2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

The Mercedes 2011 R-Class made its world premiere at the New York Motor in 2010. It's time to take a look at this excellent crossover. The R-Class has all the quality that you expect from a Mercedes executive sedan and all the features of a luxury SUV. The R-Class is the most sporty and versatile crossover on the market today. If you are looking for a vehicle capable of performing well as a large family car with comfort, style and true sporting pedigree then there are not a lot of options.

Performance

Completely redesigned for 2011. The R300 CDI which I test drove was refined and powerful. The 2011 R-Class Complies with the world’s most stringent emission regulations. Worldwide demand is increasing for luxury SUV's that are clean to run. The Mercedes goes some way to fulfilling that demand. Whilst a large engine SUV is never going to be the most economical car on the road, it does perform well for its class in terms of CO2 emissions. The 202 horsepower diesel engine achieves 24mpg on the highway and 500 miles on a single tank of diesel.

The R-Class feels a little large and bulky around city centers but once it is on the highway it suddenly makes a lot more sense. The R-Class excels as a highway cruiser. It eats up the miles in comfort and you arrive feeling fresh and relaxed. I have not tried the R-Class in any serious off road conditions to test the 4 wheel drive capabilities but when presented with mild off road conditions it copes well. I suspect that is all the R-Class is designed to cope with and it does its job well.

Interior & Exterior

The interior styling is typical Mercedes-Benz. It screams quality and sophistication and is a wonderful place to be. The interior of a car is always massively important to me. It is after all, the place where you will experience the car from so is far more important that exterior looks for me. Mercedes always performs well here. Again they have achieved class leading comfort for all 7 passengers and the driver. The exterior look is stylish and sporty. The German styling is again typical Mercedes. No other car in this class looks this good.

Safety

No crash test data is available for the new R-Class yet but if you look at the excellent performance of recent Mercedes then it is hard to imagine it performing badly at all. Mercedes cars usually score 5 stars in crash tests and judging by the amount of safety equipment and features present I predict that the R-Class will also.

The Competition

The major competitors for the R-Class are mainly German crossovers. The BMW X6 (MSRP $58,900; 16 city / 23 hwy) is a good car but rear head room is restricted so it loses out to the R-Class for passenger comfort. Some people are fans of the Porsche Cayenne but it is very expensive to run and has a firm ride. The most serious competitor for the Mercedes is the Audi Q7 (MSRP $46,250) which is an outstanding car. It runs the R-Class very close but the interior of the R-Class and general felling of sophistication makes the R-Class the winner for me.

The strength of the R-Class is that it provides so many good things in one package. If you are looking for one car that does it all you won't find any better than an R-Class.

Pros & Cons

Leads it class with luxury and seats 6 people comfortably. It is excellent in safety performance. It can feel bulky around the town.

Overall Rating
79 out of 100

What others say:

“We're not surprised that a number of livery companies have ordered R-Class models. The 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class has seating that adults are bound to find comfortable, no matter which row they're in, though cargo versatility suffers slightly for it.”Car Connection

“R-Class acts more like a station wagon than an SUV. The steering is impressively linear and accurate, though some drivers may prefer a weightier feel. R-Class corners with impressive grip and balance with no excess body lean. Stopping control is strong.”Consumer Guide

“The Mercedes-Benz R-Class is a hard vehicle to classify. It has the size of an SUV, the looks of a minivan and the carlike unibody structure of a crossover. But it's not really any of them. It's roomier than your typical crossover, doesn't have sliding side doors like a minivan, and drives like a car, not a wonky SUV.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Long rear doors are a hassle in parking lots; lack of torque and fuel economy from gasoline V6; fussy COMAND interface; pricey for what is essentially a glorified minivan.”Edmunds

“If you can't quite stand the thought of owning a minivan but require an abundance of space and functionality, the R-Class is a winner.”KBB

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Wagon Crossover Base Price: $52,690.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.1 gallons (80 liters) MPG: 16 city / 21 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 203 in. (515.6 cm) Wheel Base: 126.6 in. (321.5 cm)
Height: 65.4 in. (166 cm) Width: 85.4 in. (216.9 cm)
Curb Weight: 4960 lbs (2250 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.8 in. (14.7 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 15.2 cu ft Maximum Seating: 6 people
Performance
Engine: 3.5L DOHC V6 Displacement: 3498 cc
Horsepower: 302 HP Max RPM: 6500 RPM
Torque: 273 lb-ft @ 3500-5250 rpm Transmission: 7-Speed 4Matic
0-60 mph: 8.2 seconds Max Towing Capacity: 3500 lbs (1587 kgs)
Available Trims & Engine
Option:R350 BlueTEC Crossover V6 TurboDiesel MSRP: $53,480; MPG: 18 city / 23 hwy