This non-minivan, non-SUV, non-station wagon is nothing if not a class unto itself. Mercedes classifies it as a crossover but it reps more like a combination of all of the above. Its precise identity is really immaterial however, as the functionality, beauty, and performance of this interesting luxury creature will make you forget that it doesn’t quite know what it is.
19” wheels, power sunroof, 4MATIC all-wheel drive on both versions – gasoline and diesel – and Bluetooth connectivity all add to the allure of this six-passenger transport machine. For the discerning little people in your life, add optional LCD screens on the seatbacks. You could also pump your ride up with improved audio system and keyless start.
Changes for 2012
The engine received a proper upgrade for 2012, bringing in 34 additional horses for the ultimate in chauffeuring performance. The COMAND control system is now standard, allowing for navigation, audio, and more to be customized by the user. LED daytime running lights round out the retooling efforts.
What We Like
Standard AWD can’t be beat for all-weather driving – the errands and activities don’t stop just because it snows. The diesel engine option, along with the roominess of the interior and second-row seating make for major appeal in the R-Class. As for performance, torque off the line in the BlueTEC is impressive, and the handling, braking, and turning radii are all top-notch.
What Concerns Us
Parallel parking can prove a challenge with the considerable size of the Mercedes R-Class, and the hatch is rather angular compared to some of the carmaker’s other models. Other than that, it’s tough to find a whole lot to criticize in this innovative piece of automobile engineering.
The R350 4MATIC comes equipped with a 3.5L V6 offering 258 lb.-ft. of torque, 302 HP, and 16/21 mpg.
The R350 BlueTEC sports a capable 3.0L V6 turbocharged diesel engine with 400 lb.-ft, of torque, 210 HP, and 18/23 mpg.
There are no recalls available for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class.
While satisfaction is high with this vehicle, and there are no consistent, repeated complaints of issues, there is one report of a vehicle stalling out unexpectedly in the middle of travel, even after the engine was replaced.