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Mercedes M-Class 2005 Review

Looking for a used Mercedes-Benz?

Buy with confidence; all Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned vehicles come with a factory backed warranty, 100 point safety check, comprehensive service history and 24hr roadside assistance.

That's because the new M-Class is a considerably more capable 4WD than its predecessor, as we discovered in the muddy backlots of Victoria.

The kit which adds a whacking $10,000 to the cost (unless it's the V8) gets you low range, a locking diff, active dampers and adjustable air suspension which boost's the wagon's ground clearance to a whopping 291mm.

If you feel an overwhelming desire to get your shiny new Mercedes dirty then the model to go for is the new ML 320 CDI diesel with off-road pack fitted.

We always been big advocates of diesel for 4WDs because it produces better fuel economy and because diesel engines are better suited to the demands of off road driving.

The new 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel replaces the previous five-cylinder ML 270 CDI.

It features third-generation common-rail direct injection and the latest in piezo injectors.

The lightweight V6 features an aluminium crankcase and delivers 165kW of power at 3800rpm and maximum torque of 510Nm from 1600rpm.

Fuel consumption is rated at a combined 9.4 litres per 100 kilometres.

The diesel is hooked up to the a standard seven-speed 7G-TRONIC sequential auto, with a column mounted gear change ever and steering wheel mounted buttons for changing gears manually.

The new M-Class is a much sharper looking car with plenty of eye candy designed to create a decidedly sporty image.

Physically it's 150mm longer (now 4780mm), 71mm wider (now 1911mm) and 5mm lower (now 1815mm with roof rails) than its predecessor.

The wheelbase has also grown by 95mm to 2915mm.

We were able to put the new ML 320 CDI through its paces in a variety of conditions, including some rough off roading.

The car acquits itself well on road as a smooth, powerful performer with plenty in reserve for overtaking.

It's very quiet with none of the rattle normally associated with oil burners, thanks to the new piezo injection system.

The seven-speed auto is exceptionally good, although we can't say we're fans of the column mounted shift, nor for that matter the change buttons.

Two buttons are located either side at the rear of the wheel and changing up or down can be accomplished by both.

However, we found ourselves losing track of their location and continually chasing them around the wheel.

The off road section of the drive route was designed to show the car's four-wheel drive prowess.

The air suspension provides little cushioning fully pumped up and although we needed a tow from one of the heavy duty Japanese 4WDs to get up one particularly steep and slippery hill, the M-Class showed it could mix it with the best.

The rigid rear mudflaps, however, are prone to damage.

The ML 320 CDI is priced from $82,900 before on-road costs.

Standard equipment includes permanent all- wheel drive, 17-inch light-alloys, 7-speed automatic transmission, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), and 4ETS electronic traction control.

Parking sensors are also part of the package as well as rain sensor for the windscreen wipers, airbags for driver and front passenger, sidebags in front and rear, windowbags, 6-disc CD changer, cruise control with variable speed limiter, multi-function steering wheel, newly developed crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints, off-road ABS and ASR, anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE, auto- matic climate control and tyre pressure loss warning system.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

ML350 (4x4) 3.5L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $8,800 – 12,380 2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 2005 ML350 (4x4) Pricing and Specs
ML55 AMG (4x4) 5.4L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $12,760 – 17,050 2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 2005 ML55 AMG (4x4) Pricing and Specs
ML320 CDI (4x4) 3.0L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $9,020 – 12,760 2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 2005 ML320 CDI (4x4) Pricing and Specs
ML270 CDI Classic (4x4) 2.7L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $7,370 – 10,340 2005 Mercedes-Benz M-Class 2005 ML270 CDI Classic (4x4) Pricing and Specs