The new ML is the best Mercedes-Benz we’ve ever tested at the Tow Car Awards, and very nearly the best big 4×4 in this year’s competition.
Stability at speed proved impeccable, all the way up to 70mph – which is why our What Car? road tester described the ML as ‘outstanding – very balanced and controllable’.
Performance was also exceptional, with a 30-60mph time of 9.3 seconds making the Merc one of a handful of cars to dip under the 10-second barrier. The engine’s smooth and quiet manners are every bit as remarkable as its power. Like any of the top-three heavyweights, the ML found the hill-start test almost insultingly easy.
The Merc’s suspension feels firmer than the Land Rover’s, but it’s still impressively supple by most standards. Then again, so it should be when our test car came equipped with air suspension, a £1175 option, and the Active Curve System to reduce roll in corners, costing £3240.
Inside, the cabin is spacious for five, with plenty of legroom in the back, although it doesn’t feel as well appointed inside as the Range Rover.
Our practicality judges found room for a typical load of holiday luggage but noted that the electric socket fouled the trim.