2011 Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTec

Matt Tierney

The significance of the 2011 R350 is that it's the first major face-lift for the slow-selling R-class, and the vehicle looks undeniably better. The new styling was intended to make the R-class appear a bit less like a minivan, and that effort has succeeded. The R-class now better resembles its big, successful brother, the GL-class SUV. I've always liked the combination of utility, luxury, and prestige that the R-class provides, but the market didn't agree with me. And although the R350 has a very impressive, very efficient diesel powertrain, I'm not sure the market will respond, especially given the R350's high price. It seems that for those Americans who want to haul more than four or five people in a Mercedes, the GL is what they want. But if that big SUV leaves you cold, by all means, check out the R-class. There's a lot to love here -- just not the monthly payments.

Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor

1 of 7
Great overall "concept" & 22 mpg is actually not bad for a vehicle of this size. But 22 mpg requires diesel has an added cost which is hampered by the porky 5200lb. weight doesn't make this a good value. Plus Mercedes brain dead pricing of 52-68K is just insane as usual. I wouldn't mind getting one of these used if you can find a diesel one.
A friend ferried me and my family to the airport in a previous gen R350 and I was very impressed at just how comfortable, solid, and quiet it was as a passenger. It may not be engaging from the driver's seat, but from the passenger's perspective, it's a fantastic vehicle, which is how minivans should be, IMO. It was quite a bit smaller inside than I expected, though, holding significantly less luggage than our MDX.

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price


new cars

Read Related Articles