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2012 Mercedes Benz M-Class SUV Review

Moms drive.. a lot.   Between school, after-school activities, gymnastics, swim, Boy Scouts, doctor appointments, shopping, and visiting family and friends, moms are always on the go. That’s why it’s extremely important that our vehicle be safe and comfortable.

The 2012 Mercedes Benz M-Class, the 3rd generation M-Class SUV, covers both of those areas very well and you’ll be surprised by the affordable price.

For the launch of its brand-new 2012 M-Class SUV, Mercedes-Benz invited myself and other writers to Montana’s Paws Up ranch, the perfect place for test driving an SUV.

Drive and Handling

Starting off with a tame ride, myself and my driving partner took turns driving the M-Class from Paws Up Resort to the Continental Divide.  During the drive, I found steering the M-Class through sharp turns and steep hills to be precise and efficient.  The M-Class handled less than sexy off-road terrain with ultimate grace.  My driving partner (Stacie) and I took the M-Class on an off-road course which you’d think would have given me aches and pains from the bumpy ride but the ride was unbelievably smooth.  Stacie kept asking me “Did you feel that?  We just went into a pothole Alicia!”.   We’re talking pretty hard core off-roading, not a dirt road.  The M-Class has great suspension making for a smooth ride on the bumpiest of dirt roads.   Fragile wooden bridges, steep cliffs, and fast driving were involved.  Yes, we were happy women during that drive!  Stacie even had me photograph a part of the drive.  We call lovingly refer to the photograph as “Eat My Dust”.


M-Class steering wheel accented with Burl Walnut wood to match interior finish


What I noticed right away when I first drove the ML350 was how soft the steering wheel was.  Just ask Stacie, I said “I love this steering wheel!  It feels like butter”.  The M-Class interior is sexy and easy on the eyes.



ATTENTION ASSIST is a standard feature on the M-Class.  The innovative ATTENTION ASSIST system alerts the driver to the first signs of drowsiness, a factor that causes more than 100,000 accidents a year in the U.S.  A steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 different parameters to establish a unique driver profile during the first 20 minutes of driving.


Featuring a color-LCD display, the Cockpit Management and Data (COMAND) system gives you convenient control of audio, video, hands-free calling and optional navigation functions. Many features can also be accessed via the integrated steering-wheel controls.


The COMAND system (optional) features a color-LCD display and gives you convenient control of audio, video, hands-free calling and optional navigation functions. 


The M-Class comes in two models:

  • The thrifty ML350 BlueTEC diesel now has considerably more power (240 horsepower, 455lb.-ft of torque)
  • ML350 4MATIC is equipped with a brand new direct-injection V6 engine (302 hp,273 lb.-ft.)

More about the Mercedes 2012 M-Class:

Disclosure: Mercedes Benz paid for my flight and accommodations on this trip, but did not compensate me for this review or require that I write a review. My opinions are my own.

Alicia Hagan, Editor