• May 3, 2007

Perhaps more R Classes will roll off dealer lots if only the rear wheels push the car, instead of all four. Auto Telegraaf reports that Mercedes will soon build the base R Class with RWD as standard, and will lower the price in a bid to change the SUV's fortunes.

As everyone is aware, the 4-matic Mercedes R-Class has not met with the success Mercedes expected of it. The car's massive interior is well-appointed, so the R Class' problems seem mostly due to style and price. An R 500 costs more than the much better looking ML 500, and only a bit less than the much better looking GL 450. Mercedes touts the Grand Sport Tourer's driving dynamics, but how many R Class buyers are looking for premium driving prowess in a people-mover that looks as unsporting as the R? On that note, the newer, less expensive R will come in for revised styling. The R will also have access to the 5.5-liter V8, but there's no word on which engines will go with the RWD models.

[Source: Motor Authority]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I do think getting a new drive configuration won't really help sales... Who was like, "well, I wanted an R-class but it's not a TRUE performance machine, maybe if it had RWD..."
      • 7 Years Ago
      MB should make a D-1 team with that baby. Like the RWD converted previas, it's a drifting jellybean baby!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe they can do something with those horrible headlights. They look like prototype headlights, just slapped on and plugged in.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I always like the idea of drifting a van.

      • 7 Years Ago
      The R Class is embarrassing, for Mercedes and for people that buy them. There was absolutely NO reason for MB to bring this thing to the US.

      And whoever said it looks good in person, um, no, it doesn't. Everytime I see one it reminds me of a manatee. That's a bad thing. And judging by how many I've seen on the road, it looks like it's an endangered species, also like a manatee.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I may be a bit wacky, but the R63 is a bit of a fantasy car for me. It reminds me of the Renault Espace F1 concept from some time back. 4.6 seconds to 60 in a minivan? Yes, please! That said, a RWD diesel R-class would make a pretty sensible choice, a would probably leave enough spare change to buy a proper sports car for when the kids are at school.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm a Mercedes fan,but I can't make myself like this thing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It has taken the Germans 9 years (ML intro in '98) to figure out that many if not most Americans have no need nor desire to have 4wd. SUV's have been bought merely to avoid minivans and frumpy station wagons. Sure up north 4wd abounds, but get out of the frost belt and most American SUV's are 2wd and many of the Japanese are also 2wd. For reasons only known to MB and BMW they have chosen impose a $2k penalty on their own SUV sales. For a hint look at the penetration of 4wd sales in their sedan models where it is offered. In Texas it is rare to see a 4wd sedan or SW from MB or BMW except where it is mandatory. I would have far preferred to have a 2wd ML and enjoyed a lower purchase price and a couple of mpg if it had been offered.

      The promise of a 2wd R320 with 30 mpg would find me first in line to buy one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Perhaps the real problem with the R Class is that it's ridiculously ugly. Who wants to drive away in that clown car with such amazing Benz options on the rest of the dealer lot?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nobody wants a $70k minivan.........and they are surprised!?!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The only flavor the R-Class needs to come in is ... canned. Killed. Dead.
      • 7 Years Ago
      here locally they are leasing for $349 a month for 27 months with $2500 out of pocket. That makes for a nice alternative to other family vehicles.
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