What's New for 2014:
- Sporty AMG styling now optional on all M-Class vehicles
- Available split-screen display serves both driver and passenger
- Luxury SUV offers choice of engines
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a midsize, 5-passenger luxury SUV, available with a choice of a V-6, diesel, or one of two V-8 engines. The base model employs rear-wheel drive (RWD) with optional all-wheel drive (AWD). AWD is standard on all higher trim levels. The M-Class might be cross-shopped with the BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne and the Acura MDX. The M-Class comes with a solid array of sophisticated features, plus a long menu of custom options that includes packages as well as individual options and accessories. The 2014 model varies little from the previous year, but a few options have been added, and the upscale AMG styling cues are available as options on all trim levels.
Models and Features
The 2014 M-Class comes in four trim levels: the base ML350; ML350 Bluetec; ML550; and the ML63 AMG. All offer various opportunities for customization. Both the ML350 (which features a V-6 engine) and the ML350 Bluetec (powered by a diesel engine) can tow up to 6,600 lbs., properly equipped. Standard features include19-in. 5-spoke wheels, LED daytime running lights and wraparound taillights, aluminum roof rails, Nappa leather multifunction steering wheel, premium interior lighting, eucalyptus wood trim, power tilt/sliding sunroof, privacy glass, 4.5-in. color instrument cluster display, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats with driver lumbar support, heated front seats, premium vinyl upholstery, 60/40 split rear seats, retractable luggage cover, and infrared-remote window opening and closing. The top-of-the-line ML63 AMG features 20-in. wheels and adds leather upholstery, upgraded seats, trim, and lighting, and more power features. The ML350 can tow up to 6,600 lbs., while the other trim levels top out at 7,200 lbs. The M-Class offers 38.2 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats and 80.3 cu. ft. with rear seats folded.
Options and Packages
Option packages, and individual enhancements, are available for both interior and exterior on the 2014 Mercedes M-Class. On the base ML350 model, the Sport package features AMG body styling and 19-in. AMG wheels; 20-in. wheels may be substituted at an additional charge. The Lighting package adds bi-xenon headlights and adaptive high-beam assist. Individual exterior options include brushed aluminum running boards, panoramic sunroof, 21-in. wheels, trunk handle, and various chrome enhancements.
On the inside, various types and colors of leather upholstery are available, as are various upgrades to the steering wheel. The Premium 1 package includes a hard-drive navigation system, 10GB music register, upgraded media system, and SiriusXM traffic and weather with 6 months of free service. Other interior options include active ventilated front seats, multicolor ambient lighting, heated rear seats, Harman Kardon sound system, rear-seat entertainment system, keyless ignition, heated and cooled front cupholders, rear side-window sunshades, and a rear center-armrest pass-through. Some of these options are standard on the upper trim levels. The ML63 AMG offers a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system as an option.
Under The Hood
The base ML350 features a 302-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 273 lb.-ft. of torque. The ML350 Bluetec provides a 240-horsepower diesel engine that makes 455 lb.-ft. of torque. The ML550 features a 402-horsepower, 4.7-liter, turbocharged V-8 engine that produces 443 lb.-ft. of torque, while the ML63 AMG offers a 518-horsepower, 5.5-liter turbo V-8 that produces 516 lb.-ft. of torque. All M-Class engines are mated with a 7-speed automatic transmission with manual paddle shifters.
The EPA's fuel-economy ratings for the 2014 M-Class are 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway/20 mpg combined for RWD models. The ML350 with AWD returns 17/22/19 mpg. The ML350 Bluetec's diesel engine is rated at 20/28/23 mpg. The smaller V-8 gets an estimated 14/19/16 mpg, while the ML63 AMG's turbo V-8 gets 13/17/15 mpg.
Safety Ratings and Technology
Standard safety features on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz M-Class include a full complement of air bags, front and rear head protection, advanced tire-pressure monitoring system, electronic stability program, rain-sensing wipers, anti-lock brakes, and brake assist. Many optional safety features are available, including the Driver Assistance package, which consists of the Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control system, active blind-spot assist, active lane-keeping assist, and upgraded brakes.
No crash-test ratings are yet available for the 2014 M-Class from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the M-Class its top rating of \"Good\" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact, and roof-strength crash tests.