Mercedes is putting a lot of weight behind the new R-Class packaging: a minivan for adults. MB has quoted the price of the V-6 powered R350 under $50,000, which isn't cheap. So what do you get for that price: A car that Mercedes wants you to see as having the best of all SUV, luxury wagon and sports sedan.

Mercedes Benz R-Class

Let?s put it in perspective. The R-Class is big. The wagon is 5 inches longer than the full-size Cadillac Escalade truck, giving the R class-leading third row room.

Mercedes Benz R-Class

All R-Class vehicles will come with a seven-speed automatic transmission and full-time 4MATIC four-wheel drive. The R350 has a 3.5-liter aluminum V-6 that produces 268 horsepower and 258 ft-pounds for torque.

Upgrade to the R500 to boost power to 302 hp/339 lb-ft of torque. The R500 also get 18-inch wheels, heated seats, silver grille, exterior chrome accents and burl walnut interior trim. An AMG Sport Package will also be available when the cars come to the market.

Mercedes Benz R-Class

Front passengers are protects by dual-stage frontal air bags and all passengers are protected with a roof rail-mounted curtain airbags.

The Wall Street Journal places the R-Class in a new ?Adult Social Vehicle? class with the only other obvious member another DaimlerChrysler product, the Chrysler Pacifica.

Mercedes Benz R-Class

I still haven?t warmed up to the look, even after spending time in and around them at the auto show. The Pacifica has found a niche, only after a lower price version was brought to market. It still remains to be seen whether the U.S. will warm up the much more expensive Mercedes take on the six-passenger wagon scene.

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