By KBB.com Editors
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV is a far cry from the original model. Whereas the first M-Class featured body-on-frame construction, today's ML employs a unit-body design. This creates a stiffer chassis, which helps eliminate rattles and vibration as well as quiets the interior. The design also allows for a more sophisticated suspension, yielding better handling and a more civilized ride. Although it can seat five, the ML is most comfortable with four passengers. It offers a modest cargo bay of 29.4 cubic feet, which is more space than an Infiniti FX35, but less than offered by the Acura MDX. Although rival BMW also offers a diesel option for its X5, The M-Class' BlueTEC diesel engine option is fairly unique in this class and is capable of meeting all 50 state's stringent emissions standards.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're seriously shopping in the upscale SUV category and are drawn to the Lexus RX 350 and/or the BMW X5, you may very well find your new home away from home behind the wheel of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz M-Class.You May Not Like This Car If...
If, like so many SUV buyers today, you'll settle for no fewer than three rows of seats, you'll have to look elsewhere. Mercedes-Benz does, however, offer a third-row seat in its slightly larger and pricier GL-Class SUV.What's New for 2010
For 2010, all ML models receive standard burl walnut trim, a premium leather steering wheel and an advanced tire-pressure monitoring system.Driving It Driving Impressions
By having unibody construction instead of a ladder-frame platform the 2010 Mercedes-Benz M-Class transcends any comparison with the first generation M-Class. The highway ride is as smooth as you'd expect from any of the automaker's stately sedans, with the added benefit of being able to negotiate large rocks (or parking blocks) with exceptional composure. It's this silkiness that makes the SUV's confidence-inspiring cornering ability just that much more impressive. While in a price-is-no-object world we would prefer the V8-powered ML550, the torque-happy ML350 BlueTEC is equally satisfying.Favorite Features
A long list of safety equipment includes traction and stability control, multiple airbags, active headrests and Mercedes-Benz's PRE-SAFE system that tightens seatbelts and closes windows when it senses an impending collision.
An optional air suspension allows for an extra three inches of ground clearance, while an active damping system lets you choose between Auto, Comfort and Sport settings, to best suit the road ahead.