last updated 12-18-04

© 1998-2005 Harald Pietschmann





How good is the M-Class for towing?

  • Low range gave me 2.64 times the regular torque (with a top speed of about 50 mph ) and towing my 4100 lbs Toyota up the hills was a breeze. Never was it so easy to tow heavy loads. More "thumbs up"!

I used this feature also around town and noticed a good drop in coolant temperature - this will help to increase the life of your automatic.


I had no way to monitor the transmission coolant. I just checked the engine coolant.

The automatic transmission fluid is routed through the engine's radiator and is kept at the same temperature.

My notice that the coolant was at a lower temperature when towing in low range as compared to high range, indicates two things:

a. lower transmission fluid temps due to less torque converter activity.

b. lower engine temps due to reduced load ( the 2.64:1 reduction in low range makes it easy for the engine to perform - like the low gears on your mountain bike make you sweat less )

Since the single most serious killer for automatics is heat, the lower temps will keep the automatic happy for a long time.

Mpg, according to the trip computer, did not differ much in high or low range.

Towing up a 11% grade I registered 5.4 mpg in low range and 6.0 mpg in high range.

Using low range brings down mpg and rpm will be up. However, the ML's engine is like a race horse: it loves to run! I can't say that about the J GC's engine.


Mpg comparison ML320 vs Jeep Grand Cherokee 4.0