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$8,890 - $10,309 $47,100 - $55,800

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
Safety: 9.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class offers a spacious interior, excellent safety ratings and decent off-road performance. However, some SUVs in the class are more fun to drive.

Pros & Cons

  • Available diesel engine
  • Powerful V8 engine
  • Especially nice interior
  • Above-average safety scores
  • No third row
  • Tech features can be confusing

New for 2009

  • ML320 BlueTec diesel model became available
  • Lost available third-row seat

2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Overview

As you’d expect from a Mercedes-Benz, the 2009 M-Class delivers interior luxury and confident handling. It also comes with an excellent safety score. When it was new, reviewers said the M-Class could handle going off-road, despite its car-based platform. However, the M-Class still offers a composed ride that’s more comfortable than most truck-based off-road SUVs.

Reviewers loved the M-Class’ new-for-2009 diesel engine, and said it felt as smooth as a gasoline engine. Opting for the diesel engine over the base V6 engine raises fuel economy significantly, and adds standard all-wheel drive, which is also standard on V8-engined models. There is also an AMG-tuned ML63 AMG variant, which test drivers loved for its combination of power, handling and cargo space.

Reviews of the M-Class weren’t all positive, however. For 2009, it dropped its third row of seats, so shoppers looking for a seven-seat SUV will have to look elsewhere. While reviewers said the M-Class does better on-road than most truck-based SUVs, others in the class are much sportier and more fun to drive. Also, though reviewers were pleased with the standard interior features on the M-Class, which including eight-way power seats, an eight-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack and four 12-volt power outlets, they complained that some of the optional tech, like navigation and Bluetooth, was complicated to operate.

See the full 2009 Mercedes-Benz M-Class specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Anyone shopping for a five-seat luxury SUV should make sure to consider the 2009 Lexus RX. The RX ranks at the top of the class with a fantastic safety score, smooth, car-like performance and good fuel economy. Test drivers praised the RX’s well-crafted cabin, and many used the RX as the benchmark against which other luxury SUVs are measured.

Reviewers loved the 2009 BMW X5 for its handling, saying that the X5 is especially sporty for a luxury SUV. Its diesel engine gets better fuel economy than the diesel ML, and the high-performance X5 M is seriously quick. For an SUV with an available third row, lots of power, a beautiful interior and the prestige of a German luxury brand, the X5 is worth considering.

Compare the M-Class to the RX and X5 »

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