2009 Mercedes Benz ML550 4Matic

The ML no longer makes sense to me. I drove the GLK this summer and I'd quickly recommend the smaller ute to those who don't need three rows of seating, and the GL (with a diesel) makes a lot of sense if you're hauling more people or a trailer. So where does the ML fit?

I still love the seven-speed automatic and the 382-hp V-8 that powers the ML550 and so much of the Mercedes lineup. It's a perfect combination of power and refinement. I suppose, since the GLK doesn't come with a V-8, you'd have to shop the ML if you wanted V-8 power.

This Benz has a very strong German luxury feel to it. The interior is efficient and plush, but not over the top. All the controls are easy to understand, and the displays are easy to read. The Comand system makes navigating the Sirius radio channels a breeze, but I wish the stereo had a little more kick to it.

I wasn't able to find a comfortable suspension setting with the airmatic system. The comfort mode floats too much and feels disconnected from the road. If you choose sport, the ride is reasonable over smooth pavement but becomes a bit harsh over bumps and along broken roads. Driving with the regular suspension setting is still a bit too disconnected for my taste.

Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor

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