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Mercedes-Benz's ML550 sits second from the top of the M-Class of SUVs, just below the ML63 AMG.
Leather seating surfaces are a $1,620 option.
The rear seats recline, slide, and fold flat.
Power seats are standard, but the three-position memory settings are part of a $3,600 package.
The Mercedes' cabin is quiet and isolating, surrounding the driver and passengers with quality materials.
The driver is presented with a legion of buttons, but for the most part the Comand interface doesn't overwhelm.
A heated steering wheel is a $225 a la carte option.
The directional pad on the left of the wheel controls the trip computer and small instrument cluster display.
Audio, voice command, and phone controls can be found on the right side of the wheel.
In the center of the instrument cluster is a small screen where trip, fuel economy, navigation, and vehicle options can be viewed.
Mercedes-Benz's Attention Assist drowsiness monitoring system is standard, but the lane and blind-spot monitoring systems are a $850 option.
The Comand controller is located on the center console and gives the driver control of the 7-inch main display.
There are also shortcut keys to a number of functions in the Comand interface.
The Comand navigation system's maps can be simple, like this, or tarted up with topographic information and 3D buildings.
Sometimes the Comand interface can be a bit confusing and there is often a lot of text to read while driving.
SiriusXM provides traffic data for the navigation system.
The satellite radio service is also the provider of weather data, which can be viewed on this radar map.
More traditional forecast data can be viewed as well.
When listening to USB or iPod audio, album artwork is displayed.
Pretty much any mainstream portable audio source that you can think of is accessible via the Comand interface.
When paired with a Bluetooth phone, the Comand system gives drivers access to voice-activated dialing.
There are a number of neat options to be found scattered about the Mercedes-Benz ML550's interface.
The M-Class offers a good deal of rear storage space, even with the rear seats in their upright position.
The technology package features a rearview camera, but the light steering, great rearward visibility, and tight turning radius makes it easy to park even without the camera.
The ML550 features Mercedes-Benz's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system and an active-suspension system.
Push the gas pedal and the ML550 will push back with strong, gentle acceleration.
A 4.6-liter V-8 engine makes 402 horsepower thanks to a bi-turbo system.
Fuel economy is estimated by the EPA at a combined 17 mpg. We averaged 16.2 during our testing.
19-inch AMG wheels fill the wheel wells. Adaptive brakes feature a number of advanced features.
Check out the full review of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML550 4Matic for more details.