Drive – The Mercedes Benz 2012 ML350

Since its inception, the Mercedes Benz M-Class has redefined the idea of an SUV with its legacy of groundbreaking safety and earth-embracing performance. Increasing specs and expectations with each consecutive model, the 2012 ML350 showcases the quality and performance that Mercedes Benz is known for.

A new 302-hp 3.5-liter V-6 combines numerous advances to deliver more torque over a wider range of rpm. Its rapid-multispark ignition fires up to four times per millisecond, while new high-pressure Direct Injection microscopically tunes the fuel spray, reducing emissions, fuel consumption and noise. A lightweight diecast-alloy block, quicker and more widely variable valve timing, reduces friction, and clever “on-demand” ancillary components, like the alternator, further boost efficiency.

Engineered specifically for performance driving, fine tuned agility control automatically adjusts the individual shock absorbers based on the road surface and the driver’s current driving style. Valving inside each shock absorber automatically firms up during stronger body motions for sharper handling feedback and stability, and also reduces the damping rates during gentler motions for a smoother, more composed ride.

The new ML350 brings an impressive array of safety features to the table. The first system of its kind, attention assist continuously monitors different parameters of driving behavior, and can automatically alert the driver with both visual and audible warnings if it detects signs of drowsiness on long trips. Other safety features include lane keeping assist, adaptive breaks, bi-xenon headlamps with active curve illumination and adaptive highbeam assist.

With these performance and safety features, one might think luxury and craftsmanship have taken a back seat. You’d be sorely mistaken. Hand-polished Burl walnut wood trim graces the dash and all four doors, lending the ML350 cockpit a further air of refinement and exclusivity with an available with leather upholstery. Offering both front- and rear-seat passengers sweeping skyward views as well as a fully functional glass sunroof that features a front panel that can both tilt up for ventilation and slide over the rear panel for an open-air feeling. Dual interior power shades allow occupants to adjust the amount of sunlight entering the cabin.

Specifically engineered for the M-Class, Dolby’s Digital 5.1 sound system fills the cabin with 830 watts of beautifully balanced audio. No fewer than 13 strategically placed speakers plus the rich bass of a subwoofer deliver a wholly immersive listening experience through Dolby’s renownded surround sound technology. Digital Dynamic Volume Control impeccably and imperceptibly maintains the sound spectrum for consistent listening pleasure in varying driving conditions.

LCD monitors built into the front head restraints offer first-rate entertainment to the second row. Multiple input sources let passengers enjoy DVDs and video games together or independently, with two wireless headsets and dual wireless remotes. Separate movies can play at once, by using both the DVD player at the rear of the console and the standard in-dash DVD/CD player. Auxiliary inputs can also connect portable gaming devices, video cameras or other peripherals, and the audio can play via the vehicle’s sound system or discreetly through each headset. The option also includes 3-position memory and 4-way power lumbar support for front passenger seat.

In short, the 2012 ML350 has it all; performance, safety and luxury. We can’t wait to see what Mercedes will come out with for 2013.

To schedule a test drive, contact Mercedes Benz of Boerne at 830-981-6000. Or visit mbboerne.com for more information.

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