There was a time when large SUVs were graded on their ability to haul heavy loads over treacherous mountain passes or traverse deserts without succumbing to the elements. Now, they’re built to be seamless, silent, cavernous carriages for the social and domestic pleasure of the middle class, and the Mercedes M-Class is no different. This means that, inside, they must exude an ambience worthy of Blohm & Voss.
Despite representing the entry-level M-Class experience, the ML 250 gets the lifestyle trick about right. It lacks the aloof, art deco spectacle of a Range Rover and the implied sportiness of a Cayenne, but Mercedes’ solemn architecture and sober colour schemes make the ML purposeful enough to compete.
The switchgear’s familiar DNA has also been scaled up to SUV size rather well, helped no end by a dashboard that bulges with broad-shouldered presence and attractive trim stitching.
Doubtless, the three-pointed star on a particularly splendid steering wheel helps to put you in the right egotistical frame of mind, and the front seats’ endless adjustability ensures that the driver can choose between perching in the crow’s nest or hunkering down.