Efficiency, capability and safety form the trinity of traits touted in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class. And weirdly, there’s the option of kitting out this all-wheel-driver with off-roading equipment, because, ya’ know, there’s some tricky terrain that drops down from Rodeo Drive to Pacific Coast Highway. This is now generation three for the Alabama-made SUV, where seating shrinks from five to four, but build quality is said to have risen. Propulsion comes from either a 3.5-liter V6 that turns gasoline into 306 hp or one of M-B’s Bluetec clean-diesel engines sporting a punchy 457 lb-ft. An AMG V8 version and a hybrid are in the pipeline.