They may have become the number three brand in their segment, but the aggression doesn't seem to be waning. Mercedes-Benz India is ready to launch the ML 250 CDI, a smaller-engined version of the ML in a bid to become a prominent player in the luxury SUV segment. We first reported about this variant back in May in our story here: bsmotoring.com/storypage.php
The third-generation ML that was launched in May this year is currently offered with a 3.0-litre turbocharged diesel, badged the ML 350 CDI. But come October 10, the first ML to roll out of their new Rs 200 crore plus new paint booth will be the ML 250 CDI.
The ML 250 CDI is a four-cylinder, 2,143cc diesel motor producing about 204 bhp@4200 rpm and 51 kgm of peak torque at 1600-2500 rpm. This motor is assembled by Force Motors for MB India and is also offered on the C-Class and E-Class. Torquey and reasonably refined, the engine is also known for its decent economy figures.
With the India assembly of the ML beginning, Mercedes-Benz will look to price the ML 250 CDI somewhat lower too. We also expect this variant to be devoid of certain features to keep the price rather competitive. The current ML 350 CDI is priced at Rs 65 lakh, ex-showroom, but we wouldn't be surprised if Mercedes price the ML 250 CDI around Rs 55 to 58 lakh. That should take it closer to the likes of the six-cylinder versions of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, a strategic move considering Mercedes-Benz don't offer the GLK in India since it's designed to be left-hand drive only.