2012 Mercedes ML350 Vs BMW X5: Raging bulls lock horns

So this is what we call a perfect bullfight. In the clash of the titans, two bulls lock horns with each other and there is a lot of adrenaline rush brewing within both the bulls as each wants to take the other one down. Mercedes Benz has been considered as the epitome of luxury ever since it came into the mainstream automobile industry. But there was a contender who was slowly waiting to lurk out of the shadows. And now is the time when it has pushed all compatriots out of the way and occupied the throne. This fierce contender is none other than BMW. Both of these automobile heavyweights have been locking horns with each other for many decades now. Recently Mercedes unleashed ML350 in the market on 15th May, 2012. This was meant to be a blunt answer to BMW X5. But what is it that sets them apart?

Exteriors : –

Mercedes Benz ML350

Since it comes from the garage of Mercedes Benz, thus we can easily presume the elegance of the design given to the car. The overall structure of the body given to ML350 is highly tensile and the chrome finishing gives the car a more dynamic finishing. Mercedes Benz considers aerodynamics to be one of the prime factors behind the design of their cars. The cars are first structured and engineers make measurements in such a manner so that air passes during the motion of the car with least resistance. The car which has the most impressive aerodynamic system is the one that will cheat wind most efficiently. The outer exoskeleton of the car has been made using reinforced steel that is of optimum tensile strength. This will help the car from sustaining least possible damage in case it enters a collision course with any other locomotive. Thus the resistance level that the car can offer in case of mishaps is very high. The front fascia of the car has been made to look mean and thus it is quite wide. The front grille consists of two separate outlets. The headlamps provided to the car are powerful and give a reasonably bright luminance. Another inclusion into the external features is the LED lighting. This was inspired by the E-Class of Mercedes. Now coming to the tires, Mercedes Benz has fitted ML350 with 20-inch alloy wheels having spokes in them. This gives the car an altogether sporty appeal and adding such tires to a muscular body gives the car a tough look.


If Mercedes has given a tough appeal to ML350, then BMW isn’t far behind. BMW X5 is considered to have one of the meanest and toughest designs of SUVs ever made. The exoskeleton of the body has been made using reinforced metal of high tensile strength which can shield the car from any sort of damage caused during an accident. The makers of X5 have ensured that no stones are left unturned while designing the car. The design of the car is such that it is sure to attract gazes when it wanders off. The makers have fitted the car with short overhangs which add to the sporty nature of the car. There is one thing about the design of the exoskeleton that BMW has always adhered to. Almost all of BMW’s latest mean machines have carved out designs and prominent lines which facilitate the concept of aerodynamics and add style to the appeal of the car. The front part of the car has been made to look tough which kind of gives an idea about the intense power that lies beneath the hood. The rear lights of the car are L-shaped and the side skirts of the car have been dynamically contoured. The front headlamps have LED lighting system. Altogether, the design of both the cars has been off the hook and both are known for their elegance.


Interiors: –

Mercedes ML350

If the exteriors of the car have been showered with praises, then the interiors are no less. The style and materials that have been used to design the interiors creates a benchmark for the company as it has always ensured elegant top-notch interiors. The seats have been done up using best-quality leather and the boot space in the car can comfortably accommodate at least 8 people. The new Mercedes ML350 has been imbibed with spacious interiors and the dashboard of the car boasts of a wooden finishing. The front seats are in power-bucket format and there are buttons given so that the passenger can align their seat as per their convenience. The set of features that Mercedes has put in ML350 is something that will strike a chord with all those who crave for luxury and comfort. All these features increase the charm of the crossover.

Mercedes Benz ML350 interior


BMW has always kept its customers in highest regard and satisfaction is something that can be guaranteed in case if you are planning on shelling out on an X5. The interiors of the car are top-class and every single feature that has been included in the interiors of the car is commendable. The whole cabin has been done up using premium leather, fine woods and discreet metal elements. Several storage compartments have been set-up in the cars which can accommodate many things. The control panel installed inside the car has been ergonomically programmed well and in a user-friendly manner. A new feature installed inside BMW X5 is the Heads-up Display which showcases a lot of information about the car. Let’s say the car is moving at a particular speed so the Heads-up Display will showcase the speed of the car and that too in such a manner so that the driver is in the straight line of sight of the screen. Incidentally, all the automakers that are from Germany ensure that the cars they make are up to the mark.

But, if both Mercedes Benz ML350 and BMW X5 are to be compared in terms of the features of their interiors, then as per the critics, Mercedes fares well over BMW.

BMW X5 interior

Ergonomics: –

Mercedes Benz ML350

After all it’s a Mercedes, and ML350 being a crossover should be having immense firepower under its hood. Mercedes Benz has always been making powerful engines and performance is something that comes as a top priority for Mercedes Benz engineers. There is a lot that Mercedes has to offer in terms of performance and those who have the money to spend on performance should definitely go for ML350 as it has been built for all types of terrains no matter how rough. Mercedes ML350 is powered by a 3.0L V6 Turbo ‘Bluetec 4-matic’diesel engine that is capable of churning out a maximum power of 256 bhp at 3600 rpm while generating a torque of 619 Nm at an rpm range of 1600-2400.The gearbox attached to Mercedes ML350 is a 7G Tronic Plus giving out automatic transmission. The pick-up of the car is off the hook as Mercedes ML350 being a crossover vehicle lashes out from 0-100 kmph in 7.4 seconds flat.There are hardly any other SUV competitors who can churn out this much of acceleration and barge out like a bat straight out of hell. The top speed that the car can possibly achieve is 224 kmph which is indeed very impressive as SUVs find it hard to pick up speed at a fast rate. Adding to all this, the engine is powered by diesel which obviously is much cheaper than that of petrol. Thus, all these features of Mercedes ML350 make it rise up amongst all other crossover vehicles that it leaves behind its shoulders.

BMW X5: –

If the acceleration of Mercedes Benz ML350 has left you wide-eyed, then here is something that will pull your eyeballs out of their sockets. BMW X5 has one of the best acceleration rates that any crossover vehicle can go to. It fires away from 0-100 kmph in a sweet 5.5 seconds which is almost 2 seconds less than Mercedes ML350 and 1.6 seconds more than Lamborghini Gallardo. So an SUV which is capable of attaining 250 kmph and an impeccably scary acceleration rate is bound to have a diabolically strong engine that is capable of churning out breakneck power and torque. The newest variant of BMW X5 is powered by a 3.0L 6-Cylinder 2993cc in-line diesel engine that burns out a maximum power of 245 bhp which is 11 bhp less than that of Mercedes ML350 but BMW achieves this power at 4000 rpm. The maximum torque that this monster can attain is 540 Nm and that too at 1700-3000 rpm. On the contrary, BMW X5 has one more variant which runs on petrol. This one has a 4395cc Turbo TwinPower V8 engine capable of churning out optimum power of 407 bhp at 5500-6400 rpm and a maximum torque of 600 Nm at 1750-4500 rpm.The gearbox attached to both variants of BMW X5 is a Steptronic 8-speed one that facilitates automatic transmission.

Now, if we bring both of these mean machines face to face with each other and judge them on the basis of their ergonomics, then we will clearly see that Mercedes ML350 has a much more powerful engine than that of BMW X5 but Mercedes has only one variant which runs on diesel whereas BMW X5 comes in both petrol and diesel variants. The petrol variant of BMW X5 is much more powerful than the engine of Mercedes ML350 and this is the reason why BMW X5 has a resounding acceleration rate leaving Mercedes ML350 short of breath. So, in terms of engine, Mercedes ML350 has a much more powerful one but if the point of discussion is the acceleration, then surely BMW X5 easily pushes Mercedes out of the way.

Features: –

Mercedes Benz ML350

There are a wide range of exotic features that Mercedes Benz ML350 comes equipped with. Some of these are Speed Limit Assist, Intelligent Light System, Distronic plus Adaptive Cruise Control System,Lane keeping Assist, Night View Assist Plus that comes with automatic person recognition feature, Blind Spot Assist, integrated music system, Active Park Assist, Electric speed-proportional power steering, Tilt and telescopic steering wheel, Dual Zone climate controls, Speed-sensitive volume control, driver and passenger climate control, alloy and wood trim on central console, Turn signal in mirrors, etc. There are many more features that Mercedes Benz ML350 comes equipped with and thus is one reason why a Mercedes Benz fares much more in terms of features than any other cars.

BMW X5: –

The features that BMW has put into X5 are top-notch intermittent rain sensor windshield wipers roof rails, power windows, vehicle and key memory, optional panoramic moon roof, power adjustable seats, adjustable upper backrest segment, power slide and lift control, electric interior sunshade, integrated music system with music controls on the steering wheel, lumbar support, Radio data system, Dynamic Cruise control, rear and front park distance control, etc. All these features make BMW X5 a tough competitor to lock horns withMercedes ML350.

Both of these cars are the jack of their spades and are one of the fiercest rivals in the industry.

Mileage: –

2012 Mercedes ML350 is capable of giving out a mileage of 10-12 km/l depending upon the type of road. The petrol variant of BMW X5 gives out a mileage of 6-10 km/l whereas the diesel variant of the car gives out a mileage of 9-13.5 km/l.

Price: –

Mercedes ML350 comes under a hefty price tag of Rs.66 Lakh which totally justifies the features that it comes with. On the other hand BMW X5 comes for a price tag of Rs.54.09 Lakh- Rs.69.50 Lakh. Even if these crossovers are superlative, they do come for a heavy price tag which is totally in par with the range of features that they provide. Both of these crossover vehicles are bitter rivals of each other and this rivalry is turning out to be much more bitter than what it was a decade earlier owing to the fact that both of these automobile heavyweights are hell bent on taking each other down.

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