2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

R350 AWD 4-Dr Minivan V6 auto trans

R350 AWD 4-Dr Minivan V6 auto trans

2011 mercedes-benz r-class Reviews and News

2011 Mercedes Benz R Class Front Three Quarter Promo
The Mercedes-Benz R-class was introduced in 2005 amid high expectations, but sales have been disappointing-particularly recently. In 2009 the Mercedes GL-class SUV outsold the R-class five-to-one, and the M-class outsold it by a factor of nine. Now coming up on the six-year mark, the R-class might be expected to undergo a full redesign, but instead the 2011 model is getting new sheetmetal only from the A-pillar forward, along with minor equipment revisions, and carryover powertrains.
2011 Mercedes Benz R Class Front
While Mercedes product managers are happy to boast that the R-class has the functionality of a minivan-and it does-the designers' goal was to downplay the minivan aspect. "The previous one was more soft-looking, more [like a] minivan," says designer Hubert Lee. "We were trying to give it more of a sporty, SUV/tourer look." To move the R-class from a one-box, minivan profile to more of a two-box, SUV look, Lee and his colleagues from Mercedes' California studio raised the hood, enlarged the grille, and squared off the front end. More angular headlights, a new bumper with low-mounted daytime running lights (available as LEDs), and reshaped fenders complete the front-end makeover. At the rear, redone taillight graphics and a new bumper are supposed to create a more horizontal emphasis. Detail changes elsewhere include new side mirrors and new wheels.
In recent years, the number of R-class variants has dwindled. Rear-wheel-drive has been dropped, as have the V-8-powered offerings-both the 5.0-liter R500 and the AMG version. (The latter has to be one of the rarest, and most unlikely, vehicles ever to come from Mercedes' in-house tuner.) A short-wheelbase variant is sold in other markets, but has never been offered here. The new, 2011 R-class will come in the same two configurations as the 2010 model: R350 4Matic and R350BlueTEC 4Matic.
The gasoline-engine R350 is the volume model, accounting for roughly 95 percent of sales. Its 3.5-liter V-6 makes 268 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. As we know them from elsewhere in the Mercedes lineup, both the engine and gearbox are polished performers, but the V-6 feels fully matched by the R350's 5000 pounds. (Mercedes quotes a 0-to-60-mph time of 8 seconds.) Throttle response is languid, and the hills of northern Westchester County often had the transmission calling for more than one downshift to maintain speed.
It's surprising that so few buyers choose the diesel, because it's the better choice in almost every way. The turbodiesel may be 0.6 second slower to 60 mph on the factory stopwatch, but it's much more responsive in real life with its muscular 400 pound-feet of torque available from a low, 1600 rpm. Uphill grades and small bursts of acceleration are often handled without any downshifting. And, from inside the car at least, the diesel is almost as quiet as the gas engine. Oh, and then there's the fuel economy, where the BlueTEC's 18/24 mpg EPA estimates crush the gasoline V-6's 14/18 mpg figures. Mercedes charges about $1500 more for the R350 BlueTEC, but it seems well worth the premium.
2011 Mercedes Benz R Class Front Seats
The interior of the R-class is largely unchanged. As was the case before, six-passenger seating is standard, and a middle bench seat to replace the standard two buckets is an option, which raises capacity to seven. The third-row seat is adult-habitable, and there's a reasonable 15.2 cubic feet of luggage space with all three rows of seats in use. The 2011 update barely touches the interior-the R-class, for instance, still does not get the excellent multifunction knob controller seen already in the Mercedes sedans.
As you might expect with a family-oriented machine, comfort is a priority over sportiness. The steering is light 'n easy, the suspension is soft-riding (with no Airmatic option to firm things up), and seat cushion's lateral support melts away at the first sign of hard cornering. Available driver aids include blind spot warning (new for 2011), Distronic adaptive cruise control, a back-up camera, park assist, navigation, and keyless ignition-all are optional. Available two-tone color schemes (tan and black or light and dark gray) liven up the interior, where leatherette is standard and leather costs extra.
The new face does have more of a family resemblance to other Mercedes models, but this is hardly a transformative redesign. The hood may be higher, but you still can't see it from the driver's seat. The changes to the R-class might arrest the sales slide, but they're probably not extensive enough to reverse it. Utility buyers needing three rows of seats likely will continue to gravitate to the GL, despite its roughly $10,000 steeper cost of entry; while those who don't need more than five seats will choose the popular M-class. For those Mercedes buyers who do shop the R-class-perhaps because they're looking for maximum seating capacity while avoiding a high-riding SUV-we'd heartily recommend the R350 BlueTEC over its gasoline counterpart.
2011 Mercedes-Benz R-class
2011 Mercedes Benz R Class Front

Base price (estimated): $50,000/$51,000 (R350 BlueTEC
4Matic/R350 4Matic)
On sale: July 2010

Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC 24-valve V-6
Horsepower: 268 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm
Engine: 3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve turbodiesel V-6
Horsepower: 210 hp @ 3800 rpm
Torque: 400 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Drive: 4-wheel
Fuel economy: 14/19 mpg (gasoline), 18/24 mpg (diesel)

L x W x H: 203.1 x 85.4 x 65.4 in
Wheelbase: 126.6 in
Curb weight: 4949/5203 lbs (gasoline/diesel)
Cargo capacity 15.2/42.2/85.0 cu ft (behind third/second/front seats)
2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
The Mercedes R class has a bit of an identity crisis. It can't decide if it's more of a minivan or a station wagon or a crossover vehicle. It has the overall look of a minivan, though it has regular doors in the rear, rather than the sliders that would be more common in a minivan. Still, Mercedes calls it a crossover. While not as roomy as a minivan, it can still carry 6 or 7 passengers all the while eschewing the standard stigma of what is a minivan. The R class rides on the same platform as the M and GL classes, but has a larger wheelbase than either of them.

The R class comes in two trim levels, the R350 bluetec and the R350. Both come with all-wheel drive and a 7 speed automatic transmission. They both carry 6 people, but can carry 7 with the applicable option. The R350 Bluetec is powered by a 210 Hp 3.0 Liter V-6 Turbo Diesel. The R350 is propelled by a 3.6 liter, 268 HP V-6. The R series can tow 5200 lbs.
2012 Mercedes Benz M Class Front Passengers Side Three Quarters View
Earlier this week, Daimler announced it’s investing more than $2 billion USD to increase production capacities of its Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant. That's not surprising, considering the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI) plant will build the next-generation C-Class for the North American market beginning in 2014.
2011 Mercedes Benz R350 Bluetec Hp
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.
2011 Mercedes Benz R350 Bluetec Front Three Quarters
It's a shame the Mercedes-Benz R-class doesn't resonate with the American market. It's a great way to transport four adults and lots of luggage with a touch of class. The second-row bucket seats are a little more comfortable than the bench seating you'd find in a sedan or wagon. With the Bluetec diesel engine, it's rather fuel-efficient and can blast down the highway all day without the need to refuel.
2011 Mercedes Benz R350 Bluetec Rear Three Quarter 2
With apologies to Volkswagen, this is the "first and only minivan with German engineering." Like any minivan, this one has a spacious, versatile interior, but this one is superbly and stylishly finished. It's also dead quiet, to the point that one can barely discern the diesel under the hood. With the windows closed, very little clatter comes though, and power is more than sufficient for a big luxury barge. True, the R-class isn't particularly agile, but it's still unmistakably German in the solidity of its ride. Call me crazy, but I also like the way it looks -- upscale and assertive but not butch. The R-class's misfortune derives from its position in the Mercedes lineup, sandwiched between the cheaper, 5-seat ML-class and the much more masculine looking GL-class.
2011 Mercedes Benz R350 Bluetec Wheels
This is certainly a nice vehicle for hauling around the family, and if I had a few extra ten-thousand-dollar bills lying around, it might enter the discussion, but realistically this car doesn't REALLY perform exceptionally enough in any one area to make it truly desirable to me. It's not as functional as a minivan, yet it feels every bit as ponderous as a big SUV. I think this new restyled version is much more attractive overall than it's predecessor, yet I can't really point to any particular reason why...so, it's not scoring enough style points with me either.
2011 Mercedes Benz R350 Bluetec Side
No, 18/24 mpg (city/highway) isn't all that stellar at first glance, but keep in mind this is a 5280-pound, seven-passenger, all-wheel-drive vehicle capable of towing 3500 pounds, and it is loaded with virtually every convenience shy of a wet bar. That isn't all that bad, and seeing as my commute consists primarily of highway driving, I could have piloted this R-Class to and from work for a week or two before needing a refill of diesel. I'd also be able to carry friends and family around with ease-the second-row legroom is nearly identical to that of the legendary 600 sedan (36 inches), although that figure drops to 32.4 inches for those riding in the third row.
2011 Mercedes Benz R350 Bluetec Badge
The R-class's face-lift definitely makes it blend better with the rest of the M-B lineup, although this type of vehicle is still an anomaly for the brand. That said, it's a very capable people hauler, especially for minivan-resisters who crave some luxury and badge prestige. The rear doors are very large and make ingress and egress incredibly easy, especially for loading small children. Those doors have nothing on a minivan's sliders, though, for both practicality and convenience, particularly in the tight quarters of a parking lot.
2011 Mercedes Benz R350 Bluetec Side 2
2011 Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTec
2011 Mercedes Benz R350 Bluetec Front Three Quarters
Bucking the trend that affected the makers of lower-cost and generally more fuel-efficient vehicles, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW all posted year-over-year sales gains for the month of August. Mercedes-Benz and Audi had sales increases of 15 and 14 percent, respectively. BMW increased sales by 1.6 percent.

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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
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R350 AWD 4-Dr Minivan V6
15 MPG City | 19 MPG Hwy
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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
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15 MPG City | 19 MPG Hwy
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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
R350 AWD 4-Dr Minivan V6
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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.5L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
15 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
19 MPG
268 hp @ 6000rpm
258 ft lb of torque @ 2400rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer
  • DVD
  • Navigation (optional)
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
Unlimited miles / 999 months
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated

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