Price £43,865 - £83,620
Now in its third generation, the handsome Mercedes M-Class features a raft of improvements designed to give better off-road performance and improve fuel efficiency. Cabin quality has improved too. Engine choices include a 3.0-litre diesel, called the ML 350, plus the range-topping 5.5-litre petrol found in the ML 63 AMG. Mercedes is also introducing a new 2.2-litre four cylinder engine to the range, called the ML 250 CDI, later in 2012. The updated styling means the M-Class is longer and wider than before, and although it doesn't have seven seats like a Land Rover Discovery, or drive as well as the BMW X5, it remains a very spacious and capable five-seater SUV.
It's not available as a seven-seater, which is a downside for the Mercedes M-Class, as its main rival, the BMW X5, is offered with a third row of seats. The benefit is that there's loads of space inside the Mercedes, but larger families that want a 4x4 with room for seven will need to trade up to the GL-Class. The high driving position makes for great visibility and the Mercedes-Benz badge on the bonnet adds to the M-Class’ desirability.