The most popular model in the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, ML350 takes aim at the heart of the midsize luxury crossover market. With ample V6 power, a lush cabin and scads of options, it's bound to hit the sweet spot for a broad swath of buyers.
What's New for 2015
The ML350 is essentially unchanged.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz ML250
The ML350 starts out in rear-drive form with a 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 302 horsepower and a seven-speed automatic transmission. Buyers looking for an all-weather vehicle can opt for the 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. Expect about 20 mpg in combined driving with rear-wheel drive and 19 mpg with 4MATIC. With 38 cubic-feet of space behind the rear seat, the ML350 can easily handle family vacations or a pile of golf bags. Fold the seat down and you're looking at a generous 80 cubic-feet.
The five-passenger interior comes standard with MB-Tex (premium vinyl) upholstery, wood trim, power heated front seats, a reclining rear seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The eight-speaker sound system features HD radio, a six-CD changer and Bluetooth phone and audio. You also get a power liftgate, a sunroof, foglamps, LED running lights and taillamps, and 19-inch wheels. Leather upholstery and upgraded wood finishes are optional.
The available Premium package adds a plethora of desirable features in one fell swoop, including a rearview camera, power-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, driver memory with expanded seat controls, a power-adjustable steering wheel, satellite radio, and a navigation system with digital music storage and real-time traffic data. The Convenience package tacks on heated and cooled cupholders, rear sunshades and a cargo area pass-through. You can also add the Sport Interior package with front sport seats, simulated suede trim and a sport steering wheel. The outside is eligible for a Sport package of its own with AMG styling details and 19- or 20- inch AMG wheels.
Turning to safety, the Driver Assistance package adds adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning -- of all which can activate emergency braking if needed. The Parking Assist package offers front and rear parking sensors, automated parallel parking and a surround-view camera system. Weekend warriors will appreciate the On/Off-Road package, which includes a six-mode terrain selector, skid plates, low-range gearing and an adaptive air suspension.
There's certainly no shortage of individual options for the ML350. You can choose from tempting features like a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system, a panoramic sunroof, tri-zone climate control, massaging and ventilated front seats, a split-view dash display and a dual-screen rear entertainment system.
Part of the ML250's appeal is its vast array of available equipment. We consider leather seating and the Premium package to be rather essential, but advise you to be judicious about the rest so as not to push the price beyond reason.