2011 Mercedes-Benz
ML350
vs. 2012 BMW
X5 xDrive35i

2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350

10.0

starting from

$47,365

Reasons to buy the Mercedes-Benz ML350

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Moon roof
Standard
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Rear air conditioning
Optional
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Entertainment system
Standard
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More airbags
6
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i

9.4

Runner-up

BMW X5 xDrive35i

starting from

$48,075
"The eight-speed automatic produces the sort of smooth shifts and quick responses you'd expect"
edmunds.com | talking about the X5's transmission
"The X5 has always put a premium on its handling, however, and for 2011 that doesn't change."
edmunds.com | talking about the X5's handling

Reasons to buy the BMW X5 xDrive35i

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Turbocharged engine improves performance
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Quite powerful
300 HP @ 5,800 RPM
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More passenger seats
7
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Average highway fuel efficiency
23 mpg
Luxury Features 10.0 vs 8.8
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Winner: ML350
[details]
  • Enjoy additional natural light with the ML350's standard sun roof
Entertainment System 10.0 vs 9.0
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Winner: ML350
[details]
  • If you want to keep the kids occupied with an entertainment system, it comes standard in the ML350; no amount of money can buy it on the X5 xDrive35i
  • The ML350's stereo compensates for road noise as you speed up
  • Like your tunes? In the ML350, you can upgrade to satellite radio
Safety Features 10.0 vs 9.4
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Winner: ML350
[details]
  • The ML350 has 1 more airbag (including Rear Side), 6 vs 5
Performance 10.0 vs 9.6
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 Winner: ML350
[details]
  • The ML350 needs around 10% less space to turn, 37.9 ft vs 42.0 ft
Cost 10.0 vs 10.0
Too close to call
[details]
  • Longer basic warranty
  • Longer-lasting basic warranty
  • Very inefficient in the city
Crash Test Ratings - vs -
Missing information
[details]
Practicality - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
  • Limited number of cupholders
Road Tests - vs -
Missing information
[details]
  • The X5 xDrive35i's 1/4 mile time is blazingly fast, and the ML350 is pretty good, too
Overall 10.0 vs 9.4

Luxury Features

Mercedes-Benz
ML350
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i BMW
X5 xDrive35i
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moon roof Standard vs Not Available Enjoy additional natural light with the ML350's standard sun roof
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power seats Standard vs Standard Both have power seats
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keyless entry Standard vs Standard Both have keyless entry
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leather Optional vs Optional Both offer an upgrade to leather

Entertainment System

Mercedes-Benz
ML350
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i BMW
X5 xDrive35i
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Number of speakers 8 vs 10 The X5 xDrive35i has more speakers and the ML350 is OK, too
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Has speed sensitive volume Yes vs No The ML350's stereo cranks the volume to compensate for road noise, but the X5 xDrive35i does not
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CD player Standard vs Standard CD player comes standard
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premium radio Optional vs Not Available Like your tunes? In the ML350, you can upgrade to satellite radio
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Has auxiliary audio input Yes vs Yes Both have an audio-in jack so you can plug in your own MP3 player to the stereo
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Has subwoofer No vs No Neither has a subwoofer; audio won't have that deep thumping bass sound
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entertainment system Standard vs Not Available If you want to keep the kids occupied with an entertainment system, it comes standard in the ML350; no amount of money can buy it on the X5 xDrive35i

Safety Features

Mercedes-Benz
ML350
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i BMW
X5 xDrive35i
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antilock brakes Standard vs Standard Both come standard with ABS brakes
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Stability control system Yes vs Yes Both have electronic stability control
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Airbags 6 vs 5 The ML350 has a good number of airbags, but the X5 xDrive35i is just OK (missing Rear Side)
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Rear brakes Disc vs Disc Both have the usual brakes for this class of vehicle
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child door locks Standard vs Standard Child door locks come standard
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Roadside assistance system mbrace vs BMW Assist

Performance

Mercedes-Benz
ML350
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i BMW
X5 xDrive35i
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Horsepower 268 HP @ 6,000 RPM vs 300 HP @ 5,800 RPM The X5 xDrive35i is fairly powerful, but the ML350 is not far behind
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Number of gears 7 vs 8 Plenty of gears
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Transmission Automatic transmission vs Semi-automatic transmission Both the X5 xDrive35i's semi-automatic transmission and the ML350's Automatic transmission are unusual transmissions for this class of vehicle
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paddle shifters Standard vs Standard Both come standard with paddle shifters
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Air compressor None vs Twin turbocharger The X5 xDrive35i's Twin turbocharger lets it maximize power output, quite rare for this class of vehicle
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Power-to-weight ratio 17.3 lb/hp vs 16.5 lb/hp Both have OK performance
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Drivetrain type two-wheel drive vs all-wheel drive The X5 xDrive35i has a good drivetrain for off-road and poor weather driving
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Curb-to-curb turning radius 37.9 ft vs 42.0 ft The ML350 is comparable to most other vehicles for turning, but the X5 xDrive35i is quite bad

Cost

Mercedes-Benz
ML350
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i BMW
X5 xDrive35i
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MSRP $47,365 vs $48,075 Very expensive
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In-city gas mileage 16 mpg vs 16 mpg Very inefficient in the city
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basic warranty miles 50,000 mile vs 50,000 mile Longer basic warranty
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basic warranty years 4 year vs 4 year Longer-lasting basic warranty

Crash Test Ratings

Mercedes-Benz
ML350
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i BMW
X5 xDrive35i
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Rollover resistance 4 stars vs Unknown
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Front driver crash test Unknown vs Unknown
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Driver side crash test Unknown vs Unknown

Practicality

Mercedes-Benz
ML350
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i BMW
X5 xDrive35i
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Passengers 5 vs 7 The X5 xDrive35i has lots of passenger seats and the ML350 is OK, too
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Cargo space 72.4 ft3 vs 75.2 ft3 Both have OK cargo room
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front seats 56.9 ft3 vs Unknown
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Base payload capacity Unknown vs 1290 lb
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folding rear seats Standard vs Standard Both have a rear seat that folds down for extra storage space
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power outlets Standard vs Standard Both have power outlets
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navigation system Optional vs Optional Both offer an upgrade to a navigation system
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Cupholders 4 vs 4 Limited number of cupholders
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front air conditioning Standard vs Standard A/C for hot summer days comes standard

Road Tests

Mercedes-Benz
ML350
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i BMW
X5 xDrive35i
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0-60 mph 8.0 seconds vs 6.4 seconds The X5 xDrive35i has lightning fast acceleration and the ML350 is just OK
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Braking distance at 60mph 134 ft vs 130 ft The X5 xDrive35i has above average braking ability for this class of vehicle, but the ML350 is just OK
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1/4 mile 16.2 s @ 87 mph vs 14.7 s @ 92 mph The X5 xDrive35i's 1/4 mile time is blazingly fast, and the ML350 is pretty good, too
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Lateral acceleration Unknown vs 0.81 g
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Top speed 130 mph vs Unknown

Other Vehicles to Consider

2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 ML350 vs GLK350
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML550 2011 Mercedes-Benz GL550 ML550 vs GL550
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTEC 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Lux ML350 BlueTEC vs Touareg TDI Lux
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTEC Placeholder ML350 BlueTEC vs Q5 Premium
2011 Mercedes-Benz ML350 2011 Lexus RX 350 ML350 vs RX 350
2012 BMW X5 Premium Placeholder X5 Premium vs Q5 Premium Plus
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i 2011 BMW X3 xDrive28i X5 xDrive35i vs X3 xDrive28i
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i 2011 Acura MDX X5 xDrive35i vs MDX
2012 BMW X5 xDrive35i 2011 Lexus RX 450h X5 xDrive35i vs RX 450h
2012 BMW X5 Premium 2011 BMW 535i X5 Premium vs 535i

Comments Which car would you recommend, and why?

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