auto1.jpg (11036 bytes)


2007 Mercedez ML320

About Us
Automotive Events
ClassicDrives.jpg (2693 bytes)

FamilyCoupes.jpg (2674 bytes)

funcars.jpg (1915 bytes)
Hot Rods

LuxuryCoupes.jpg (2773 bytes)

luxurycars.jpg (2326 bytes)
FamilySedans.jpg (2781 bytes)
stationwagons.jpg (2856 bytes)

suvcompact.jpg (2696 bytes)

suvstandard.jpg (2688 bytes)


San Francisco: The ML series from Mercedes Benz has been redesigned for 2007. The restyling is just enough to make the ML, formally a good-looking SUV, now a little frumpy.

The new ML has a bit more attitude to it, looking “raked”, higher in the back than the front, and with a bit less formal, almost mischievous, front end. The ML now is a mid-size SUV and just about the same size as an Acura MDX. 

Mercedes stretched out the wheelbase to 114.7”, over eight inches more than the MDX, thus reducing the overhang, which in turn means the ML’s angle of attack is greater. But since not too many people will actually take any of these luxury SUVs off-road, it really does not matter than much in the long run, as it now rides better, handles better and has much more useable interior room.

Mercedes now sells four ML models: three with gasoline engines, the V6 ML350, the V8 ML550 and the almighty V8 ML63 AMG, and one diesel model, the ML320 CDI. The ML320 CDI should quickly become a favorite. Modern diesels have so much promise, both economically and environmentally, and now esthetically, that people should be flocking to them soon.

Many North Americans had their view of diesels tainted by the abominations produced and sold in the 1970s and ‘80s, ill-conceived engines that failed so quickly that the public forgot all about diesels legendary longevity. Meanwhile the rest of the world has embraced diesels and the technology has marched on.

Now thanks to companies like Mercedes and Bosch, and finally the introduction of ultra-low sulpher diesel fuel into the USA, we have diesel engines that are quieter, virtually odor-free, and reliable.

The engine in the ML320 CDI is a state-of-the-art diesel. It is a 3.0-litre, DOHC, turbocharged V6, that makes 215-hp @ 4,000 rpm and an astounding 398 lb-ft. of torque @ 2,400 rpm. It is literally so quiet I had to open the hood to confirm that it was a diesel. Yup, no sparkplugs or wires.

The drivetrain configuration is the normal rear-wheel-drive set up, engine oriented north and south. The transmission is a seven-speed, yes 7 speed automatic, which helps make sure the engine is in its optimum operating range at all times. Like many modern automatics, this one may be manually shifted via rocker buttons on the backside of the steering wheel. The transmission computer learns the drivers driving style and adapts the transmissions shift logic to your current style.

The rest of the drivetrain is what Mercedes calls “4Matic,” which is a computer controlled, all-wheel-drive system. If you want to go off-road, you simply push a button and the computer recalibrates the transmission, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and engine management system so that you have maximum traction at all times.

Two additional systems help in hilly settings. The “Downhill Speed Regulation” (DSR) can be set to maintain a steady downhill speed of between 3 and 10 mph. On the uphill side, there is a “Hill-Start Assist” that prevents the vehicle from rolling backward when you take your foot off the brake pedal. Ah, the wonders of modern technology.

It was too bad that with all the technology I never even saw a day of rain while I had the ML320 CDI, so I never got to try out its real capabilities.  What I did find was that the ML320 CDI was no different than a gasoline version. No drama, no clatter, no plumes of black smoke, and no odor. The only difference is that when you go to fill up the fuel tank, you grab the green colored hose for diesel fuel, instead of the black one for gasoline.

Although the ML320 CDI is no rocket ship it will get to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds. The really good news is that it is rated at 18-mpg city and 24-mpg city, darn good figures for a vehicle that weighs 4,817 lbs., and it can tow up to 7,200 lbs.

One area Mercedes seemingly falls short of some others is in interior accommodation. The ML is a five-passenger vehicle, whereas some other mid sized SUVs will seat eight in three rows. The truth of the matter is that in a vehicle this size, a third row is almost useless, a fact Mercedes acknowledges by not installing a seat no one can really use. There is almost 30 cu. ft of storage space behind the rear seats, and over 72 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded.

There are three “Premium” option packages available, each one building on the previous one. The ultimate Premium III package adds $8,600 to the base price of $45,425. There is also another $8,000 to $10,000 in separate options that can be added. So that reasonable base $45K ML320 CDI can quickly zoom into the really expensive $60K plus range.

Is a ML320 CDI really worth it? You have to ask yourself. Mercedes have a reputation of holding their value, and for a reason. They are luxurious and rugged. It may seem weird to some to have a luxury car with an “economy” engine, a diesel, yet to others it makes perfect sense.

If you care about the environment, but you want luxury and the capabilities that 4Matic give you, the ML320 CDI is for you. A modern diesel pollutes less and has a smaller carbon footprint than a modern gasoline engine. The only area diesels exceeded gasoline emissions are in oxides of nitrogen, and that is being controlled in this new generation of diesel engines.

So if you are in the market for a mid-size, luxury, diesel, SUV that’s available now, and the ML320 CDI is in your price range, go take a look. You will be pleasantly surprised how clean, quiet and powerful the new diesel engines are today.  By Bruce Hotchkiss  © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

Mercedes Home Page

Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: A luxury diesel SUV that’s available now
Topic: The 2007 Mercedes Benz ML320 CDI 4Matic
Word Count:  1048
Photo Caption:  The 2007 Mercedes Benz ML320 CDI 4Matic
Photo Credits: Mercedes Benz ML Internet Media
Series #:  2007 - 61

Download the Microsoft Word version here:   2007 Mercedes Benz ML320

Download the Original Image File here:   2007 Mercedes Benz ML 320








Publisher - Editor:   Tony Leopardo
Division Name:   AutoWire.Net
Company Name:    Leopard Publishing Co.
Postal Address:    P.O. Box 1011
City, State, Zip:    San Mateo, California 94403
Phone Number:    650-340-8669
Fax Number:    650-340-9473

Join the AutoWire.Net Directory, send your Name, Affiliation & E-mail address to: AutoWire

Send Comments & Questions to: AutoWire

For Additional Photos, go direct to: Wieck Photo
©2007 - AutoWire.Net - All Rights Reserved Web Editor -  Tony Leopardo