Believe it or not, but this is the facelifted Mercedes M-class. And despite the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it styling, Merc claims to have meticulously revamped its SUV.
The nose gets a new front bumper, new headlights, and in case the M-class wasn’t in-your-face enough, there’s also now a ‘more dominant radiator’.
Mercedes M-class: the facelift
The M-class’s rear gets new reflector lights designed to emphasise the width of the car (!), while roof rails are now standard fit. Inside there’s a new four-spoke steering wheel, improved materials, and an updated telecommunications system. As in the facelifted SL, the hardware looks little different but the software is much improved.
The M-class now also features Mercedes’ Pre-Safe anticipatory crash protection system. Engine choice remains unchanged, but Mercedes claims some small fuel consumption improvements.
And what about the cleaner, greener versions of the M-class that Mercedes has been promising?
Come 2009 we’ll see the ML450 Hybrid. Mating a V6 engine to two electric motors this SUV will produce a combined total of 316bhp and 354lb ft, while returning 36.7mpg and emitting only 185g/km CO2. By comparison today’s ML350 makes do with 268bhp, 258lb ft, does 24.1mpg on the same combined cycle, and puffs out 279g/km CO2. In the meantime the States will receive a Bluetec M-class, but that car won't be coming to the UK.
Click 'Next' below to read about the revised Mercedes ML63 AMG
What if I don't care about the environment?
Then you’ll be pleased to know Merc has also updated the ML63 AMG. The 6.2-litre V8 remains the same, so that means 503bhp to blast this 2.3-tonne SUV to 62mph in 5.0sec. Visual changes include more aggressive front and rear bumpers, chromed underbody protection and new 20-inch wheels. There’s even a race timer system so you can record your lap times… Utter madness in an SUV, we reckon!
Mercedes UK is aiming to keep prices unchanged when the revised M-class goes on sale in autumn 2008. The M-class will however make its debut at next week’s New York Auto Show, and CAR Online will be there to report on all the new cars on display.