Monday, June 16, 2014

Used Car Review - Mercedes Benz M Class (2006-2012)

A luxury SUV for the school year? Not impossible, says Myk Belmonte as he gives you a suggestion.

2006-2012 Mercedes Benz M Class

Ok, so you would be criticizing me for featuring a second luxury SUV during the time when the kids troop back to school. Two years ago, we reviewed the E53 X5 in which people can choose between that or a brand new Montero Sport if given a chance (the results when I asked some people they'll go for a brand new Montero). While the used car world gives you lots of opportunities to drive those creatures without costing your image, there is a part of you which shouts maintenance costs without giving up your kids college funds.

Replacing the W163 M Class that was heavily criticized for its dubious quality is the W164 that was first made available in April 2005 as a 2006 model. Everything in the vehicle was totally new including the 7G-Tronic transmission, active curve illuminating lights, and more dimensions translating to more interior space. For the first time, AMG and hybrid engines debuted in this generation to provide consumers more options.

Locally, the W163 was launched by CATS Motors in December 2005 as a 2006 model alongside the W221 S Class and W245 B Class. Initially, the gasoline model was first made available with a diesel engine being available in 2010.

Value and Costs
Despite being an old model than the GLK, resale values of the M are identical to its small brother but then, the former has a cheaper price tag to begin with. As the drill, going with a pre-owned unit is the order of the day.

With this SUV packing tons of gadgetry inside, checking them one by one if they function well is a must. Also, maintenance costs between its European rivals are at par except for the LR which costs slightly more.

Exterior and Interior
Outside, the design just commands your attention with being overly styled that most competitors commit. The shape that is sculpted has better lines and a raked windshield that aids aerodynamics. AMG Sport models have the requisite AMG body kit with rear spoiler and 21 inch rims (as opposed to the 20 ones in the lower models).

Sad news for people who like placing their relatives at the back row: no more standard third row seat unlike the previous model, it has been relegated to the larger GL Class. Anyways, space inside the cabin is excellent and you'll love the comfortable aura provided by it. The interior is crammed with lots of toys including a button for the sunroof plus tons of hidden storage spaces (including the CD slot behind the COMAND screen). The biggest disadvantage is the shifter situated behind the steering wheel that is small (which you may mistaken it for a cruise control) and the cardinal rules: up to reverse, down to accelerate, and the middle is reserved for neutral.

Neither engine options that we will mention would disappoint you, so weigh in your requirements between the two. The sole gasoline option is the E35 3,498cc V6 having 272hp at 6,500rpm and 350Nm at 2,800-4,800rpm which provides you a smooth power delivery. On the other hand, picking the OM642 2,987 diesel with 224hp at 3,800rpm and 500Nm that is accessible at 1,600rpm which you will love for its available power and efficiency afforded by it.

Driving Impressions
Not anymore the agricultural tractor of the past, it now behaves as an E Class sedan which is a good thing. While we mention about the smooth power bandwith, its power steering is speed sensitive which means it is easily adapted. Apart from the smooth engine and transmission, all you have to do is to drive.

There is nothing wrong with having a luxury SUV to school, unless you are receiving death threats in between. But if you are in the market for one (and you budget really dictates it), there is nothing wrong with the M Class, since this is a more improved model than the rushed replacement.

The Good:
  • High levels of quality
  • Great amount of space
  • High levels of engineering
The Bad: 
  • You can't fit seven people in it
  • Good luck on the shifter
  • Maintenance costs will kill you
The Pick: ML350 CDI

Engines: 3,498cc E35 V6 gasoline and 2,987cc OM642 V6 diesel
Power: 272hp @ 6,500rpm (gasoline), 224hp @ 3,800rpm (diesel)
Torque: 350Nm @ 2,800-4,800rpm (gasoline), 500Nm @ 1,600rpm (diesel)
Fuel Consumption: 4-8km/L (city), 7-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Suspension: Front and rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P5,000,000-P6,500,000
Price (Now): P2,500,000-P3,000,000
Rivals: Audi Q7, BMW X5, Land Rover Discovery, Volvo XC90
On Sale: 2006-2012

CATS Pre-Owned - (02) 723-5808

Photos from

No comments:

Post a Comment