The Mercedes Hybrid SUV
The Mercedes Benz ML 450 Hybrid is a mid-size luxury SUV that gives buyers the luxury, technology and prestige that will satisfy the market.
The ML450 Hybrid includes a 3.5 liter V6 engine and two electric motors. The V6 delivers up to 275 hp; the total power with contributions from the electric motors is 335 hp. The SUV uses an eight-speed, continuously variable automatic transmission.
The functionality of the engines allows for the vehicle to be driven at low speeds using just the electric power provided by one of the electric motors. The second electric motor will increase the vehicle’s speed. The gas engine starts when more power is needed. The combination of the three engines renders an EPA fuel economy rating of 21 mpg in the city, and 24 mpg on the highway.
This seems like an inefficient vehicle for the price tag of $55,750 msrp, but this vehicle uses 50 percent less fuel than its sister vehicle, the ML550, but it produces almost 90 percent of the V8’s power. The electric motors draw their current from a 288-volt nickel metal hydride battery. The Mercedes Benz Hybrid SUV has a unique feature of reclaiming electricity in the braking function to help recharge the battery pack. The ML450 is not alone among the luxury class in using regenerative brakes
The Mercedes Hybrid SUV utilizes the company’s 4Matic all-wheel drive and is rated as a Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle, meeting the rigid United States EPA emission standards for internal combustion engines.
The exterior design of the Mercedes Hybrid SUV is styled to look like a non-hybrid Mercedes. The hood is bulged a little and there are LED tail lamps unique to this vehicle, but there are not many other details that distinguish this vehicle as a hybrid.
The ML450 is well-equipped with all the features Mrecedes buyers expect including a sunroof, 19-inch wheels, and a number of other features. The hybrid system information display is a feature that is impressive along with the COMMAND electronics interface. A complete vehicle electronics system is also included.
The 2011 model features a high-tech in-vehicle service called .mbrace which replaces the Mercedes Tel Aid security and assistance system. .mbrace provides security and safety features. It lets an authority know if the vehicle is in a collision, or if roadside assistance is needed, it helps locate the vehicle if it is stolen, and provides an emergency calling feature.
The drive of vehicle is not tremendously enjoyable. When all the engines power is brought up the result is an a thrust that is similar to a turbo-diesel. However, it takes the vehicle too much time to reach this mode even when the continuously variable transmission is in sports mode. The transmission responds more like an eight-speed automatic with manumatic shifting. Overall, the drive of the Mercedes Benz M Class Hybrid is like that of the other vehicles in the M Class. Were it not for the hybrid-power display in the COMAND system you might not know that you are driving a hybrid.
The 2011 Mercedes Benz Hybrid SUV has few competitors in its class and is worth considering if you are in the market for hybrid with high power. Its an easy vehicle to drive, fuel efficiency is a question mark for this SUV.
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