• Oct 27, 2008
The R-Class won a design award, went on tour with the Rolling Stones, was dropped in price, and still sold so poorly that Mercedes admitted the car was a failure. Yet M-B head man Dieter Zetsche said the car isn't going away, so as one does with continuing product, the R-Class is getting some face and tail work done. Those who whisper about such things indicate that the car will end up looking more like the B-Class. We're not sure that will help it, since it looks much like the B-Class already and that car isn't exactly a looker, either. We think the R might be better served if Mercedes could explain why anyone should choose it over the E-Class wagon or GL-Class SUVs... and when the GLK arrives, well, good luck to you, R-Class.
[Source: Global Motors]


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  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Another R-Class supporter chiming in. I've spent many hours driving and riding in both the R500 and R320CDI, and I think it's a great vehicle for those who want the utility of a minivan, but don't mind spending a premium for something more luxurious.

      I agree with Andrew's post above, that the R-Class was released ahead of its time. I'd be surprised if the people who talk so negatively about the R-Class have actually spent more than a few minutes inside one, let alone driven one. This is probably the most comfortable vehicle I've driven that seats more than five, especially on long-distance highway trips.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Just saw one two days ago sitting in a parking lot next to a last generation front drive Taurus. Looked at the Merc, wondered what small car it was parked next to, realized it was a Taurus and thought about how big the Ford really is.

      Why is the world is the R-Class that big? It looks like it should seat ten, but it doesn't.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "...explain why anyone should choose it over the E-Class wagon or GL-Class SUVs..."

      It's preferable to the E-wagon because it seats seven without a rear-facing barf bench. We had fun in the back of our parents' Olds Cutlass Cruiser wagon, but I'd much rather have my kids facing forward (and give them A/C vents). Also the E wagon has no CDI available. R320 CDI gets 18/24 while E350 gets 16/21. Not to mention the E still has a 5-speed auto while the R gets the new 7-speed. And finally, the R320 CDI is about $10,000 less expensive than the E350 wagon. Seems to me like a whole lot more car for a lot less money. Not to say more is always better. If I only needed to seat 3-4 people, the E wagon would be great. More fun to drive, probably better resale value. Maybe E63 AMG wagon, that thing is sweet. But for larger families, the R is more practical and a better value.

      As for the GL, again, the R is less expensive. The R also has more cargo space (by 2 cu. ft. with all seats folded, or 1 cu. ft. with all seats up). Perhaps most importantly, there are a lot of people who just don't like the image of SUV's any more. While the R is slightly longer and wider than the GL, it rides lower, and gets off a a minivan or crossover instead of a Earth destroying SUV. Personally I really dig the GL, but crossovers are clearly more socially acceptable. Unless you're really going off road, the R with its standard AWD should be perfectly adequate for winter weather.

      I'll probably get ridiculed for this, but I think the R-class was ahead of its time and may be in for a resurgence soon. I've always been drawn to less common vehicles, and I think the R320 CDI would be a great family vehicle (if I didn't need the cargo space and towing capacity of our Suburban).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Couldn't have said it better myself. I've got an '07 R320 CDI which is the ideal hauler for my family. Price was good due in part to its unpopularity, but it's nice to have something unusual and I don't plan on trading it in for a long while.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hate having to be the one who tells you Mercedes but it needs a lot, and I mean a lot more than a face lift.
        • 6 Years Ago
        once you get inside you realize that you can put up with the exterior.

        but, you're right the outside does need a lot more than just a face lift
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have friends who have 3 kids. They got one of these (an R350 4matic) this past summer. It has middle row captains seats, DVD, Pano Roof. They got a screaming deal (it was slightly more a Honda Pilot) At 6 ft tall I can ride comfortably in the 3rd row for hours at a time. It may not be great looking from outside but when you are inside it is fantastic. It is a great family hauler.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I too got the super deal on this machine. Of course the GL is better but I still have over $20,000 still sitting in the bank with this vehicle. I am a car guy but also like a bargin. It drives well and the kids have plenty of room. It is the same problem of having a mini-van. No one likes them but if you need the space it limits your options.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Long live the Pacifica

      Jason
      • 6 Years Ago
      Pride goeth before a fall.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have no kids and would probably never need one, but I'm also an R-class fan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For those hating on the looks: I don't know what you're complaining about

      This thing has WAY better proportions (like an actual wagon) than an awkward jacked-up "crossover". Plus, for those who care what others think about them (I don't), a crossover is the new minivan.

      Ditch that soccer-mom cuv image, get a sportwagon / R Class!
      • 6 Years Ago
      wait, this thing isn't canned yet?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Just found it: In 2007 only 13,031 vehicles were sold worldwide. Ouch.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Bring back the R63!
      • 6 Years Ago
      It was a nice concept, so it's sad that it didn't sell well.
      I'm surprised they're keeping it alive after admitting its failure (something German companies don't do very often ( VW Phaeton )).
        • 6 Years Ago
        I have to agree, the haters that started chiming in, don't either understand the concept of this vehicle or are at that age where something this pratical is boring or somehow less of a vehicle. I have an R350 Saks Edition. We traded our 2007 Honda Odyssey Touring in for it. Now that was a minivan and was really boring and not fun to drive. The R class is fun to drive, sport pkg, 19" H rated tires, plus way more luxurious, and bonus AWD. Ours has the airmatic suspension, Alcantara/Leather seats 4 heated seats, Pano roof, HK sound, etc..loaded. You cannot beat the the luxury or class of the this vehicle for the current prices. My wife loves it and I have to admit I think it's very cool too. This vehicle is the first true crossover vehicle and IS way ahead of it's time. Hopefully it will be discovered by more people before MB gives it the axe, but I really don't care what other people do or think.
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