The June Consumer Reports has mostly kind words for the Mercedes-Benz ML350 they tested, awarding it 76 points out of a possible 100. (If you insist on buying your next sport-utility vehicle from der Vaterland, the Benz outscored the BMW X5 xDrive35i, or whatever the hell it’s called, by seven points.) To be properly Consumer Reports-y, they had to find some things to grumble about, and most of them are minor, but this one baffled the hell out of me: “The rear-view camera displays an image only when the radio is on.”
Now I admit to having driven only one car an Infiniti G25, for one whole day with a backup camera, and I wasn’t aware that it had one until I actually had to, um, back up, and the image flashed on the little rectangular screen at the top of the stack. And when it did, it overrode everything else on the display.
One is usually safe in assuming that any idiosyncrasies in a Mercedes are somehow safety-related: they want you alive to buy another one, after all. But I can’t figure this one for the life of me, unless they just cheaped out on a connection from the shift lever to the display screen.