The Mercedes-Benz M-Class is a luxury mid-size sport utility vehicle (SUV), first offered in 1997 as a 1998 model. The ML-Class was the first luxury SUV to feature electronic stability control, a system designed to detect loss of control and instantaneously intervene with selective braking to bring the vehicle back on its intended course. Furthermore, the ML-Class boasted front- and side-impact airbags with advanced occupant detection for the front passenger seat, which, helped earn the highest marks in insurance industry crash tests. The more powerful ML430 became available with the familiar Mercedes-Benz 4.3-litre V8.
Source: Wikipedia, 2012