After a three-hour journey, the M-class coped admirably - actually there is nothing like a six foot two inch high sports utility vehicle for inching your way through bumper-to-bumper traffic; other road users seem to give you such respect.
Anyway, a planned two and a half hour journey finally finished almost four hours later. The next morning prior to setting off to Guildford station to catch the train to the Dome, the talk was of which cars we would take to transport everyone safely and comfortably.
There were two families, four adults and three children, far too many for a normal saloon or estate, but no problem for the M-class, thanks to the interesting configuration of the seats. The two child size seats, which in transit are suspended against the walls of the luggage compartment, come down from the walls. Each has its own seatbelt and head rest and if the leg room is rather cramped, these are clearly seats for little ones, and not adults.
The M-class showed its versatility a few weeks later when our annual garage clear-out came round again. This time the rear child seats came out, the rear seats folded down flat and voila, a huge load carrying area which proved capable of carrying just about everything from the kitchen sink to the old work-out bike.
I've been living with the M-class for around six thousand miles now and its plus points have been its proven complete reliability, punchy performance and surprising maneouvrability .