For 2007, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class line-up increases from two models to four: in addition to the ML350 and ML500 of 2006, the company adds the diesel-powered ML320 CDI and the high-performance ML63 AMG.

As well, Neck-Pro active headrests and new S-Class-style chrome-design SmartKey become standard on all models.

The ML350 receives new standard equipment for 2007, including a sunroof, heated front seats, rearview and driver’s side auto-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, heated steering wheel, chrome package, 18-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels, roof rails and privacy glass; a full leather interior replaces the fabric/leather combination of 2006. New available options are a rearview camera, rear seat entertainment system and aluminum running boards; there’s also a $4,300 Premium Package of power-adjustable passenger seat, memory package, power folding mirrors, navigation system, heated rear seats and power tailgate.

New features on the ML500 are Parktronic parking assist, heated steering wheel, active bi-Xenon headlamps with washers and cornering lights, power tailgate, full leather upholstery and three-zone automatic climate control. New options include a rearview camera, rear seat entertainment system, aluminum running boards, and a $3,400 Premium Package of navigation system, Harman/Kardon Logic7 surround sound system with six-CD changer, and heated rear seats.

The ML-Class offers a choice of 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, 3.5-litre V6, 5.0-litre V8 and 6.3-litre V8. All use a seven-speed automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive, with a single-speed transfer case and centre differential that splits the torque 50/50 front to rear.

Features on the ML320 and ML350 include 18-inch wheels, CD player, bird’s eye maple wood trim, heated steering wheel, heated power-adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, tire pressure loss warning system, rearview and driver’s auto-dimming mirrors, direct control suspension, rain-sensing wipers with heated washers, sunroof and roof rails.

The ML500 adds burl walnut wood trim, parameter steering, trailer hitch, active bi-Xenon headlamps and interior lighting package.

The ML63 AMG includes 20-inch AMG wheels, air suspension, active bi-Xenon headlamps, multi-contour seats, communication package, emergency calling system, Harman/Kardon Logic7 surround sound system, heated rear seats, garage door opener, aluminum running boards, power tailgate, Parktronic parking assist, roof rails and power sunroof.

The ML-Class shares its underpinnings with the six-passenger R-Class, and its platform and much of its interior with the new seven-passenger GL-Class, but retains its appeal with buyers who don’t need or want an extra row of seats. The new diesel returns good fuel mileage and long range with expected Mercedes quiet luxury, while the ML63 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in five seconds, with an electronically-governed top speed of 250 km/h. The ML320 and ML350 share all the same features, but with different engines.

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