tweak it is
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.
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.