Car Review

2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class: Used Car Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz  Sport
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz
$21,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$12,143
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$10,998
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz  Sport
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz
$15,975
RELATED READING
See all Mercedes-Benz ML350 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo February 2016

With so many luxury and near-luxury SUVs on the used market, picking the model that's best for you can become a daunting task. If you're feeling overwhelmed by so many choices, we direct you to the 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class. The M-Class is a midsize luxury SUV that doesn't place form before function. Its tall roof helps create a spacious interior for both passengers and cargo, and its trim exterior is both manageable and tasteful in its execution. Most notable is the M-Class' wide range of models and features. From the base ML350 V6 to the diesel-powered ML350 BlueTEC to the tire-scorching ML63 AMG, there's an M-Class to fit just about anyone's needs.

Not as soft-riding as a Lexus RX but not as harsh as a BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz's 2012 M-Class hits the sweet spot between performance, comfort and utility. The M-Class is renowned for its excellent safety record, although it still falls short of Lexus, Infiniti and Acura when it comes to overall reliability and customer satisfaction. That being said, you may want to cover your bases and opt for an extended service contract or purchase a certified pre-owned model just for peace of mind.

What We Like

Numerous model options; excellent safety features; diesel option; standard all-wheel drive; roomy interior

What We Don't

No third-row seat option; routine maintenance can be pricy; fussy navigation and audio interface; skimpy standard equipment list for the price

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The M-Class is powered by any number of engine choices, but they all run through an advanced all-wheel-drive setup known as 4MATIC. A 7-speed automatic is also standard on all models.

The ML350 uses a 3.5-liter V6 good for 302 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy figures for the ML350 are 17 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway (those figures jump to 18 mpg city/23 mpg hwy when using premium fuel). The diesel-powered ML350 BlueTEC makes 240 hp and an astounding 455 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy for this model is a respectable 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy.

Moving up to the V8-powered models brings the ML550 and M63 AMG. The ML550 has a 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 403 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. EPA fuel economy estimates of 15 mpg city/20 mpg hwy are about average for this class. The high-performance M63 AMG gets a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is understandably low at just 14 mpg city/18 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2012 M-Class comes in four distinct trims: ML350, ML350 BlueTEC, ML550 and ML63 AMG.

The base ML350 includes all-wheel drive, a power sunroof, 8-way power and heated front seats with 4-way power lumbar for the driver, a 7-inch color COMAND display with an 8-speaker AM/FM/CD/DVD radio (also equipped with HD Radio), Bluetooth, mbrace telematics, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power rear lift gate, MB-Tex imitation-leather upholstery, fog lights, 19-in alloy wheels and a tilt-telescopic steering column. Standard safety features include nine airbags and MB's Attention Assist system that tracks driver drowsiness and alerts when it senses the driver nodding off.

The ML350 BlueTEC features most of the same equipment as the ML350 but adds the 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine.

The ML550 receives more exterior trim, 19-in AMG alloy wheels, rear-seat side airbags and brushed aluminum running boards.

The ML63 AMG adds 20-in wheels, a performance suspension, steering and brakes by AMG, AIRMATIC suspension, active roll stabilization, 10-way heated and ventilated sport front seats, leather upholstery on the seats, dash and door panels, a flat-bottom performance steering wheel, navigation and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

Most of the M-Class' best equipment can be found in the option packages. The Premium 1 package adds hard-drive navigation with 10 gigabytes of music storage, an iPod interface, a 10-way power driver's seat with 3-position memory, a power tilt-telescopic steering column, power-folding side mirrors and a rearview camera.

The Premium 2 package adds Harman Kardon surround-sound audio and KEYLESS-GO.

The Dynamic Handling package brings Mercedes' Active Curve System, the AIRMATIC suspension and 20-in wheels.

The Lighting package adds bi-xenon headlights with Active Curve Illumination, adaptive high beams and headlight washers.

The Driver Assist package brings Distronic Plus with Pre-Safe Braking and active blind spot monitoring and lane-keep assist systems.

Stand-alone options include a panoramic sunroof, leather interior, Mercedes' PARKTRONIC park assist system, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a rear-seat entertainment system and a wood-and-leather steering wheel.

Pricing

The M-Class holds its value fairly well in the first 3 years, then sees average depreciation values after that. A 2012 model with low miles that's in good condition shouldn't be hard to find. If you can find a certified pre-owned (see the Safety Ratings & Warranties section for details) model, it may be your best bet. To get a good idea of the Forester's price range, we suggest checking the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recall for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class:

A recall was issued regarding all-season floor mats that may interfere with the gas pedal's operation.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you. You can also check the NHTSA website; simply enter your vehicle's identification number for a list of performed recall repairs.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

Mercedes-Benz provided the M-Class with a 4-year/50,000-mile fully transferable warranty for the engine, powertrain and bumper-to-bumper coverage. Although this warranty may likely be expired for your 2012 M-Class, there is another option. If you buy a certified pre-owned (CPO) M-Class, you'll receive a vehicle that has undergone a rigorous inspection by a certified Mercedes-Benz technician. The CPO vehicle warranty covers the car for 12 months, with no mileage limit from the date of sale. Buyers can also opt for extended coverage for up to 2 years (and unlimited miles) from the original service date after the limited warranty expires. All CPO cars must be less than 6 years old to qualify for the program.

Other Cars to Consider

2012 Infiniti FX -- The FX offers a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive, making the FX's handling sportier than that of most M-Class models. You'll get better and more reliable features for the money with the FX, but a smaller interior and a tiny cargo bay.

2012 BMW X5 -- The X5 is a better performance vehicle than the M-Class, but its ride can be harsh, and like the M-Class, models get expensive as features are added. Like the FX, all-wheel drive is optional in the X5.

2012 Acura MDX -- You'll get better reliability and resale from the MDX, plus a larger interior, a more comfortable ride and a third-row seat. A loaded MDX costs less than a similarly equipped M-Class.

Autotrader's Advice

We think you'll get your best bargain with one of the ML350 trims. The standard V6 is more than adequate, and the diesel-powered BlueTEC will give you better acceleration and fuel economy. Try to find one with the Premium 1 and 2 packages, and you'll have a nicely equipped luxury SUV at a reasonable price.

Find a Mercedes-Benz M-Class for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz  Sport
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz
$21,995
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$12,143
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
$10,998
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz  Sport
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz
$15,975
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class: Used Car Review - Autotrader