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Racing Teatray

German V8 SUVs

The festive period brought me interesting experiences in two big V8-powered full fat SUVs.

The first was a black Cayenne belonging to my wife's uncle. Think it is circa 2009, making it a facelifted example of the original model. Utterly undesirable bit of kit. Outside it suffered from too-small wheels and some injudicious matt aluminium trim details. Inside, it had  one the most revolting interiors I've seen in ages – all the leather and plastics finished in a sort of pinkish caramel/beige (including dash and steering wheel) festooned with matt silver trim bits. Eww, eww, eww and very Fisher-Price in design and feel. Plus looked antiquated. Lastly, from the passenger seat at least, the car also felt heavy and not particularly swift.

Second was a car I had not ever realised existed. A 57-plate Mercedes ML in "420CDi 4matic" guise with AMG  trimmings belonging to some friends we were skiing with in Megeve over New Year (he knows his stuff car-wise, being the proud possessor of over 20 cars of various old and interesting sorts). It was also black and large, but that's where the comparisons with the Cayenne ended. It was a much nicer-looking car inside (despite also having a beige interior) and out, and felt considerably more modern and upmarket. Plus, and this was the key bit, it went like absolute stink. I mean seismic levels of power and most particularly torque. It accelerated with every bit as much vigour as my old 500E and made a similar sort of V8 bellow, and the way it shot up steep Alpine roads like they had no gradient at all was truly astounding and left the M135i for dust.

I kind of want one now, perhaps in facelifted ML450 CDi guise (and I don't mean the Hybrid V6 version that wore a similar badge). Or at least some flavour of Merc with the same monumental 4.0 V8 biturbo diesel. Even the wife approved.

God help me!
JohnC

You can do a lot worse than a good bi-turbo diesel
gonnabuildabuggy

Interesting review.

I'm a fan of the later ML's (not the original) and have been pondering if a 420 would be better than a 500, now I know.
Martin

JohnC wrote:
You can do a lot worse than a good bi-turbo diesel


+1

Just had a quick look at the 420cdi engine and isn't the 450cdi exactly the same just a different badge?  Similar power and slightly more torque than a 35/40d or a BiTurbo Audi, but those MLs are 2.3 tonnes!

The first generation Cayennes are terrible, the latest model is a huge improvement inside.
Stuntman

V8 SUVs are a guilty pleasure.  The sound that those V8 MLs made is fab.  The old X5 4.8S with a V8 sounds lovely too, that'd be worth a look.

The current Cayenne is much nicer inside than the previous one, and has even more jawdropping performance according to the magazine tests.

I would still say that the best looking one is the current RRS.
JohnC

Martin wrote:

Just had a quick look at the 420cdi engine and isn't the 450cdi exactly the same just a different badge?  Similar power and slightly more torque than a 35/40d or a BiTurbo Audi, but those MLs are 2.3 tonnes!



I think the 420CDi to 450CDi was the same as the 320CDi to the 350CDi which was a little bit more go but a fair bit less emissions.
Frank Bullitt

gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
Interesting review.

I'm a fan of the later ML's (not the original) and have been pondering if a 420 would be better than a 500, now I know.


Not the current one though, surely - the middle one (the one Racing was in) is very attractive though.
Racing Teatray

It was the way it simply rocketed up steep hills that was gobsmacking. Nothing diesel-powered and weighing that much has any right to feel that rabidly accelerative on a flat surface, let alone up the nearest Alp.
gonnabuildabuggy

Frank Bullitt wrote:
gonnabuildabuggy wrote:
Interesting review.

I'm a fan of the later ML's (not the original) and have been pondering if a 420 would be better than a 500, now I know.


Not the current one though, surely - the middle one (the one Racing was in) is very attractive though.


Sorry, that's the one I meant.

My other guilty pleasure in that area is the XC90 V8.

Common sense is telling me to keep the FRV, but regularly I get the itch to replace it with an SUV of some kind.
PG

Stuntman wrote:
V8 SUVs are a guilty pleasure. .


Indeed they are for me too.
Andy C

I'm surprised it was that quick against an m135i
Racing Teatray

Andy C wrote:
I'm surprised it was that quick against an m135i


Be surprised. The acceleration was of the "woah fuck" variety.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Makes you wonder what an ML63 would be like
Racing Teatray

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Makes you wonder what an ML63 would be like


Not apparently much gruntier. It seems an ML500 won't see which way the ML420/450CDi went, thanks to the latter having something like 550 torques.
PhilD

Racing Teatray wrote:
Andy C wrote:
I'm surprised it was that quick against an m135i


Be surprised. The acceleration was of the "woah fuck" variety.


Where you in it?

If so that's what 500+ torques feels like
If not that's what 500+ torques does for you when going up a hill.
Roadrunner

Hmmm....

Will a 450cdi engine fit into a W211 E Class estate?

Hmm...
Racing Teatray

Yes, I was a passenger in the Merc. But I had driven my own car up the same steep hill more than once both before and after. Another league altogether.
Racing Teatray

Roadrunner wrote:
Hmmm....

Will a 450cdi engine fit into a W211 E Class estate?

Hmm...


Yes, you just have to pop over to Europe to buy a LHD one kind Uncle Daimler made earlier. They just didn't offer it in RHD.

Apparently it's epic.
Roadrunner

Racing Teatray wrote:
Roadrunner wrote:
Hmmm....

Will a 450cdi engine fit into a W211 E Class estate?

Hmm...


Yes, you just have to pop over to Europe to buy a LHD one kind Uncle Daimler made earlier. They just didn't offer it in RHD.

Apparently it's epic.


Bastards!
JohnC

PhilD wrote:

If so that's what 500+ torques feels like
If not that's what 500+ torques does for you when going up a hill.


I can confirm that hills have virtually no impact on acceleration with 500+ torques
TreVoR

I did briefly contemplate a ML500 as an alternative to the E500 but saw sense, kind of.
Giant

I saw a GLE (facelifted ML) today. If anything it looks worse than the ML, like an ML whose face melted.
franki68

I thought the cayenne facelift was 2010,When it became quite nice (well i think so) .Would be my SUV of choice.

The ML ...I was impressed with mine ,until things started to go wrong and I am not alone.They go wrong ..a lot and are very very expensive to sort.

I agree with stunts the LR sport is the best looking one,but I was having a good look at one the other day and the panel gaps were breathtaking .
Big Blue

Saw a GL 63 AMG in Putney tonight. Sadly it was white so looked crap but did sound nice..
Giant

I followed a Toerag V10 yesterday, before it disappeared over the horizon. I've always had a soft spot for them.
JohnC

Giant wrote:
I followed a Toerag V10 yesterday, before it disappeared over the horizon. I've always had a soft spot for them.


I like these too. There is one which lives near me but the guy who drives it seems to want to show everyone just how fast it is. It looks lovely though in a dark blue metallic, subtly lowered and very muscular looking.
Racing Teatray

franki68 wrote:
I thought the cayenne facelift was 2010,When it became quite nice (well i think so) .Would be my SUV of choice.


Then it must be a 2010. It was definitely the facelifted version with the slimmer headlights and revised rear lights.

Resolutely horrible inside. Can't imagine how horrid the pre-facelift one was then.
Martin

The facelift model looks a lot better on the outside, but I agree, the interior is horrible and wasn't improved much..  The current model is a huge improvement (especially the later cars with the Macan wheel), with full leather it's the highest quality interior in the range imho.
franki68

Racing Teatray wrote:
franki68 wrote:
I thought the cayenne facelift was 2010,When it became quite nice (well i think so) .Would be my SUV of choice.


Then it must be a 2010. It was definitely the facelifted version with the slimmer headlights and revised rear lights.

Resolutely horrible inside. Can't imagine how horrid the pre-facelift one was then.


the panamera style interior ? I agree the old one is a mess inside but the facelift as I recall it has the panamera interior and looks pretty good to me .






Racing Teatray

Ahh. We are talking at cross-purposes. That's Cayenne Mk2. Cayenne Mk1 underwent a facelift at some stage at which it got marginally less ugly outside. The Cayenne Mk2 is better inside and out.
Alf McQueef

If the ML420D is that fast, imagine the 63 AMG version with the supercharged 5.5 litre petrol. That has serious appeal to me, it is even supposed to drive well. There is something about the ML I just like, in a category that does little for me generally...

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