Motoring | Test Drives

Mercedes ML 63: Best of both

The winner of our Premium SUV award is one that perfectly blends sportscar-like driving dynamics with luxury car refinement

  • By Sony Thomas, wheels
  • Published: 18:13 January 2, 2013
  • Wheels

Mercedes ML 63
  • Image Credit: Grace Paras/ANM
  • The best thing about the ML’s adaptive air suspension is that it juggles sportiness and comfort with equal ease.

The equations would have been slightly different in the Premium SUV category if the all-new Range Rover had gone on sale in the region while we were debating this year’s winners. Since it wasn’t, things were a bit easier for us, with all of us almost unanimously choosing the Mercedes ML 63 as the clear winner here.

While the premium part is a given as is the case of any Merc, the single most distinctive factor that blew us all away with its brilliance is the new twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 that replaces the roaring naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 from before.

Although the exhaust noise is a tad muted in comparison to the screaming 6.2, the guys at AMG have managed to keep it blaring enough when you plant the throttle, with the 557 horses effortlessly tearing you away to 100kph in just 4.7 seconds before topping out at an electronically governed 250kph.

Although in theory the ML should be returning remarkably low fuel consumption figures of around 12 litres-per-100km, we could never see a number anywhere close to that region. That’s how much fun this engine is. The engine’s skills are perfectly matched by the seven-speed auto gearbox and the superbly weighted steering, which especially helps the car belie its 2.3-tonne heft.

Taking care of the dynamics behind the scenes is a host of advanced features like the Active Curve System that uses hydraulics to keep body roll under check. The best thing about the ML’s adaptive air suspension is that it juggles sportiness and comfort with equal ease.

That means while trying its best to keep the car planted around corners, the suspension also manages to offer a remarkably comfortable ride quality that’s as refined as any other premium vehicle in the class. What more could you ask for in a premium SUV? There’s nothing else that we could think of.

Related Links

Packed with the latest local and global motoring news, first drives, up-market car products, bikes and more


More from friday

  • WH_141024_Lambo_Huracan_STF_Stefan065
    Unhinged Huracàn meets the UAE’s maddest road

    Al Taween. Renowned for its goat s, tiny grocery shops and one of the great est mounta in roads in the world. Ripping up the newly laid tar mac? A Lamborghini Huracán. Buckle up!

  • WH_141031_mywheels_rashed (1)
    Rashed Abdulla Bin Fahad’s double impact

    Ever since he was bitten by a Mustang Cobra, Rashed couldn’t look beyond American cars. So when it came to choosing a pick-up truck and a performance saloon, the decision was easy for him

  • WH_141031_Subarub driven (6)
    Subaru WRX STI driven

    Subaru’s iconic flagship sports saloon is back, and along with all the upgrades comes a welcome price, too

  • WH_141031_SUP_Fiat 500 (2)
    Fiat 500 Cult refreshed

    Fiat’s nifty city car star has been updated for 2015 to keep pace with its small car rivals. Does it still have the magic that makes it a style icon?

  • Jonathan Castle
    Shifting opinions

    In defence of the (gasp!) continuously variable transmission...

More from Wheels

More from aquarius

More from alpha

  • gold-leaf-bath
    Inside Downtown Design

    From chic and contemporary to modern and magnificent home wares, this year's exhibition is nothing short of extraordinary

  • Noura_Main
    Highly commended finalist: Noura Al Ramahi

    Along with our three fabulous finalists, the judges decided to include a Highly Commended category as the standard of entries to our competition was so high. This goes to Noura Al Ramahi for her stunning villa in Abu Dhabi. Well done Noura – it’s beautiful!

  • IO_141020_Home of the Year awar86
    In pictures: InsideOut Home of the Year Awards

    The InsideOut Home of the Year Awards 2014 party held at the Nawwara Bar at the JW Marriott Marquis on the 20th October went with a swing! Here’s our gallery of a really great night….

  • IO_141014_Casablanca_STF_Stefan07
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Dana Jaber

    Dana Jaber’s Al Barsha villa was considered by the judges to be bold, original and eclectic. We loved her individual approach to decorating which lends interest and unexpected touches to every room

  • Main_2
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Helena Brown

    Helena Brown’s home in Umm Suqeim was a favourite with the judges because of the many personal touches, and undeniable sense of comfort and style. Her interest in Feng Shui has helped achieve a calm relaxed ambience

More from insideout

Life & Style editor's choice