In front of the driver once inside there is a multifunction 4-spoke steering wheel in nappa leather with gearshift paddles, which frames the instrument cluster in twin-tube look with an 11.4-cm multifunction colour TFT display.
The driver’s seat, front passenger seat, steering column and exterior mirrors are all electrically adjustable with memory function as well as the 4-way lumbar support for driver and front passenger. The luxury front seats are heated.
The centre stack holds the COMAND APS with 17.8cm TFT colour display, HDD navigation with RDS-TMC, 10GB music register, Harman Kardon® Logic 7® Surround sound system with MP3/WMA/AAC compatibility, LINGUATRONIC voice control operation, Bluetooth connectivity, telephone keypad for phone operation and internet connectivity. The controller for all this is on the centre console.
Other features include cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC variable speed limiter, Electric parking brake with comfort function, Folding rear-seat backrests 1/3:2/3 folding split and angle adjustment, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control, Glass electric sunroof with tilt/slide function, EASY-PACK tailgate with electrically operated opening and closing functions
Power is supplied by the 4.7L V8 Direct-injection, Bi-turbo petrol engine that pumps out 300Kw of power @ 5,000rpm and torque of 600Nm @ 1,600rpm. This is more than adequate and delivers through the 7G-TRONIC PLUS transmission and through the 4MATIC permanent all wheel drive system.
As 4MATIC is always active and is able to respond almost instantaneously in poor weather conditions such as rain, black ice or snow. It is assisted by the Electronic Stability Program ESPR and the electronic traction system 4ETS with integral ABS and ASR functions which provide additional support for the all-wheel drive.
The off-road driving mode supports the driver when using the vehicle off-road by adapting the settings for the engine output, automatic transmission, anti-lock braking system ABS, Electronic Stability Program ESPR and the electronic traction system 4ETS. This mode is activated by means of the off-road button in the centre console.
Suspension is through the AIRMATIC package, which includes air suspension and Adaptive Damping System (ADS) with level control and automatic lowering at higher speeds
Safety is a key feature with front airbags for driver and front passenger, sidebags in front and rear, full length window bags and driver’s kneebag, Acceleration skid control (ASR), Active Curve System, ADAPTIVE BRAKE with HOLD function, Hill Start Assist, BAS, ETS 4ETS, ESP®, DSR, PRE-SAFE ® accident anticipatory occupant protection system. The Driving Assistance package PLUS – includes DISTRONIC PLUS, PRE-SAFE® Brake, Brake Assist BAS PLUS, Active Blind Spot Assist & Active Lane Keeping AssistTyre pressure monitoring system.
Overall the ML500 is an AWD SUV that will tow 3500Kg with ease, has some off road aspirations, is extremely comfortable and although it sometimes feels a little floaty it has dynamic handling and performance. It’s expensive but worth it.
What is good:
• Powerful V8
• Street impression
• Improved interior
What is not so good:
• Floating feeling
• Rear seat leg room
• Auto selector on steering column
Model Mercedes Benz ML500
Model Price $130,350 RDAP
Drivetrain 4Matic 4.7L V8 Petrol 7G-Tronic
Power 300 Kw @ 5,000 rpm
Torque 600 Nm @ 1,600
CO2 Emissions 287 g/km
Green Vehicle Rating 3 1/2Star
Economy (ADR comb) 12.3 L/100km
Tow Capacity – 3500Kg
Tow Ball Rating 330Kg
Servicing $Not Supplied
Warranty 3yr/Unlimited with full roadside assist
Overall OzRoamer Rating 78/100
Behind the Wheel 8
Ride & Handling 7
Fit for Purpose 8
Towing Ability 9
Off Road Ability 5
Value for Money 8