Mercedes is readying a mid-cycle refresh for its M-class SUV which is in its final testing phase according to Autocar UK magazine.
The updated M-class will be unveiled next year and is expected to get many design changes to bring it in-line with the current Mercedes design. The new M-class will get a larger and more prominent grille and new family headlight clusters, such as those seen on the new S-class and C-class models.
A similar redesign at the rear will give the facelifted M-class a new, lower rear bumper, which now completely encloses its dual exhausts, alongside updated tail-light clusters.
That look will also put the M-class in line with the upcoming MLC, which is also expected to launch next year. Inspired by the recent Concept Coupé SUV, the MLC is Mercedes' answer to the BMW X6.
New trim and material upgrades to the M-class's interior should help push its premium credentials, while a larger central infotainment screen will come with the latest generation of the German marque's COMAND infotainment system.
The new M-class is also likely to come with the same touch-sensitive controller as the latest Mercedes models, including the new V-class MPV.
While minor economy and emissions tweaks to the M-class's existing range of engines are expected, reports suggest Mercedes could also bring in a new hybrid model to compete against Porsche's Cayenne S E-Hybrid.
Sources also suggest a new version for some markets, dubbed ML400, could replace the ML350 as part of the updated range. That model would use the same 3.0-litre direct-injection V6 petrol engine and have the same 328bhp output as the SL400 luxury sports car.