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2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo February 2016

If you're looking for a premium midsize luxury SUV on a limited budget, you should consider skipping an entry-level new model in favor of a nicely-equipped used SUV, such as the 2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class. This model is not as soft-riding as a Lexus RX but not as harsh as a BMW X5. The Mercedes-Benz's 2013 M-Class hits the sweet spot between performance, comfort and utility. The M-Class is also 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.

The 2013 M-Class offers a 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. For 2013, the M-Class received some major upgrades including a rear-drive ML350 model, an Off-Road package, available massaging front seats and standard mbrace2 telematics and Collision Prevention Assist.

What We Like

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

What We Don't

No third-row seat option; routine maintenance can be pricey; 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, and all but one (the base ML350) 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 18 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. ML350 4MATIC models earn the same figures. 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/28 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 14 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 13 mpg city/17 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 2013 M-Class comes in four distinct trims: ML350, ML350 BlueTEC, ML550 and ML63 AMG.

The base ML350 includes rear-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, mbrace2 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 Mercedes' Collision Prevention Assist.

The ML350 BlueTEC features most of the same equipment as the ML350 but adds 4MATIC all-wheel drive and 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 Benz's 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 Off Road package adds Airmatic adjustable suspension, a 2-stage transfer case, locking differential, skid plates and six selectable driving programs.

The Driver Assist package brings adaptive cruise control, while the Lane Tracking package adds active blind spot monitoring and lane-keep assist systems.

Stand-alone options include a panoramic sunroof, leather interior, massaging front seats, 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 2013 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 M-Class' 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 2013 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. You 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 2013 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

2013 Infiniti FX -- The FX also offers a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive but the FX's handling is 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.

2013 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.

2013 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

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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.
2013 Mercedes-Benz M-Class: Used Car Review - Autotrader