Matthew Jones08 June 2011

First Pics: New Mercedes M-Class

Benz announce their all-new big soft-roader, with AMG version to come

Good news! Mercedes' all-new M-class is here. Better news! It's not hideous. Best news! There's going to be an AMG version.

In the great tradition of luxo SUVs, the new model's even more enormous. It's 4804mm long, 1926mm wide and 1796mm tall, which makes it 24mm longer, 16mm wider and 19mm lower than its older brother.

See more pics of the M-class here

You'll be able to choose from a big range of engines to hustle that heft when it launches in April 2012. There's the 254bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel, which gets fitted to ML350 Bluetec models, a twin-turbo 201bhp 2.1-litre four-pot diesel, which goes in the ML250 Bluetec and a diesel-electric ML300 Hybrid model, which uses the 2.1 engine with a 20bhp electric motor.

But our categorical favourite is the ML63 AMG, which has a 536bhp twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8.

As well the re-jigged engine range, the American-built M-class gets all-new underwear - the very same that you'll find in modified form underneath the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Inside, there's the same basic visual grammar as the old car - seating for five people in two rows and lots of that special ginger wood that only grows in Germany. It's also the first ever M-class to get factory diamond stitching as an option. Which is nice.

How are you feeling about it, TopGear.commers? Better than its predecessor?

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