When it was introduced back in 1997, the auto public was excited about Mercedes-Benz finally having their own mid-size SUV that could compete with the Lexus LX 350. However, many were soon disappointed once it was realized that overall build quality of the original M-Class was subpar and well below typical Mercedes-Benz standards. A re-freshened model in 2002 fixed many quality-control problems that existed in earlier versions.
There were substantial upgrades when the current generation was introduced in 2005. Based off a new platform, it included a 7-speed automatic transmission and overall large dimensions, both inside and out. It was also featured a much exterior. Mercedes continues to update the M-Class with new features almost every model year and a replacement is due within the next few years.