On 1997, Mercedes revealed its new model ML. It was the first SUV vehicle on market. At that time, ML was one of the best-looking vehicle in Mercedes range, but it wasn’t built that well and not well equipped either. All these adverse conditions did not change my perspective to ML.
On 2005, Mercedes revealed the new ML with proper quality and with Mercedes class technological gadgets. And this time, vehicle was not looking that nice! It was too conservative! And I never really liked it. Actually I don’t have much to say about the this version.
A couple of weeks ago, Mercedes revealed the ML. This time, it looks wonderful from the front and nothing special from the rear end. Anyway, this contradicting design concept is not my main issue. Since 1997 ML always offered technologies, which can be found in other Mercedes vehicles. This time, they did something different and revealed an off road technology. Now you can move a knob and choose appropriate road condition. And vehicle makes necessary changes for that particular road condition, actually it is designed for off road conditions. Interestingly, Mercedes did not name this technology like Off Road Matic or Off Road Plus! Actually they named this system as On&Off Road Package. And as usual this is an optional feature.
This technology is not something new in SUV Market. Land Rover offers this technology since 2004, branded as Terrain Response and it is really cleaver. The logic is the same with Mercedes, you choose the appropriate terrain and vehicle does the rest. I found it really creative and useful. Anyone without any knowledge of off road driving can deal with any adverse condition. And unlike Mercedes, this is standard in whole Land Rover and Range Rover range.
Unfortunately, Mercedes saved some cash while placing this knob. Terrain Response knob or buttons in Land Rovers are really nicely designed and they look amazing. The plastic and the metal used in a good harmony to avoid any cheap feeling. But Mercedes ignored this fact a little bit. As you can see from the photos, it is all covered by plastic and there are only few metal parts. The whole panel is plastic and it does not look expensive. As the new ML will be expensive, I was expecting a much better quality for this part of the console. They did a great job with the leather and wood but they forgot the knob!!