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2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

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2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

In the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M Class, buyers will find an SUV that delivers safety, luxury and the status that comes with having the three-pointed star on the hood. The M-Class's wide and varied trim levels make it a multi-faceted SUV, with a diesel model for those seeking good fuel economy and two V8 engines for the performance-oriented set. Even the base V6 offers a good blend of power and fuel economy, and helps keep the M-Class price in check. This year, a new Off-Road package adds a two-stage transfer case, allowing the M-Class to go head-to-head with the Land Rover Range Rover and Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited.

You'll Like This Car If...

Any luxury SUV can promise a quiet cabin and a smooth ride. But very few can claim a 174-mph top speed on the German autobahns or offer the stump-pulling torque of a fuel-efficient diesel engine. The well-regarded safety features of the M-Class are just another selling point, as is its 7,200-pound tow rating.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the M-Class can wear many hats, it can't fit more than five people in its well-appointed cabin. Those needing more space might look to the larger GL or even an Audi Q7 or Infiniti JX. Those seeking similar luxury and off-road features at a more affordable price might consider the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited.

What's New for 2013

For 2013, a new Off-Road package offers a 2-stage transfer case, Airmatic adjustable suspension, locking differential and six selectable driving programs. The ML350 now offers a rear-drive model, while new massaging front seats with comfort headrests join the options list. New standard equipment includes the mbrace2 telematics system and Collision Prevention Assist.

Driving the M-Class

Driving Impressions The 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class can tame the hazards of ruts, snow and muck – not to mention rush-hour traffic and speed bumps – while treating its driver and passengers to...

a supple travel experience. The M-Class doesn't feel quite as sporty as its BMW rivals, but it's anything but slow, especially when equipped with a V8 engine. For those who want a more dynamic driving experience, that can be had with the touch of a button that adjusts the suspension. We preferred to leave it on the "comfort" setting to take advantage of this SUV's soft ride. Even at freeway speeds, the cabin is remarkably hushed. Visibility is good, but we still recommend the optional blind-spot monitoring system. Steering feels a tad light at lower speeds and isn't very communicative overall. The M-Class has a relatively tight turning radius of 38.7 feet, which means fewer 3-point turns.

POWER TAILGATE
This feature is a lifesaver when your hands are filled with groceries. Just touch a button on the key fob and the tailgate lifts. Closing is equally simple, either via a button on the door itself or with another press on the key fob.

MBRACE2:
A true leap forward in telematics, mbrace2 is a Cloud-based subscription service that uses your smartphone to connect to the Internet, allowing apps like Facebook, Google and Yelp to be online and at work whenever the car's in motion. Mbrace2 can even download system and map updates.

2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Details
Interior

The 2013 M-Class has all the soft-touch materials and wood accents you'd expect in a luxury vehicle. Leather seating will still cost you extra, but even the base "MB-Tex" vinyl provides an appreciable amount of comfort and good feel. That sensation carries over to just about every other component, from the available wood steering wheel to the tiny gear selector, which bucks the trend by being mounted on the steering-wheel column instead of the center console. Rear passengers are treated to ample legroom, reclining seats and movies of their choice with the optional twin LCD screens mounted inside the front-seat headrests.

Exterior

Last year's thorough freshening carries over to the 2013 M-Class. Up front is a revised grille that emphasizes the Mercedes-Benz emblem and sleeker headlights that give the M-Class a more modern look. Adding to the sportier appearance is a sculpted beltline running the sides. The rear benefits from a squatter shape and taillights that are stretched horizontally, which give the 2013 M-Class a more sporting instead of utilitarian look. The high-performance ML63 AMG models are distinguished by a larger air intake up front, wider front fenders and quad tailpipes in back.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUVs come with a 7-speed automatic transmission, power sunroof, 8-way heated front seats, power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, 7-inch color center display, Collision Prevention Assist and an 8-speaker AM/FM/CD/DVD mbrace2 audio system with weather band and HD Radio. Safety features include nine airbags and Mercedes' Attention Assist system that monitors for driver drowsiness. ML350 and ML550 versions ride on big, 19-inch wheels, while the top-line ML63 AMG rolls on 20-inchers.

Optional Equipment

Here's where the M-Class' $50,000 base price can quickly inflate. Many options are bundled into packages and include navigation, rear-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and a premium harman/kardon Surround Sound system. Further options include a panorama roof, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats and the Parktronic system to aid with parallel parking. The $5,000-plus Dynamic Handling Package makes for a more sporting M-Class with the addition of 20-inch wheels, air suspension and an adaptive damping system. Buyers of the AMG performance version can opt for a package that adds another 32 horsepower and a top speed of 174 mph.

Under the Hood

Each of the four 2013 M-Class models is distinguished by its own engine. At the lowest-priced end is the ML350 with a still-robust V6. Next is the most fuel-efficient of the bunch, the ML350 BlueTEC with a V6 turbodiesel that puts out tremendous power yet yields up to 27 mpg on the highway and a potential cruising range of more than 600 miles. The diesel is 50-state legal and of the "clean" variety, meaning it doesn't put out the nasty emissions of past diesels, but will require the urea-based AdBlue fluid throughout its life. The ML550 SUV uses a powerful-but-fuel-thirsty V8 biturbo, and the ML63 AMG uses an even bigger, more powerful – and even less fuel-efficient – V8. Even the "slowest" M-Class can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just over seven seconds, while the AMG version can do it in 4.7 seconds, on par with high-performance sports cars.

3.5-liter V6
302 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
273 lb-ft of torque @ 3,500-5,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/22 mpg, 13/17 mpg (E85)

3.0-liter turbodiesel V6
240 horsepower @ 3,600 rpm
455 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-2,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg

4.6-liter twin-turbocharged V8
402 horsepower @ 5,000-5,750 rpm
443 lb-ft of torque @ 1,600-4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 mpg

5.5-liter biturbo V8
518 horsepower @ 5,250 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/17 mpg

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2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 33 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

AWD not tested in snow or mud of Kansas off roads

By on Saturday, August 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quite, Powerful, GREAT MPG, Well appointed,"

Cons: "Maintenance Program Star is Poor,"

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

"DIESEL..... Combined mileage of 25MPG city/highway and I'm not light on the accelerator. I find myself struggling to keep it under 80 on highways. That Diesel is amazing. Has the power (and the growl) you expect to have. We bought it to pull a small camping trailer, which we are still looking to buy. COMPLAINT: STAR SERVICE,,, which is sold on the vehicle DOES NOT TRANSFER with the vehicle per dealers refusal to service under its contract. I obtained the signed transfer agreement from the former owner, yet was denied service as shown in the contract. WOULD NEVER recommend any future buyers to obtain Star Service Maintenance Contract. I find the routine service to be rather over priced so it does pay to shop around for service. BUT I do love the car. It's fun, quite, reliable, good looking and has not let me down and I'm about to take it on a trip to Vancover, Canada next week. Love the Diesel."

great in the front,like a mb

By on Thursday, August 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"back seat is chop chop and kids need side running boards no ac controls in the back and you can see all the metal supports from front seats yes you can pay more and more ,this extras are standard in less costly cars"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

About as good as it gets

By on Friday, May 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,000

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: "Prestigous, reliable, high quality amenities"

Cons: "Heavy vehicle (it is an SUV), stone chips in paint"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Absolute pleasure to drive, flawless for reliability, and comfort. Opportunities for improvement - 1 for sure: improve front paint finishes ability to resist stone chip damage"

19 people out of 40 found this review helpful

Love the Car

By on Monday, April 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

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

Pros: "Best VALUE in a luxury vehicle I know of."

Cons: "Navigation system needs improvement."

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

"Easy in IN and OUT even for big guys ~ 6'2" and 300#. Smooth, QUIET, and very responsive. Engine revs effortlessly to redline. Average 22.6 MPG ~ mostly DFW freeway travel. 15 MPG or so stoplight to stoplight. Lots of room in the rear hatch for all my skeet shooting gear. A bit bouncy with 4 adults and luggage on a trip, but OK. Voice communication of Nav/Bluetooth system is the only point I would not give a 10. Ford and Infiniti (we own them) have a better system."

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Our 4th ML and Best in Show

By on Thursday, March 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

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
9/10

Pros: "The "250" diesel is perfect for this SUV"

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

"This 2015 ML250 BlueTec is just a bit longer wheelbase than previous models. It has more legroom, a better ride and it handles better too. The 2.15L Biturbo diesel engine is amazing --e.g., it has plenty of power in all normal driving situations while delivering better than advertised miles per gallon (I'm getting >30 mpg on my daily drive) and the range is great --e.g., daytrips can range up to 600 miles on a single tank of fuel; and, diesel fuel prices are currently lower than regular gas so that's an added bonus. Distronic Plus, MB's adaptive cruise control really is a 'plus' (I wouldn't leave home without it)."

20 people out of 32 found this review helpful

Great vehcle, gets the job done with confort.

By on Saturday, February 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quiet, confortable, interior quality, handling"

Cons: "Controls need to be more intutive and centralized"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I purchased this vehicle in 2013 and traded in a 2011 BMW 535.This is a two row SUV based on the same platform as the GL which is a longer 3 row design. Both vehicles have the same interior layout with the exact same dimentions minus the extra row. After driving both the GL & ML, I liked the ML, because it handled better. It is also more fuel efficient. It has excellent safety ratings and feels sturdy and stable, at 4700 lbs. One of the selling points of SUVs is safety, regardless of the crash test results with cars. All of the safety features of modern cars,does not make up for mass. The government crash tests are based on fixed objects, not other vehicles. This vehicle rides well and is very quiet. The only downside with taller vehicles is that, there is more wobble on uneaven roads. The extra movement is transfered to the driver because of the extra height. With the electronic stability controls,handling around curves is great in normal driving. The advantage is that the extra height gives the driver of an SUV more protection in a crash with a standard car. The main structure of the SUV rides higher than the structure of a typical car, so the impact of the SUV occurs at the weakest point on the car, but strongest on the SUV. There are many SUVs on the market, but the ML is worth the little extra cost with a higher level of quality."

23 people out of 41 found this review helpful

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