2010 Mercedes-Benz ML450 HYBRID Arrives With Lease-Only Deals
By KBB.com Editors on November 17, 2009 1:10 PMBeating BMW's more powerful X6 ActiveHybrid to market by less than a month, the new ML450 HYBRID 4MATIC gives Mercedes-Benz bragging rights as being the first European full- hybrid model to be available in America. However, the initial batch of its high-efficiency all-wheel-drive SUV's will only be available as under a lease agreement, commanding $659 per month on a three-year deal or $549 under a 60 month alternative. Mercedes said the no-sales decision was influenced by limitations on the number of battery packs available at this point in time. The new ML450, which will join the S400 HYBRID and new BlueTEC clean-diesel iterations of the ML350, R350, GL350 and soon, the E350 in the in the "greener" corner of M-B's U.S. lineup, teams a 3.5-liter/275-horsepower Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine with two electric motors that are integrated into a CVT automatic transmission with a step function that provides eight gears. Powering the motors is a liquid-cooled 288-volt nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery. The package, which makes a combined 336 horsepower and 381 lb.-ft of torque, delivers performance comparable to the V8-powered ML550 but nets 21 mph/24 mpg city/highway EPA numbers for the ML450 HYBRID, about 46 percent better overall economy than its non-hybrid sibling. First presented at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, the ML450 HYBRID 4MATIC can attain speeds of up to 34 mph on electric power alone and employs stop/start circuitry and on-the-fly regenerative recharging to help enhance overall efficiency.