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Photo Comparison: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML vs. BMW X5

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The new 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class was unveiled earlier today with a brand new exterior and interior redesign. The premium SUV from Mercedes will continue to …

The new 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class was unveiled earlier today with a brand new exterior and interior redesign. The premium SUV from Mercedes will continue to compete against the BMW X5, Audi Q7 and Lexus RX.

The new 2012 M-Class shares its underpinnings with the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and will launch in the US this fall. Initially, the Stuttgart-based automaker will offer three variants: 2012 ML 250 Bluetec 4Matic, 2012 ML 350 Bluetec 4Matic and 2012 ML 350 4Matic BlueEfficiency.

Compared to the current model, the exterior design is sleeker and more sculpted, while maintaing essentially the same shape and size. Inside, Mercedes-Benz has redesigned the cabin, providing more front and rear elbow room. High-tech gadgets are included in the redesign. The most obvious difference in the interior is a switch from round air vents to rectangular. Among the available finishes are aluminum and four different kinds of wood, while material choices include microfiber, leatherette and high-quality leather.

Photo Comparison: 2012 Mercedes Benz ML vs. BMW X5

Photo Comparison: 2012 Mercedes Benz ML vs. BMW X5

The powerplants have been upgraded as well. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 250 Bluetec 4Matic gets a 2.1 liter 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine making 204-hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 350 Bluetec sports under the hood a new 3.0L V6 turbocharged diesel making 258-hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. 0 to 62 mph comes in 7.4 seconds with a top speed of 139 mph. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 350 4Matic BlueEfficiency will be the only gasoline model available at launch. It will be powered by a 3.5 liter V6 unit making 306-hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. 0 to 62 mph comes in 7.6 seconds with a top speed of 147 mph.

Photo Comparison: 2012 Mercedes Benz ML vs. BMW X5

 

All wheel drive and 7-speed automatic transmission are included in the redesign.

Pricing is expected to be around the $50,000 mark for an ML350 4MATIC and around $52,000 for a BlueTec.

As always, BMWBLOG gives you a photo comparison against BMW’s top-seller SAV, the X5. Photos include both the X5 M Sport package, as well as the standard model.

Photo Comparison: 2012 Mercedes Benz ML vs. BMW X5

  • http://www.facebook.com/Whasians Daniel Vu Nguyen Hoang

    Major “Bling Factor” in the New Benz Exterior.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OMYPRJFNOVXK5LA2PEIUPZRV5E Mr. vodka

    The interior is too classy and too much buttons.  The like the BMW’s widescreen better than the square one on the benz.  

  • Manchester Man

    The X5 is much meaner and well poised, personally I believe the X5 is the king of luxury SUVs. Not only does the X5 looks better than the 2012 ML, it has the BMW badge which means it will handle way better!!

    • mercedes.50x

      mercedes cars has 4 matic the worlds best 4×4 and it has exsisted longer and are way better to drive then the kebab sleds :)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

    Exterior winner – Mercedes
    Interior winner – BMW

    but only because merc really did screw  this one up. I still hate iDrive and therefore all new BMW interior but compare to that Lexus replica of interior what MB did, BMW is better, much better.

    The exterior however is different story. BMW missed the big dramatic shape on the X5. Its a great car, I had a 2008 4.8l version for a while, but bland. Not much of a change compare to the old version which is both good and bad. Anyway MB pulled it off, improved on the style big time, kept the shape useful and wild enough to make it look fresh.

    • Guest

      “EXterior winner – Mercedes” Are you crazy!? look at it, it looks like a dead donkey like it will go no where, please do not injure the X5 in this way…

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

        ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE X5 ?  Sorry the ML looks lightyears better !
        in the interior I might actually modify my comment. By looking at both, the MB is better quality, looks more upscale then the cheapish BMW but still ugly. So its a tie – both ugly for different reasons.
        The quality is at MB but the execution is horrible. BMW quality is bad, and iDrive (major negative point) and the whole thing seems like out of a Kia or a cheaper car. Its perfect in a 1 and 3 series but the X5’s 60k+ price tag demands more. Much more.
        just look at the new 7 and 5 interior… those are good ones, the X5 is outdated and cheap looking.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

        ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE X5 ?  Sorry the ML looks lightyears better !
        in the interior I might actually modify my comment. By looking at both, the MB is better quality, looks more upscale then the cheapish BMW but still ugly. So its a tie – both ugly for different reasons.
        The quality is at MB but the execution is horrible. BMW quality is bad, and iDrive (major negative point) and the whole thing seems like out of a Kia or a cheaper car. Its perfect in a 1 and 3 series but the X5’s 60k+ price tag demands more. Much more.
        just look at the new 7 and 5 interior… those are good ones, the X5 is outdated and cheap looking.

        • wazon8

          Lightyears better? It looks like a Asian (especially rear end) car with front end alluding to something that I’m familiar with from recent MBs. X5 has simple, elegant and still fresh design and that’s the way premium SUV should look like. ML lost its proportions: grill is a way too big when compared to relatively small headlights. Interior is out of question in favour of X5.

          And how did you assess interior quality by picture? 

          BTW, I bet that the most people today find this wooden parts of steering wheel to be really cheap and tasteless. Perhaps, it was something good 10- 15 years ago, but right now it’s simply pointless. Ergonomics is again an instantiation of typical thinking of MB’s engineers: put as many controls as you can in central panel of dashboard. I always wonder why magazines call recent MB’s interior ergonomical, even placing them as benchmark. This central console is intuitive only to people who used to driving MB. 

        • wazon8

          I guess you’re close to be blind, if you find it to be similar to X5: http://www.kia.com/#/sportage/explore/

          If it’s similar to any of these two cars, it’s surely more similar to new ML. Just pay some attention to proportions of front end of Kia and ML. Vents in ML’s interior and Kia’s interior are also similar.

          • http://twitter.com/GiangcK Truong Giang

            There’s no point arguing with La Ma. He’s a Bangle-hater, any car has a linkage to Bangle will be bashed without mercy.

    • Trotterleg

      My 2012 ML 250 center console takes up so much room that there’s no space to move without always resting your arm on that stupid thing. My elbow is killing me. Turn right and you can even get to turn because your arm is positioned on that 10-12 inch console. Give me a break! Its about comfort for the driver not a place to store your sunglasses et al. Its one narrow cabin for the driver. I hate it so much that I just might sell it off with 350 miles. If Americans are so overweight how is anyone supposed to fit? Personally I am average and this is an issue for me. Just plain awful. Just came off a 5 series BMW and this seems slow as well.

  • Tom Cardone

    the X5 wins by a longgg shot. its just so obvious in the pictures… cant wait for the new X5

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1842858183 Ahmad Haziq

    I kind of like the ML’s exterior but the simplicity of the X5 got me. The ML has definitely improved by quite a margine over its predecessor.

    The interior is a big win for the X5 in my opinion. The amount of buttons in the ML is killing my eyes. The X5 keeps the simple, classy and sporty interior thus, my choice.

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  • Br

    The interior of mercedes is quite good in a whole, with ambient lights which BMW always lacks because of cost cutting.  But the exterior of ML is a total failure, especially for its rear design, just like a Japanese MPV, so bad~  But i think the next X5 may look even uglier under the new designer of BMW (the l series is a good example).  Don’t forget, this X5 is designed by Bangle~

    • Jasgill2001

      Ml had the best features. BMW is plain from inside

  • viper

    the X5 stands quite well next to the new ML. no doubt….however , the ML looks more fresh , sharper , more complicated and looks better overall.

    the interior is a CLEAR win for ML.
    just look at the quality of dash and materials used , it is unparalleled look at the door , the center console is way more entertaining than almost boring bmw x5 center console with just big screen a couple of knobs.

    the steering wheel in MB looks more luxurious and the speed and rev counter have new graphics unlike bmw keeps the same thing over an over. but ok .I just hope that the new X5 will look MUCH MUCH different and MUCH better and have MUCH better engines (as always) , than current X5.

    when does the new x5 come out btw?

    • Guest

      Am I blind or can I not see where the quality is in the mercedes benz picture, look how aweful and un-pleasing to the eye it looks.

      BMW interior represents a modern opulent successful person, whilst on the other hand with the Mercedes interior you get a old fashioned bland miserable person.

      -Case dissmissed.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

        how about leather dash in the MB and plastic in teh BMW. Quality wise the MB tops the BMW in this interior by a long shot.
        layout of the dash is horrible in the MB but not soo much better in the BMW either, but better.
        Want to see a nice dash ? New 5 7 and Z4. Both of these here are ugly. case closed. 

        • wazon8

          You can pay for leather dashboard in X5 eighter. Do you believe that MB will give it to you for free? I wonder whether you’ve seen options list for X5. 

      • JayR

        “modern, opulent successful person”. – Not according to just about everyone.  The major knock against BMW’s is the extremely BLAND interior, like it was an after-thought.  The 7 and 5-series (new) are better, but still lacking compared to others.  Mercedes definitely wins in the interior, no question about it. It’s pretty much a toss-up on the exterior.  I guess it comes down to personal taste.  Having actually worked for BMW, I find their cars bland for the most part, but that could be because I was around them so much.

      • JayR

        “modern, opulent successful person”. – Not according to just about everyone.  The major knock against BMW’s is the extremely BLAND interior, like it was an after-thought.  The 7 and 5-series (new) are better, but still lacking compared to others.  Mercedes definitely wins in the interior, no question about it. It’s pretty much a toss-up on the exterior.  I guess it comes down to personal taste.  Having actually worked for BMW, I find their cars bland for the most part, but that could be because I was around them so much.

    • ruben

      I fully agree with you…. however, if you or anyone can test drive a new ML at higher speed… may I suggest to observe the humming gearbox noise at 115 km/hr and at 145 km/hr.  The abnormal/humming noise is more pronounced at the region of 145 km/hr emanating from gearbox (i.e., perhaps rear differential hypoid gear or transmission itself). I have a 2009 ML Bluetec and this is my main problem. Abnormal noise is perhaps an inherent design problem with planetary gears they use (if sourced from transmission). Gear noise/vibration at 145 km/hr region could be the second harmonic of the 115 km/hr gear noise/vibration. MB should analyze this problem using at least FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) to identify gear fault or inaccuracies…. it can be done by installing an accelerometer (vibration transducer) on the gearbox , record gear noise/vibration at the specified speed… then analyze. I like the under chassis work/design of the ML. If MB can not address those gear noise. i’d rather trade my 2009ML for a Grand Cherokee Overland/limited as they have same chassis/suspension anyway.. Cherokee in fact is more of heavy duty than ML… a true 4×4. I like Cherokee’s high quality interior.. its dash is similar to ML.. maybe better. You can recline the 2nd row seat but you can’t on ML. The Cherokee’s 3.6 V6 engine is more efficient (better gas mileage) than the ML’s 3.0 liter V6 diesel engine. A lot of money saving with the Cherokee than ML (cost and maintenance wise);  last but not least… peace of mind. Its the end of the European mid-size SUV for me. At this vehicle category, (experience-wise) I find american SUV much better and more reliable… try check Cherokee out in comparison with the latest ML or X5, even the Cayenne or Touareg…

  • StraightSix

    Ssangyong could have made better looking rear lights that Mercedes can, as it would seem. My opinion though.

  • Babken

    Exterior – BMW X5.
    Interior – ML. The X5 needs some refreshment inside.
    Anyway I’d take the X5.

  • Babken

    Exterior – BMW X5.
    Interior – ML. The X5 needs some refreshment inside.
    Anyway I’d take the X5.

  • asdfasd

    The front of the Benz looks sick but the back on the BMW is much nicer. Interior wise BMW jumps all over benz. New benz interiors look like they came from a sprinter van and BMW’s new interiors are so luxurious.

    • Luy_333

      For the exterior i think u r right, but the interior of the ML is awesome !

  • asdfasd

    The front of the Benz looks sick but the back on the BMW is much nicer. Interior wise BMW jumps all over benz. New benz interiors look like they came from a sprinter van and BMW’s new interiors are so luxurious.

  • kcsnyud

    Let us not forget that the x5 was designed in 2006 while the merc just came out. So even if the merc was more fresh there is not comparison because we are comparing a 5 year old design with a 0 year old one.
    Btw the merc looks just like the old one except with more lines. I will say theat the x5’s interior is too plasticy-my mom has a 2008 model.

  • Carlos

    Yes, yes and the biggest differentiator for a Mercedes
    against BMW is that BMW has no after sales service; in fact BMW is a horrible
    experience in terms of after sales service. Exactly why we will ditch our 2
    year old X5 for a ML as soon as the ML is available, same reason why we ditched
    our cabrio BMW only after 4 months for a SL Mercedes, same reason why we did
    not buy a 7 series 6 months ago and instead bought a large Mercedes. In as much
    as we might like BMW look and feel we do not like to be treated like garbage at
    the service location. Mercedes Benz beats BMW any day 100% on after sales
    service, something unknown in the BMW dealer circles. The worst after sales by
    far is BMW, it truly SUCKS! Very disappointing, but no worries, you will never see a Jardino ever again at BMW.

    • viper

       that could be true.
      bmw sucks at some..things…

  • Adam23

    The rear half of the ML exterior looks just like a Honda Odyssey minivan. If you took the mercedes star and put a Honda “H” nobody would know the difference.

  • Lexus LVR

    I love these threads. It’s so fun to read about BMW fanboys defending their favorite brand.

    The pictures could be a piece of dog poo with a BMW badge being compared to the new ML and you guys would still defend that piece of dog poo claiming it handles better bla bla bla… LMAO!

    For the record both are ugly inside and out. I’d rake a Lexus RX any day over these two poseurs.

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  • Luy_333

    I traded in my X5 for the new ML, i hope it will look good !

    • Anilsealeshpandya

      Sure it will

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  • Jonny

    I am very sorry to disappoint all bmw fans. It’s no question, the mercedes-benz beats this x5 such brutal as a lamborghini a Renault. The M-Class has just 1 blemish. It’s the rear-exterior. But this does not destroy this, overall, beautiful car. I have to contradict some statements, that the mercedes looks like a japan-car. It just deals with the highest level of luxury. http://www.welt.de/multimedia/archive/01417/edi03_jpg_DW_Sonst_1417685s.jpg 
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_D2F3G9vd2Es/TAGqc1iQ4qI/AAAAAAAAB3k/xyZgJuXQBtc/s1600/bmw-x5-new-interior.jpgNot just because it appears more noble and precise, the best safety standards (PRE-Safe, BAS…) and the revolution in fuel consumption (ca. 6,8-8 l/100 km), gives the mercedes a total leg-up.

    I apologize for my english. It’s not my mother tongue.
    I hope all readers have an objective point of view.

    • Anilsealeshpandya

      Fully agree with you Mercedes ML is much better then the BMW x5

  • Jonny

    I am very sorry to disappoint all bmw fans. It’s no question, the mercedes-benz beats this x5 such brutal as a lamborghini a Renault. The M-Class has just 1 blemish. It’s the rear-exterior. But this does not destroy this, overall, beautiful car. I have to contradict some statements, that the mercedes looks like a japan-car. It just deals with the highest level of luxury. http://www.welt.de/multimedia/archive/01417/edi03_jpg_DW_Sonst_1417685s.jpg 
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_D2F3G9vd2Es/TAGqc1iQ4qI/AAAAAAAAB3k/xyZgJuXQBtc/s1600/bmw-x5-new-interior.jpgNot just because it appears more noble and precise, the best safety standards (PRE-Safe, BAS…) and the revolution in fuel consumption (ca. 6,8-8 l/100 km), gives the mercedes a total leg-up.

    I apologize for my english. It’s not my mother tongue.
    I hope all readers have an objective point of view.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CNRLSV7EX5AH4FZVR7OOC7CRCQ Jorge Chiu

    It is very funny how people that are pushing for the X5 talk about class, by cusing big time. I dont know but in my country people that are the wannabe rich save all their money in order to buy  a BMW. I think both are very nice and goodlooking cars, it is just a matter of preference. Both have pros and cons, just a matter of taste. My wife has an X3 and I have an ML. I like both, but I incline more fore the ML, as I said just a matter of taste.

  • MERCisBETTER

    I Own the 2010 shape Mercedes ML350. I’ve kitted it with off road package. BMW does’nt offer this package. This means I am able to take the Merc off road, in low range gearing as well. Let me tell u the vehicle is awesome in the Namibian and Mozambican dunes.
    BMW may be faster more blingier or more hip, but I’ve assisted drivers on several occassions in the dunes. So for that reason alone MERC is my choice irrespective of its shape. Furthermore the service I’ve experience with MERC out shines BMW by far.

  • Samoan78

    Am sure if the ML interior looked like the X5’s no one would buy it! BMW get lots of sympathy for being an underdog. They have never rally been an industry leader even at home, too much cheap plastic, always trying to play catch up. Mercedes doesn’t seem to follow anybody’s trend but their own.

    • Anilsealeshpandya

      Well said

  • Louie Brown

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  • Anilsealeshpandya

    I think the new ML Mercdes benz has done out BMW x5 I already have a ML Grand Edition 350 which I think is much better then a X5 anyday the new ML just looks Amazing can’t wait to get one………

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  • BENZ4EVER

    Mercedes-Benz M class FAR better. The Mercedes has better quality, safety, and performance. The Benz interior has soft ambient lighting nad the gear shift is easier and smoother to use. The BMW iDRIVE is complicated. The Benz has a silver row of buttons which is just for the main controls to the car but the black buttons above are the shortcut to navigation, radio, and telephone, etc. The BMW is practically a box on wheels. Mercedes-Benz, THE BEST OR NORTHING!!!

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