If you’ve been shopping for a luxury midsize SUV, you might want to wait until this fall, when the redesigned 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is expected to hit dealer lots. The redesigned M-Class shares its platform with the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and receives styling tweaks to its interior and exterior design. “Inside, it's the usual smattering of Mercedes-Benz style and technology, though we like how things have been greatly smoothed out versus the current ML,” says Autoblog. “In addition, the COMAND infotainment system has been updated for 2012, and now offers Internet access.”
Along with visual updates, the new M-Class also offers more power. “At launch, Mercedes will offer two familiar six-cylinders, while the new twin-turbo 4.7-liter V-8 will follow later,” writes Car and Driver. “Both V-6 models will be badged ML350. The direct-injection 3.5-liter gas engine produces 302 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, increases of 34 and 15 over the outgoing gas V-6; while the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel in the BlueTec is now good for 240 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque, up 30 hp and 55 lb-ft.”
The 2012 M-Class is also expected to sip less fuel. Edmunds reports that “fuel economy is improved on all new M-Class models, thanks to such enhancements as electric power steering, low-rolling-resistance tires and automatic stop/start systems.”
All versions will feature Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel drive system as standard equipment. Pricing information has yet to be released, but the current 2011 model is priced at $46,490, which is slightly more than the Audi Q7, which starts at $46,250, but less than the base Porsche Cayenne, which starts at $48,200.
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