Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Compared to the previous M-Class, the interior is vastly improved. The driving position is excellent and the seat offers great side and lower back support along with multiple adjustment. The steering wheel adjusts (electrically on some models) for height and reach and it’s easy to find a position that’s comfortable for longer trips. There’s also a multi-function steering wheel, to control the stereo and trip computer.

Although it’s a familiar sight on the American market, the ‘stick-selector’ (see gallery) auto gearshift may not be familiar to UK buyers. It’s on a stalk by the steering wheel while manual changes can be made with buttons behind the steering wheel. Quality is excellent and the upmarket interiors give it a suitably classy feel.

A well packaged interior means five adults can travel in comfort. As a four-seater, the M-Class makes a convincing case as a long distance cruiser. The ride is smooth, the seats supportive in the right areas and there’s plenty of head and legroom for all passengers. Superb sound insulation – and improved engine technology – means that the diesels remains quiet, even under heavy acceleration.