And with a 4.3-litre V8 now joining the 3.2-litre V6 which was launched last September, the line-up is moving further into the luxury territory. Mercedes is among the first manufacturers to offer a vehicle which can truly rival the legendary Range Rover. On-the-road prices for the M-class start at ú31,320 for the M320 auto tested here and rise to ú42,750 for the M430 V8 auto.
Mercedes is also planning the launch of a more economical 2.7-litre diesel model for early next year which will start from ú28,200 on-the-road. This year, the company expects to sell about 6,000 M-class vehicles in the UK, which it expects to increase further next year with the arrival of V8 and common rail diesel models.