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Timely boost for the Mercedes M-class

More for more: The Mercedes-Benz M-class now has more equipment and also costs that little bit extra.

Benz’s ageing cross-over ups the ante to tackle the updated BMW X5

28 Jan 2004

JUST as BMW launches its substantially updated X5 cross-over wagon, Mercedes-Benz has reminded us there is life in the M-class yet.

With more than 11,500 M-classes sold in Australia since its launch in 1998, there’s no doubt it has done sterling service for Benz.

But in recent times M-class has been shaded by a number of rivals in the sales race, most notably the X5.

With a second generation M due in 2005, Benz has given the original a boost by improving standard equipment levels, albeit alongside a price rise.

Both the 120kW ML 270 turbo-diesel and the 172kW V6 ML 350 are now equipped with an in-dash CD player and the parking sensor system called “parktronic”.

The 215kW V8 ML 500 now comes with a six-stack CD-changer, parktronic and Benz’s “Comand” audio and navigation system.

Parktronic and a rain sensor with variable intermittent wipe has been added to the 255kW ML 55 AMG.

So what does this extra equipment cost? The ML 270 and 350 go up $1000 to $73,900, the ML 500 rises a hefty $4600 to $104,500 and the AMG is now $140,500, up $1000.

All these adjustments keep the M-class under the pricing of the equivalent BMW, although the exact ask for the storming X5 4.8is will not be announced until the Melbourne motor show, which starts February 27.

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