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  #1  
Old 01-25-2010, 12:28 PM
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R-Class thoughts?

Are there any R-class owners here? I am considering trading in my wife's Volvo V70 Cross Country for an R350. Other than the controversial mini-van styling, I would be interested in hearing any thoughts.

One question I can't really seem to find an answer to - do they 2nd row seats fold flat?
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2010, 02:00 PM
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I considered an R350 about a year ago or so. There were some troubling teething issues at the time, most notably the rear liftgate (not a deal breaker for me) and the 7-speed tranny (more important). I decided to pass, but may consider one again in the future.

In the model I test drove with my family, the 2nd-row didn't fold flat. The newer versions have 3 seating positions in the 2nd row; I don't know if those seats fold flat, but I don't see how they would.

Overall, I really really liked the vehicle but was put off by all the tranny issues I was reading about.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2010, 02:06 PM
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huh?
 
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Edmond's did a long-term test review of an R class, you might find more information on that site. I remember them complaining about the length of the rear doors, which made ingress/egress difficult in tighter parking situations.
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2010, 02:10 PM
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They are the answer to a question nobody asked.

Mercedes Benz build quality, reliability and durability, and hyper complexity, are problems that are still bad, according to second hand sources I have heard from (The actual Mercedes Benz technicians that actually FIX them at the dealers in Southern California).

They say these new Mercedes cars are junk, garbage and crap and would NEVER, ever, buy one. EVEN TODAY, the brand new ones are pieces of crap, they SPECIFICALLY said. wow!!!

Who better than the dealer techs who put hands on them daily to fix hem, would know this?

I would think fixing the Volvo wagon would make more sense, based on what I heard, though those FWD ones do have problems, too, sometimes. I love the old 740, 940, and 960 rear wheel drive Volvo wagons a LOT. I almost bought a new 960 back in 1996 but the 560SEC seduced me out of my $40,000 new car budget back then - and here I am today with it.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2010, 02:52 PM
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Don't think Mercedes here, think Chrysler Pacifica re-badged as Mercedes R class unless you are going for R500.
Enough said.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2010, 03:11 PM
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Not owned one, but one time my E300 was in the shop for two days and I was given an R class as a loaner. The main issue I had that was very frustrating was the location of the sun visors. Due to the rake of the wind screen the visors are back a ways. It was sunny when I drove it and had the visor down. It just felt like the visor was right in my forehead.
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2010, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sd300td View Post
Edmond's did a long-term test review of an R class, you might find more information on that site. I remember them complaining about the length of the rear doors, which made ingress/egress difficult in tighter parking situations.
That's not really a legitimate complaint, as just about any coupe has huge doors.....
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2010, 10:37 PM
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Thanks everyone. I went and looked at it tonight. At 4500 pounds it's slow off the line, but it drives well and the interior is quite large. The panoramic sunroof was a nice touch.

The dealer mis-labeled it as having airmatic then gave a lame excuse why it didn't, plus we could not agree on price. I have widened my search to include the ML class and have a few more to look at tomorrow.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2010, 10:42 PM
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The GL is much more popular; my R320 has been a nice ride, but the liftgate is currently not working. 4matic helps with our snowy roads here, but it is not a fast seller, so resale value is poor. My wife's Honda Odyssey is very nice, and cost 20K less. I do get more miles per tank. It does look way more cool than most minivans, IMO.
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2010, 06:19 AM
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I think the liftgate issues spanned all ML, R and GL-class models in the 05-07 era. My former 07 ML350 was trouble free except for the frequent trips to the dealership to tweak the liftgate...and the problem worsened in colder weather.

My 09 doesn't seem to be plagued with liftgate issues though.

I took an R350 home one weekend prior to ultimately choosing the former 07 ML. Roomy and a real comfort to drive, great for long extended trips. Long snout made it tough to squeeze in the garage, and the large side door is not simply a perception!!!

But as someone else already quipped, it's Mercedes' answer to a question nobody asked...
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2010, 09:33 PM
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If you think the R350 is slow off the line, try an R320. The low end torque (398 lb-ft) is addictive.
I was actually hoping that Mercedes would build a diesel wagon for US sale, but the closest I could get was the R320.
Also it's not a vehicle you see every day and it is very roomy for a larger person such as me. I did not fit well in the previous E-class, and the R class seems a bit roomier than even the current S-class.
They are definitely a niche item... a Mercedes for minivan customers.
Odd how VW re-badged the Dodge Caravan in the form of the Routan but MB started with a clean sheet of paper design.
As for the suggestion that the R-class is like the Pacifica; I would offer that the Pacifica is smaller and harder to get into... I definitely do not fit into a Pacifica. So, yes the R-class has a bigger door.
One of the car magazines claimed that the R lowered people's pulse by a point or two....
Also on Motorweek on Speed they rated the R320 the 6th meanest vehicle in terms of some environmental rating, with a 10 mpg Lamborghini in first place
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2010, 10:54 AM
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thorsen - I looked at an R350 briefly when we were considering a new car. We needed room for the kids and towing capacity if possible (boat). I mused over the R briefly, but went over to the GL quite quickly.

The GL has more usable room, the R is lower inside and not as functional, IMO. The engine options for the GL were better, and the diesel option is a huge plus, IMO. Although as Robert pointed out, there is the R320.

As to the comment about new MBs being crap, I wouldn't give it much credit. They are very advanced cars with a dizzying array of features and technology. They will require far more maintenance and cost than a simpler car, that is just something one has to factor into the cost of owning one, IMO. The days of simple, bullet-proof tanks are likely over.

Many dissed the W210s heavily (and there were definitely some justified compaints with this model run) however, they have proven to be far more reliable than originally thought. We have two in the family, both going strong at (or over) 200,000 Km.

Our GL has 60,000 Km on it and it is a fine vehicle thus far. It has had some small issues, but nothing drastic. One DVD LCD screen cabling required replacement, coin tray won't stay closed, liftgate sensor too aggressive, camshaft sprocket - all have been fixed under warranty.

Good luck with whatever you go with!
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2010, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. Since I looked at the R350 Monday night I have looked at an ML350 (it was just like my old ML320) and a Subaru B9 Tribeca (uncomfortable seats, but the acceleration was quick). Every car we have looked at gets compared to the R350.

There are still a few more to look at before I pull the trigger.
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  #14  
Old 01-27-2010, 09:57 PM
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One good thing about the R being such a slow seller is that the dealer *should* be willing to deal. When I bought mine back in May of 2007 they were offering
0.9% financing.... I've seen $10K off posted on some R's at our local dealer, although there a not a lot of them on the lots; perhaps MB scaled back production.. ?
I like not seeing myself on the roads every day, and I like the roominess. I do not like the finicky tailgate.....
I really bought mine more for the diesel engine than anything; I love that low end grunt that pushes me back in my seat, and it's nice to get 29 mpg when I'm not driving like a maniac. Mid 20's in mixed driving road trip adventures. Kind of like an S-class wagon...
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