Mercedes-Benz ML-Class (2012 – 2015) Review

Mercedes-Benz ML-Class (2012 – 2015) At A Glance

More spacious and economical than before. High quality and comfortable interior. Great motorway cruiser. Impressive refinement.

ML 250 CDI engine can feel sluggish. 7G-Tronic gearbox not quick to respond. Poor handling corners.

Insurance Groups are between 38–50
On average it achieves 78% of the official MPG figure

The previous Mercedes-Benz ML proved a big hit for the German brand with its good looks and strong engines. So it's no surprise to see much of the same with this latest model. There are some significant improvements under the body with the engines being overhauled to provide better fuel economy but with minimal changes to performance.

As a result the entry-level ML300 CDI has been replaced with a new four-cylinder 2.2-litre engine that produces the same power and torque as the outgoing model, but with fuel efficiency improved from 33.6mpg to 47mpg. The trade off is that it's a fairly noisy engine that lacks the refinement of its predecessor although this is less noticeable on motorways. The ML is at its best with the ML 350 BlueTEC which is more powerful than the previous ML 350 CDI with more torque yet is also more economical.

The ML is most at home on the motorway where you can cruise along with little wind or road noise. Refinement and ride quality are both very impressive. Unfortunately it's not as good in corners. The steering is slow and there's plenty of bodyroll so it doesn't give you much confidence. That said grip is good and thanks to the permanent four-wheel drive system there's plenty of traction.

The improvements continue inside with a much better cabin both in terms of quality and on-board technology. The buttons and switches have a better quality feel to them and there's a much improved colour screen mounted in the central dash. It certainly has a premium feel that's on par with its rivals like the BMW X5. The large boot and spacious back seats make it a good family car.

Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz ML-Class (2012 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

78%

Real MPG

14–44 mpg

MPGs submitted

155

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

I want a Lexus RX450h to replace my car, but the infotainment system looks so outdated - is an upgrade expected soon?
"I quite fancy a Lexus RX450h to replace my Mercedes-Benz ML-Class with a more comfortable and stylish drive, but it looks so outdated without CarPlay, Android Auto or a built-in TomTom sat nav. Can we expect an upgrade any time soon?"
Lexus is set to introduce CarPlay and Android Auto on some of its cars in the States next year, so hopefully that'll be brought across to the UK at some point. When that'll be is hard to say, unfortunately. Have you considered a Volvo XC90? Like the Lexus it's an interesting alternative to the German brands, but its infotainment is much slicker than that in the Lexus. It's available as a hybrid, too.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Will fitting smaller wheels to my car improve ride quality?
"I have a Mercedes-Benz ML-Class, with Airmatic suspension. The car is on 21-inch wheels at the moment. Would it make a big difference to the ride if I fitted 19-inch wheels?"
A huge difference to low speed ride quality over sharp imperfections in the road surface simply because a deeper profile tyre at the right pressure will absorb more of them. Will also improve tyre life, make tyres and wheels less susceptible to damage and make the tyres cheaper to replace. There is absolutely no point in 21-inch wheels except to appeal to people who think they look good, especially on an ML.
Answered by Honest John
We only do trips of 10 miles at a time - should we avoid buying a diesel car?
"Our 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee is tired and we fancy a Mercedes-Benz ML-Class 3.0. We're wary of diesels because we only do trips of about 10 miles. Should we be wary? If so, what's a good petrol alternative?"
Yes, an ML-Class diesel would be plain daft for that type of use. And, of course, isn't EU6. Because before the demonisation of diesel and before EU6, diesels made more sense than petrols for big SUVs because they made the fuel costs affordable, that's why almost all of them were diesel. The tide is only just turning and manufacturers are only just starting to install petrol engines and petrol hybrid drivetrains in SUVs. Your best bet is probably a RAV4 hybrid, an RX450h or an Outlander PHEV.
Answered by Honest John
My 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class is doing 10mpg less than its real mpg states - is there something wrong with the car?
"I've been monitoring the mpg of my 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML250 since purchase. I would say 95 per cent of my driving is done around London. According to http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/mercedes-benz/ml-class-w166-2012/ml250-bluetec my average should be about 35mpg, however, mine is only 24mpg. Do you think there's something wrong with my vehicle?"
No, that is normal for a vehicle of this type being inappropriately used in this way.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Mercedes-Benz ML-Class (2012 – 2015) cost?