission, complete with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

No official word on added exterior bling or upgrades to this crafty and capable crossover’s various conveniences and comfort adornments for the upcoming year leaves one to guess that the traditional alloy wheels, power sunroof and power liftgate all return for 2015, as do the leatherette upholstery in lower trims and genuine leather seating in higher M-Class variants. Cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering will remain standard across the lineup, as do dual-zone climate control (tri-zone for higher trims), a remote garage door opener and Bluetooth hands-free technology.

M-B’s touted COMAND infotainment system with its 7-inch display, meantime, interfaces with basic mbrace directions and roadside assistance features, while each of these techno-goodies returns integrated with the standard 100-watt audio system in the base ML350. Said system is expected to again sport 8 speakers, a 6-CD changer and an SD card slot, not to mention auxiliary audio input.

Moving to the higher trims, look for extras like memory settings for up to 3 drivers, GPS navigation and, in the ML63 AMG, a sport-tuned suspension, sport front seats and a performance steering wheel.

Options-wise, the less expensive 2015 M-Class variations will remain eligible for many of the goodies that come standard on higher-priced trims as optional equipment. Stuff like a trailer hitch and wiring, smartphone-interfaced MB Apps, rear-seat DVD entertainment and nearly limitless upgrades to wheels, exterior trim and interior accent materials remain available to select trims.

Finally, standard safety equipment in the various M-Class versions for 2015 will again be headlined by 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), 11 strategically located airbags, traction and stability control, and front head-restraint whiplash protection. Additionally, standard daytime running lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, front fog/driving lights, pre- and post-collision safety systems, mbrace emergency assistance and notifications, and a remote antitheft alarm also return.The ML63 AMG boasts standard lane-keeping assist and Parking Assist with a 360-degree around-view camera, both of which are optional in lower trims, while blind-spot monitoring and forward-collision mitigation technology remain optional throughout the reworked lineup.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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