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2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

Overview
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2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

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Mercedes-Benz has continued to refine the M-Class SUV for 2011 by introducing a new, very efficient hybrid drivetrain. Though equipped with a relatively heavy, less-advanced nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, the ML450 Hybrid helps make this already-sophisticated SUV line a front-runner in the luxury utility race. With a unibody design, excellent road manners and a world-class suspension, the vehicle delivers all the comfort of a crossover with the capability of an SUV. With a respectable cargo area that delivers up to 29.4 cubic feet of storage and seating for five individuals, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class remains an excellent alternative family vehicle.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class competes with vehicles like the BMW X5 and Lexus RX 350. If either of those is on your shopping list, you'll likely be right at home behind the wheel of the luxurious M-Class, which delivers much of the handling capability of the BMW with the comfort of its Lexus rival.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you find yourself needing three rows of seating on a regular basis, the 2011 M-Class is not for you. With just two rows and seating for five occupants, the M-Class lacks the people-moving capability of its larger sibling, the GL-Class, but makes up for it with better fuel efficiency and maneuverability.

What's Significant About This Car?

The days of the fuel-thirsty SUV have come to a close. Mercedes-Benz now offers the M-Class with a hybrid drivetrain capable of up to 22 mpg combined. Additionally, the company's BlueTEC diesel technology offers a combined EPA fuel economy estimate of 21 mpg.

Driving the M-Class

Driving Impressions Thanks to the significant revisions that Mercedes-Benz introduced in 2010, the 2011 M-Class continues to be a superb performer on road. With its unibody construction and optional adaptive suspension, the...

SUV offers a superb highway ride that's akin to the German automaker's smooth-driving luxury sedans. Though this vehicle may lack some of the off-road prowess of the BMW X5, we'd feel safe in betting that most buyers won't be assaulting rock-filled back roads on the way to the mall. Though we love the feel of the V8-powered ML550, the truth is that the torque of the ML350 BlueTEC would be more satisfying to live with on a day-to-day basis. That's especially true when it comes time to fill the tank.

Safety First
The 2011 M-Class is equipped with a long list of safety equipment that includes traction and stability control, multiple airbags and active headrests. Additionally, the company's Pre-Safe system tightens seatbelts and closes windows when it senses an impending collision.

Air Suspension
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is available with an optional air suspension that allows for an extra three inches of ground clearance to tackle rough terrain. An active damping system also lets you choose between Auto, Comfort and Sport settings, to best suit the road ahead.

2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Details
Interior

The interior of the 2011 M-Class is a somewhat odd mix of features, designed to walk the line between off-road brute and downtown civility. Large, circular air vents and padded rails along the bottom of the center console lend the impression of rugged capability while a somewhat dainty gear selector stalk juts from the steering column. Though we typically expect modern vehicles to have a now-almost-standard console-mounted shifter, the stalk on the 2011 M-Class takes next to no time to get used to. As with most Mercedes-Benz products, this vehicle boasts incredibly comfortable seats. The driver's seat has four-way power adjustable lumbar support and there's enough room to transport four adults or two adults and two children comfortably.

Exterior

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class stands out among the luxury SUV crowd as a sharp-looking vehicle. In range-topping ML63 AMG configuration, it presents an aggressive persona with large 20-inch wheels and menacing bodywork front and rear. Meanwhile, the standard-trim M-Class makes use of a large grille and appropriately-sized headlights. Stainless skid plates and sizeable side-view mirrors lend the impression of plenty of off-road capability. Though the relatively shorter wheelbase of the M-Class enhances nimble handling in parking lots and on tight city streets, the vehicle's tall ride height makes for difficulty reaching cargo stashed on the roof rails.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Mercedes-Benz has equipped the 2011 M-Class with a seven-speed automatic transmission, automatic climate control, a multimedia radio unit with in-dash six-disc changer, auxiliary input jack and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, cruise control, automatic headlamps, heated and auto-dimming exterior mirrors, multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel, outside temperature display, 19-inch wheels, power glass sunroof and a four-way adjustable steering column. Standard safety equipment includes the Pre-Safe system as well as an array of passive and active safety technologies, including front, front-side and front and second-row side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

For the most part, Mercedes-Benz has grouped the options for the 2011 M-Class into packages. Buyers may choose an active-damping air suspension, hard-drive-based navigation, keyless entry, parking assist, a heated steering wheel with heated rear seats and an excellent harman/kardon audio system. If you're after the ultimate performance luxury SUV, there's also the high-horsepower ML63 AMG.

Under the Hood

With an impressive V6 good for 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, opting for the lower-priced, higher-mileage ML350 won't leave you feeling short-changed in the power department. For those who want the towing capability of a V8 with the fuel mileage of a frugal four-cylinder, the ML350 BlueTEC diesel is an excellent choice. Die-hard speed freaks will no doubt drool over the ML63 AMG's 503 horsepower, but the price tag near $90,000 may render this hot-rod SUV little more than a pipe dream. Finally, the efficient ML450 Hybrid utilizes start-stop technology to achieve up to 43-percent better fuel economy than its 3.5-liter V6 stable mate.

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2400-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/20 (2WD), 15/20 (AWD)

3.5-liter V6 with Hybrid module
275 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3000-5500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/24

3.0-liter V6 Turbodiesel
210 horsepower @ 3400 rpm
400 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1600-2400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25

5.5-liter V8
382 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
391 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800-4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/18

6.3-liter V8
503 horsepower @ 6800 rpm
465 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/15

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2011 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 205 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Top in its category

By on Thursday, October 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "Nothing"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The ML500 W164 has been a great vehicle, before I bought I compared with X5 V8/ Range Rover Sport and I'm very glad I went for it, its superior in reliability to the other 2 above that are known for problems after problems and very expensive maintanance. This one has all the space I need, enough HP (302) it's seemless how nice it shifts, it cruises on the road in comfort luxury and safety and the looks are better as well comparing ML500 with the other 2 with same year, all I do is an oil change every 10000 miles, tires rotation, and a few light bulbs. Superior quality and reliability."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I Love this SUV

By on Thursday, October 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to Drive"

Cons: "NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I'm the 2nd owner of this ML320 Diesel. I purchased it with 48,000 miles -and I will own it when it has 248,000 miles. Runs like a well oiled machine -25 mpg -like riding on a cloud! If you offered me a new one for no additional dollar difference -I wouldn't give you my 08 ML320. I LOVE IT!!!!!!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

nice car but costs a fortune to service

By on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "quiet ride, handles nicely"

Cons: "$$$$ Service, Poor Nav/Ent system, too many stalks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"our first and last Mercedes benz car. Have come to dread even routine service appointments. Cheapest one has been $250 with the latest almost $2,500. Really do not like the automatic shift design. It is a stalk on the steering column you push down for D and UP for R. Very counter intuitive after decades of driving and always pulling down for any gear. Had no idea how to get car in neutral for car washes etc. After three years still confuse cruise control stalk for directional. Way to many stalks on steering column. Nav/Ent is a beast to use like the style and cosmetics of the car and it rides SUPER quiet, but not a good value at all based on service costs."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I love this car.

By on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had my 2006 ML350 since it came off the showroom floor. It still sounds and looks brand new. It's comfortable and easy to drive."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

buyer beware

By on Thursday, June 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Beautiful and comfortable"

Cons: "Too expensive to maintain and own."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Have owned this car 3+ years. Long list of design problems - faulty rear electrical harness (required constant repair/replacement), documented steering rack problems, documented door lock problems, documented drive-shaft harmonic-balance problems, documented fact computers located under front and rear seats & if liquid spilled on seat can short computer and disable car immediately (no water shielding). Add to this the high cost of parts and repairs and the car is a beautiful statue. Requires 9 quarts full synthetic oil so oil changes expensive. These problems are all documented for the 2006 model year of the ML500."

15 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Love this car

By on Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks and Drives Great"

Cons: "Priced Higher Than Other SUVs in this size"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love this car. From the day I drove it off the lot, I have loved the ML-350 and the way it drives as well as the great style."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?