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Mercedes-Benz ML 350

The ML350 is part of Mercedes-Benz’s smaller SUV category, but it is not a crossover; that space is reserved for the much smaller GLK. But in order to keep up with its GL-Class brethren, not to mention high-powered versions of the Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5, the M-Class now offers AMG’s brawny 503-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8. For those less interested in 0-to-60-mph times and performance ratings, the standard ML550 can also be had with an AMG makeover replete with running boards, deeper front and rear aprons, and 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels. However, the ML63 receives an adaptive damping system, flared wheel arches, 20-inch wheels, huge AMG brake calipers, and AMG Speedshift programming for ultra-quick shifts from the 7-speed automatic. Regardless of which M-Class you choose, each rewards with German engineering, stout safety, and a flexible two-row interior.

Pros: Great power, great utility.

Cons: BMW now builds an M version of the X5.

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