Ride & Handling

The M-Class evokes the S-Class' driving experience in a few ways. For one, it feels especially substantial and planted when cruising on the highway, enhancing driver confidence and lowering driving effort. In tighter confines, like when pulling into a parking garage, the M-Class feels wide, and I found myself creeping forward gingerly.

Then there's the steering: The optional wood and leather steering wheel spins with a well-oiled smoothness and enough power assistance to kill any hopes of steering feedback. This kind of isolating driving experience is something Mercedes has perfected, so if this is what you're looking for, the M-Class delivers.

Our test car had Mercedes' optional Airmatic air suspension, which offers Comfort and Sport modes. The difference between the two is subtle. Sport lowers the SUV and firms up the ride, which makes it feel like someone stole the gel inserts out of your shoes; you feel small bumps in the road that the Comfort setting had soaked up.

The M-Class' brake-pedal feel is not as direct and linear as it should be. At times, it feels like there's a giant block of foam between the bottom of your foot and the brake pedal.

    See also:

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