This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mercedes-Benz M-Class AMG (12-15) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

The hand-built 6.2-litre V8 in the front of the ML63 has 510 bhp, is capable of 0-62mph in five seconds and has top speed of 155mph. It's the same engine that's also found in the C63 and CLK63 - among others - and will be noticeably different to anyone trading up from the old ML55 AMG as there's 46 per cent more power. The rate of acceleration is little short of breathtaking and it builds speed in a truly remarkable way - the ML63 is barely warmed-up by the time it gets to the motorway speed limit.

The steering wheel-mounted paddles give the option of being able to make manual changes, or the seven-speed gearbox can be left in fully automatic, where it mostly chooses the right gear for the right time and offers a smooth change.

With its huge 19-inch alloy wheels, the ML63 never feels anything other than planted to the road. It corners well with bodyroll kept in check and the sophisticated four-wheel drive system provides a reassuring back-up in slippery conditions. It's effortless on the motorway, very stable and capable of being driven more quickly than the 70mph speed limit will allow.

Though the ML63 could never be called nimble, it is agile enough to make fast work of backroads.