The used Mercedes-Benz ML280 CDI Sport is a highly accomplished four-wheel drive vehicle that excels both on tarmac and over the rough stuff. The current generation M-Class was introduced in 2005 to rival the Range Rover Sport and BMW X5. Pretty stiff competition there, so let's consider this German status symbol's credentials.
The Mercedes-Benz ML280 CDI Sport has a 3.0-litre 187bhp diesel engine that propels mud plunging motorists to 60mph in 9.5 seconds. Fair enough, but its main appeal is the 325lb-ft of torque that gives the M-Class plenty of low-down grunt. Average fuel consumption is 29mpg, which is perfectly reasonable considering it weighs over 2,000kg and has seven-speed automatic transmission.
On-road this large 4x4 is extremely comfortable, has accurate steering, good body control, and responsive transmission. These characteristics make it pleasurable to drive in a wide variety of conditions. Off-road the M-Class makes occasional drivers look like superheroes as the electrical wizardry helps with downhill descents and maintaining traction. It can also negotiate 500mm of water should you leave the tap running and flood your garage.
The ML280 CDI Sport oozes sophistication and this is reflected in the specification. Standard features include metallic paint, 19” alloy wheels, the electronic stability programme, traction control, and electric seats. Revised 2008 models also have front and rear parking sensors plus an electric tailgate. Motorists also benefit from a range of safety features that earned the M-Class the maximum five Euro NCAP safety stars.
So, how do we summarise this capable 4x4? The Mercedes-Benz ML280 CDI Sport is one of the most prestigious vehicles on the market, but – more importantly – the fashionable badge is backed-up by genuine on/off road capability. The price for three year old examples is around £20,000, and these are listed with 'buy safe' sellers in Motoring.co.uk's database. Enjoy!