Like most upscale crossovers, the midsize Mercedes-Benz ML550 offers abundant features and silky cruising to complement its inherent versatility. It also packs something that’s harder to come by in this class: a turbocharged V8.
What's New for 2014
The ML550 gains an optional split-screen dash display that can project different images to the driver and front passenger.
Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz ML550
The ML550 carries a 4.7-liter turbo V8 with 402 horsepower for class-leading performance. A seven-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel complete the drivetrain. The ML550 gets its exterior detailing and 19-inch wheels from AMG, Mercedes’ in-house performance shop.
Other standard equipment is shared with the six-cylinder M-Class, including a power liftgate, a sunroof, wood interior trim, Bluetooth phone and audio, integrated smartphone apps and heated power seats in leather or premium vinyl.
Anything missing from the standard equipment list is available in a series of option packages:
- Premium: Tacks on a rearview camera, power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors, a power telescoping steering wheel, a driver memory package, a navigation system, 10 gigs of audio storage and satellite radio.
- Lighting: Gets you adaptive xenon headlamps with automatic high-beam control.
- Lane Tracking: Adds blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems.
- Driver Assistance: Includes the above, plus adaptive cruise control and active safety assists.
- Parking Assist: Features an automated parallel parking system, plus front and rear parking sensor and a surround-view camera.
- On/Off-Road: Gives the ML550 an adaptive air suspension, low-range gearing, a terrain selector and underbody skid plates.
Although the six-cylinder M-Class accounts for the vast majority of line sales, the ML550 with its turbo V8 is far more satisfying to drive and handles loads without breaking a sweat. It’s the natural choice for buyers with any interest in performance.