tweak it is

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

For the first time in an ML the voice-op­er­ated Lin­gua­tronic con­trol sys­tem will be an op­tion, along with a new style of rear pas­sen­ger DVD screen.

Un­like the pre­vi­ous sys­tem where the screens were in­te­grated into the rear of the seat head­rests, the new wire­less DVD will be a bolt-on to the back of the front seats, al­low­ing for it to be of­fered as a retro-fit or dealer op­tion.

The ex­te­rior look is most ev­i­dent in the re­vised and more ag­gres­sive front end with re­designed bumper, re-con­toured head­lamps and a larger, more dom­i­nant grille.

The rear view also sports a newlook bumper with in­te­grated re­flec­tor strips, em­pha­sis­ing the ve­hi­cle’s width. There is also a new range of rims from 17 to 20 inches.

The hero of the range will again be the AMG 63 model, with the 6.2-litre V8, 6.3 badg­ing and max­i­mum out­put of 375kW and 630Nm.

DRIV­ING

ON THE road there is pre­cious lit­tle vis­ually to set the re­vised M-Class apart from the orig­i­nal car — of which 300,000 have been sold since its re­lease in 2005.

The steer­ing on the test fleet in Ver­mont (US) was no­tice­ably lighter and more ner­vous than the Aus­tralian cars. Mercedes en­gi­neers were quick to point out the steer­ing feel was spe­cific to North Amer­ica, with the Euro­pean and Aus­tralian cars re­tain­ing the more con­nected feel.

There is a mar­ginal im­prove­ment in fuel econ­omy— about .4 of a litre for 100km — but with the launch drive cars all fit­ted with BlueTEC diesel en­gines, com­ment on the petrol mod­els bound for Aus­tralia was im­pos­si­ble.

The in­te­rior im­prove­ments are all de­signed to give the new ML a much more re­fined feel. The new seats are both sup­port­ive and com­fort­able, par­tic­u­larly when they are fit­ted with the op­tional ad­justable lum­bar sup­port.

If the ML changes are mod­er­ate, those to the GL and R-Class are even more so, to the ex­tent only trainspot­ters are likely to be able to pick the dif­fer­ences.

All three mod­els will be avail­able in Septem­ber. Mercedes Aus­tralia is pre­dict­ing a small price in­crease.

Fleet street: the steer­ing on the test fleet that was put through its paces in Ver­mont (US) was no­tice­ably lighter and more ner­vous than the Aus­tralian cars.

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