A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class BlueTEC

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The R-Class isn’t a minivan. It’s not a station wagon either – though it bears the slight air of one. Mercedes deems it a crossover, and that may be the closest appropriate designation but it’s not an exact match for the category either. What is it? For one thing, it’s large – 17’ long and 6.5’ wide. For that size, however, you do get considerable cargo space compared to other crossovers and adding a third row bench instead of chairs makes it a 7-seater. For those who want the prestige of the MB name along with space for equipment and people, this vehicle fits the bill and the BlueTEC trim offers the added benefit of a diesel engine.

Key Features

The R is outfitted with all the standards you’d expect from a Benz – Bluetooth connectivity, 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, dual zone climate control, and the COMAND control center (albeit not the latest and greatest). Premium 1 trim nets you a power liftgate, USB/iPod connectivity and more. Premium 2 adds a few more perks like an 11-speaker Harman Kardon audio package. BlueTEC comes with run-flat tires standard.

Changes for 2012

The gasoline version got a new engine and they both received upgrades in the COMAND center with the addition of traffic, weather, and other real-time info.

What We Like

The 85 cubic feet of cargo space (with second and third row seats folded) is a big boon to this unique car. It handles beautifully on turns and the interior is roomy and comfortable. The improved fuel economy and the good pickup from the added torque make the BlueTEC diesel an attractive choice.

What Concerns Us

It’s big. There are no sliding doors, which means that parking and actually getting out without hitting the car next to you could prove challenging. The electronics interface is outdated as well.

Available Models

The R-Class BlueTEC 4MATIC comes with a 3.0L V6 turbocharged diesel engine that offers 400 lb.-ft. of torque, 210 HP, and 18/23 mpg.

Major Recalls

There are no recalls available for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class BlueTEC.

Common Issues

Consumer ratings are high for this vehicle and there is almost a total lack of complaints to be found. There is one online report of an owner who experienced the vehicle stalling in the middle of travel, which continued even after the dealership replaced the engine, however it is unclear whether this incident involved the gasoline or diesel version of the R-Class.

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