A new M-Class is here — The Mercedes ML 250 CDI has been launched at an ex-showroom (Delhi) price of 46.50 lakhs.
Mercedes already has the ML350 CDI in its line-up here. Though being a very capable SUV in itself, it was marred by a high price tag due to it being imported as kits and then assembled here, making it more expensive than its competitors namely, the Audi Q7 and BMW X5 .
Thus to level the competition, this base model undercuts the Q7, which costs Rs. 58.25 lakhs, and the X5, which costs Rs. 53.80 lakhs, by a good margin and makes for an excellent buy as a luxury SUV. Also see: Most expensive SUVs in India
Production of the ML has been localized and will roll out from its new facility in Chakan, Pune. This move is intended to help Mercedes boost their sales compared to the other European competition.
Engine and Performance
Unlike the existing ML350 CDI with a 3.0-litre V6 unit, the third generation M-Class gets a 2143 cc engine which boasts a healthy torque figure of 500 nm at 1600-1800 rpm and a rated output of 204 bhp at 4200 rpm. It is assisted by a two-stage turbocharger which helps propel the SUV from 0-100kmph in a mere 9 seconds and reach a top speed of 210kmph.
This engine maybe slightly under-powered as compared to the Q7’s 3.0-litre 231 bhp and X5’s 242 bhp V6 motors but makes for a good performer nevertheless with the massive torque its engine produces.
The ML250 has a 7G- TRONIC PLUS transmission with 4WD and features anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) Acceleration Skid Control, Brake Assist, etc. Also read: Essential off-road gear
The new M-Class has quite a few safety features. It has seven airbags and collision prevention system (Pre-Safe).
The SUV comes with an ECO start-stop function, which reduces fuel consumption and emissions. It also boasts of the attention assist, an electric parking brake and active parking assist that increases comfort and provides a real safety plus. All these features are testified with a EURO NCAP 5 Star rating, awarded to this SUV. Also see: Best performance SUVs between Rs 15 to Rs 25 lakh
Styling and Features
The new ML has good road presence and looks the part of a powerful SUV. It also has a fairly long feature list. Features include Bi Xenon Head lamps with LED daytime running lamps, an Intelligent Light System (ILS) including cornering lights, headlamp washer and adaptive high beam assist.
The Electric Sunroof, 18” ten spoke light alloy wheels and Aluminum Running boards gives the car a distinctly aggressive look. The plush interiors of the new M-Class 250 CDI with electric powered seats and 4 way lumbar support provides ample seating comfort for long drives. Related: India’s best off-roaders below Rs. 25 lakh
So, is it a competitive enough offering from Mercedes to win market share and raise their sales figures? That will depend on whether the Rs. 7 lakh advantage is good enough to lure the buyers from Audi Q7 and BMW X5.