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2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Review

If you’re looking for a luxury midsize SUV that offers good power from its lineup of potent engines, consider a used 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class. It also has a comfortable interior filled with well-made materials. However, the M-Class’ high ownership costs and average reliability score keep it in the middle of the segment.

Pros & Cons

  • Generous cargo space for class
  • Good fuel economy in ML350 BlueTEC
  • Sprightly acceleration in ML63 AMG

  • Numb steering
  • Less engaging to drive than rivals




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.6
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Overview

Is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class a Good Used SUV?

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a good used luxury midsize SUV. Even among its peers, the interior stands out for its quality materials and fit and finish. Cargo space is generous, and a wide opening makes loading your belongings easy. Additionally, there are few competitors that can offer the M-Class’ powerful range of engines. Top safety scores and a range of available active safety features round out this vehicle. The one significant downside is its high cost of ownership.

Used 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Performance and Interior

The M-Class’ horsepower ranges from 240 with the turbo-diesel V6 up to 550 in select performance-oriented ML63 AMGs. The base model ML350 has rear-wheel drive, while all other models come standard with all-wheel drive. This Mercedes-Benz isn’t particularly sporty because of its numb steering, but it has a comfortable ride. The ML63 AMG has a firmer ride and better handling, thanks to its enhanced all-wheel drive. EPA fuel economy estimates range from 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway with the ML63 AMG to 20/27 mpg city/highway with the ML350 BlueTEC.

Read more about M-Class performance »

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz has room for five on standard leatherette upholstery. Heated front seats are standard, and leather and cooled front seats are available in some models. Comfort is good in the front and rear seats. The M-Class has complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats. An additional tether anchor is affixed to the rear middle seat.

Standard interior features include dual-zone automatic climate control, the Mercedes-Benz infotainment center with a 7-inch screen, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker sound system with auxiliary audio input and a USB port, HD Radio, and a power moonroof. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a push-button ignition are available in some models. The M-Class’ infotainment center has a steep learning curve because it relies on knobs and dashboard controls for some actions, but a touch screen for others.

Read more about M-Class interior »

Used 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class Prices

The price of a used 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class ranges from about $25,800 for the rear-wheel-drive ML350 trim to around $50,700 for the AWD ML63 AMG. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 30 Reviews Analyzed

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 30 professional evaluations for this 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class?

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class has a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That’s average for the auto industry as a whole, but many luxury midsize SUVs earn higher scores.

See M-Class reliability scores »

How Safe Is the M-Class?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class five out of five stars overall. The M-Class earned five stars in all crash tests but one – the rollover crash test, for which it earned four stars. The M-Class was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It earned a Good rating, the highest offered, in all IIHS crash tests.

The only standard active safety feature is collision prevention assist. It uses radar technology to warn of a potential impact, and brake assist to help avoid it. A rearview camera and automatic parking are available, as are active lane keep assist, blind spot assist, intelligent cruise control with pre-safe braking, and bi-xenon headlights with active curve assist for better illumination on twisting roads.

See M-Class safety scores »

Is the 2013 M-Class the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is part of a generation that launched as a 2012 model and continued through 2017. (The M-Class was renamed the GLE in 2016.) The 2012 M-Class may save you money, but it only comes with all-wheel drive. The M-Class saw few changes between 2013 and 2014

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 M-Class » 

Which Used M-Class Is Right for Me?

The M-Class comes in four trim levels: ML350, ML350 BlueTEC, ML550, and ML63 AMG. Differences among the trims largely have to do with engine size. The base model is well-equipped with features like heated seats, eight-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-speaker sound system, HD Radio, and Bluetooth. The ML550 has standard running boards, but little else is different. The ML63 AMG includes performance enhancements like a sports-tuned suspension and four-wheel-drive system, a specially designed steering wheel, and an AMG seven-speed automatic transmission. It also has a rearview camera, a navigation system, keyless start, and automatic parking. The ML350 BlueTEC, also known as the ML350 BlueTEC 4Matic, might be the best choice. It combines good horsepower and fuel efficiency, while also including all the upscale interior touches.

Because the M-Class has an average reliability rating, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model for added peace of mind. Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles come with the balance of the original four-year/50,000-mile new-car warranty, plus an additional one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. If the new-car warranty is expired, you’ll just receive the one-year/unlimited-mileage warranty. Every Mercedes-Benz CPO vehicle must pass a 164-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mercedes-Benz warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.    

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned program » 

2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class or 2013 Volkswagen Touareg?

The 2013 Volkswagen Touareg has standard all-wheel drive and shares the Mercedes M-Class’ strong safety scores and average reliability rating. In most other ways, however, the Mercedes is the better SUV. It has lots more cargo space and less body roll, and its top-end engines lay down considerably more power than the Touareg’s strongest motor. This all comes at a price, however. You should expect to pay significantly more for an M-Class – especially if you purchase one of the higher trims. If you can live with less cargo space and engine power, the VW is worth a look. 

Which Is Better: 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class or 2013 Lincoln MKT?

The 2013 Lincoln MKT is a 3-row SUV that bests the 2013 M-Class in several ways. The longer MKT has more passenger space and more cargo room behind the second row than the Mercedes-Benz. The Lincoln also has more responsive steering and, arguably, a more comfortable ride. You won’t get the outrageous engine power with the MKT that the M-Class offers in its upper trims, but you will likely pay less for the MKT. Further, its total cost of ownership is lower as well. The Lincoln is the better SUV.

Compare the M-Class, Touareg, and MKT »

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