With its diesel engine, Mercedes-Benz's luxury SUV gets better fuel economy, by up to 5 mpg, than its gasoline equivalent. At the same time, its soft suspension and sound-dampened cabin lead to a comfortable ride.
Mercedes-Benz's ML350 is a five-passenger luxury SUV that comes standard with all-wheel drive. It is available with a gasoline 3.5-liter V-6 engine, this Bluetec turbocharged 3-liter diesel, or the powerful AMG version.
Mercedes-Benz updated the styling of the ML350 for the 2012 model year, giving it busier sides and skid-plate styling below the grille. However, the ML350 is not a serious off-roader, as its all-wheel-drive system does not give the driver advanced controls such as differential locking or descent control.
The Bluetec version of the ML350 uses a turbocharged 3-liter V-6 burning diesel fuel. It produces 240 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque, getting this heavy SUV around easily and earning fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
The suspension of the ML350 Bluetec is tuned very soft, and it does an excellent job of absorbing rough patches in the road. An air suspension is available with different settings for comfort or a stiffer ride.