Mercedes M-class facelift (2008): first official pictures | CAR Magazine

Mercedes M-class facelift (2008): first official pictures

Published: 13 March 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

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.

By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large