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Mercedes-Benz R-Class

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Comments

  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    R class is a bit bigger. V6 R class is 4800 lbs. Odyssey is 4400 lbs.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    My advice is don't buy the R class in Black unless you own a Funeral Home. Otherwise I think our Pewter version with macademia interior is a mean looking machine.

    I agree, it does look better in lighter colors. Black makes it look too "formal" imo. The only R I'd want in Black in the R63. Hopefully Mercedes will do the right thing and make that killer Grey on the R63 concept available on all R-Classes.

    M
  • Somewhat of a cross between a 1980's hearse and a Civic hatchback from the early 90's, if you ask me.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    This what I can't get out of my mind:

    image

    image
  • 16/21 is not good for any vehicle unless it is an M1Abrams tank. Don't worry I have plenty of money, but for a family hauler 16/21 really does not cut it. R63, you guys have got to be kidding. As they say in Car mag, that is the answer to a question no one asked.
    Driving dynamics in a car this size, 500 hp-if it makes sense to you go for it. One poster was absolutely right Lexus, BMW, and all the rest will have their versions of this minivan out in 1-3 years, and just like the original ML they will be superior to this minivan.
    However for 70,000$ the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna shouldn't be better equipped. I really wanted to like the R class because I wanted to coddle myself and my family on our many long road trips. The R class is not 30,000 better than the aforementioned minivans. The materials in the R class aren't as good as the S, but yet Mercedes wants to charge me the same price. Can' t do it. Get a rear view camera, better leather, better materials, better and easier nav system, better ergonomic layout, bluetooth, then, like the S I will consider it worth the money.
  • djagdjag Posts: 39
    Hey the Pacifica has Bluetooth and Sirius.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    I just saw the R class in person and wasn't that impressed with the overall looks.

    The vibe just throws off mini, or maybe maxi, "van". It just doesn't look cool to me and justify a 60-70k price tag. Even the pimped out AMG version doesn't look right to me. The swoopy side styling ala Cadillac and back window treatments don't look very appealing.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    Over-promised and Under-delivered. I don't think production is going to have any problems with keeping up on the demand side. ;)
  • sam818sam818 Posts: 127
    I like the car.. there are only a few changes or modifications that would make it superb:
    1. Front end... just doesn't work.. too bug-eyed.. needs to be more like the rest of the Merc line.
    2. Lack of cooled/ventilated seats (am I correct on this?)
    3. Bluetooth
    4. Rearview camera
    5. Dash too "Japanese" looking, especially the center stack.. needs to take a lesson from Range Rover here.
    5. Better wood choices.... again.. look to Range Rover matt finish cherry
    6. Option to eliminate the 3rd row of seats... would make for a better load area for those that don't need the seats
    7. Soft power close for the large side doors
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Supposedly some of those features are coming for the 2007 model along with the new 382hp V8 from the 2007 S500. Not sure if there will be a 335hp R450, but around this time next year there will be a R320 CDI.

    That is a good list of things though and I'm surprised they aren't present. I too like the R and think its a good concept in need of some fine tunning.

    For some reason, none of the U.S. built Mercedes "feel" like the German built ones. The R and M feel and look like they were built to a price and more importantly ease of assembly. I've read where Mercedes supposedly brought over many of the same suppliers they use for their German built vehicles, but the materials and interior design don't have the same seamlessly intergrated feel and cohesiveness of design that other similarly priced Mercedes like the E, or CLS have.

    As crazy as I am about Mercedes, they have somes some work yet to do on their non-car products. There is no way this new upcoming GL is going to match the Land Rover Range Rover in the interior department - if the M/R are any indication. It would be nice to have a S-Class level interior on the new GL, but I seriously doubt that unless they build it "over there".

    M
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    "The R and M feel and look like they were built to a price and more importantly ease of assembly"...

    I'm a huge MB fan and believe if a vehicle sharing the platform of a lower priced ML can't be "built to a price" in the $60-70K range and knock your socks off, then something else in the equation is missing. Not that the R is anything to sneeze at :)

    I find that the E500 Estate better answers the motoring question that the R is now attempting to answer. Sure, the R transports people nicely, but so do their sedans/estates. Maybe the market will verge away from the ML and toward the R... who knows?

    Just want to see MB deliver what built their brand in the 1st place. Don't lose focus and make no excuses when it comes to engineering excellence!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm a huge MB fan and believe if a vehicle sharing the platform of a lower priced ML can't be "built to a price" in the $60-70K range and knock your socks off, then something else in the equation is missing. Not that the R is anything to sneeze at

    I agree that the R is a not a bad product, but it could be a lot better. I don't think it has anything to do with the platform, its the smaller things - details that are off when compared to Mercedes' cars.

    The interiors are nice, but not as nice as Mercedes cars of similar prices. The R/M seem as if they're built for ease of assembly like American cars are (or were in some rare cases). Also the design of the interior is less inspired than say the E or CLS.

    M
  • albellalbell Posts: 185
    As an owner of the current and previous editions of the E-Class "estate" (I just can't understand the US phobia of the W-word), I will be interested to see how the R-Class sells. For me, while I would love a bit more room and forward-facing jump seats, I believe, the E-Class wagon is one of the most versatile and enjoyable vehicles on the market, especially the W211 platform. It's cargo hold is similar or better than most SUV's and its an infinitely more enjoyable driving experience (and more so that I average 26 mpg or better on the highway.)

    Personally, I think that the timing of the R-Class introduction in the midst of the gasoline spike is unfortunate for MB. I find it irritating what the media and others say about luxury car owners not caring about the price of gas, 'cause we're so rich. :P. I am sure that it will have an impact on sales, at least until the price stabilizes,no matter how much dinero we have to burn (hah.)

    Bring on the B-Class!!
  • Hi Mark!

    My original post of my impressions of the R 350 test drive were not designed to hurt or insult. Just as any writer or reviewer of any product would like to express an honest opinion regarding their impressions.

    If you enjoy your new R class vehicle (as you should)- then more power to you.

    If you read my review carefully, you'll find that I had almost an equal amount of moderately critical stuff to say about the Pacifica as well as the R class.

    Both vehicles aree excellent products by any standard, and I think we're all striving to find the "perfect" vehicle (which of course does not really exist).

    I have a few comments about your post however, and please don't take these the wrong way.

    Despite the long and mostly impressive history of Mercedes benz and Daimler. they have been known to produce a few less than stellar vehicles. The first generation M class is one example of mediocrity, suspect build quality, and poor reliability. ( The current new generation M is a major improvement.)

    Having a classy name is not always a guarantee of of a superior vehicle.

    Chrysler products have seen a real improvement in the driving, handling and build quality of their newer products (such as the Pacifica) ever since Daimler took over. Daimler's know how and chassis expertise has definitely filtered down to the new Pacifica, 300/magnum/Charger, and even the Durango and Grand Cherokee. All these vehicles are pretty impressive now, especially when you consider how reasonably priced they are.

    Mark, have you ever driven the Pacifica? or 300 RT w/ hemi?

    I have, and I was favorably impressed.

    I think you would be pleasantly surprised.

    Recently, the vaunted NY Times reviewed the Chrysler 300 SRT 8 and said it was every bit as good as a an E Class AMG product that cost a good 30-40K more.

    To me there still is a correlation between price and value.

    Maybe the R class is a better overall vehicle than the Pacifica, but how do YOU quantify how much more vehicle it really is when they are so similar.

    I ask you Mark, IS the R 500 really worth FORTY THOUSAND dollars more than a well equipped Pacifica?

    Obviously you feel the vehicle is worth the money and I am not trying to put down your feelings or your new car (van?), but don't you look for value for your money when you buy most anything?

    One last item- you mentioned that the R-class is a german-built product. I was under the impression that the R-class was built in Alabama- am I wrong?

    If you meant "german-designed" product, well the Pacifica was a german-designed product as well.

    By the way, I also own a BMW X-3 which I enjoy driving and is superior in many ways to other smaller SUVs- but I think it is also overpriced by about $5-7K.
    (But not $40K)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Recently, the vaunted NY Times reviewed the Chrysler 300 SRT 8 and said it was every bit as good as a an E Class AMG product that cost a good 30-40K more.

    That is why a non-automotive publication like the NYT should stick to reporting news and not trying to act like they know cars. The 300C SRT-8 is a very good car, but it isn't a E55 AMG. Does it provide a similar experience? Yes. Does it provide much of the same performance? Yes. Does it have as good a ride or is it built as well? No and no.

    Is the price difference between a R500 and a Pacifica really 40K?

    M
  • markc5markc5 Posts: 19
    The R class is built in Alabama but is no more an American product than the X-3 which you drive which is built in Spartanburg SC. These are through and through German Cars built in a German designed factory in the USA. Fortunately for our economy. I have not driven the Pacifica because I never liked the styling of that car. You may say it looks similar to the R class but I dont think so. And maybe I have fallen victim to my own ego but I believe a mercedes product is ultimately much classier in design and ultimately in function and longevity. Is the R Class worth 40K more than a Pacifica maybe not but If you can afford it and you like it what the heck. Again it is one of those things why drive a BMW X3 when you could get a well equipped KIA or Hyundai or the like for much better value for your money. Answer it is not always about the value and the money it is about percieved status, reputation of the car company, and ultimately (if you purchase the car which I did not I leased) the long term value of the car and resale or trade in value which I have to believe is better with a mercedes So raise a glass to the R series and i hope more people share my opinion on it than share yours.
  • chirpchirp Posts: 194
    It's here!

    Once again, I am a MB driver and drive a C32 AMG which has been a hoot and I prolly overpaid for it like all my other cars (including Chryslers, Porsche, Fords, GM...). I was on the PR train regarding the R-class all of the way through the process and my PERSONAL feeling is it's ugly, period. I had high hopes after all the hype and my hopes are shot. That's ME talking with regards to my personal feelings and I commend MB for having the skill and vision (remember it carried that monicker for awhile) to produce this vehicle. I also commend all of those who find that this van/suv/people-hauler meets their needs and buys one!

    I like the new M class design and once again that is more than likely going to be my next ride. I'm 50 and was looking for something to haul around the family, dog, clients, etc., but I can't see that thing in my driveway. For what it's worth, I'm not a fan of the Pacifica either and thought the R-class would be the bomb! It just isn't working for me. Sorry!
  • I think many of us who are posting on this forum, really wanted to like this vehicle. It seemed in its gestation to be a perfect luxurious family hauler. A minivan for the well off (or those who spend like they are). My experience is that physically the layout is excellent, but old Mercedes issues are present when they did not need to be. Why, when starting from scratch does this minivan not have a rear view camera, when MB is willing to throw one on the next S class. Why does it not have bluetooth, instead of their infuriatingly restricted telecom choice. Why is the interior not the same quality as the cheaper E, frankly since it is brand new it should be even better. If you already have the new V8 why sell the old one in a brand new vehicle.
    I guess my ultimate frustration is with car makers who could easily introduce a complete vehicle at the outset always seem to make the consumer wait for a year. Lexus sells more SUV's than any of the other luxo brands for a reason. Copy those things and wrap it up in the MB package and make me happy. Give me much better reliability, do not make me feel shortchanged because the vehicle is built in Alabama. Make it clear why I spent 70,000$ and was happy to do it. I do not believe in this incarnation the R class will make enough people smile. The last thing I wanted was an Odyssey but the comparison is not close for my money.(my other vehicles are a 6 speed 540i and a Lexus GX470)
  • HI Mark & Merc

    Merc, I beleive the 330 SRT 8 is lot closer to the E55 AMG model than you might suspect. The build quality is not as good, but again would you really expect it to be at such a huge difference in price?

    Your other question regarding the $40K difference in price between the Pacifica and the R-500 is a real number. The average Pacifica (very well equipped) lists out in the mid $30K but actual transaction prices between dealer discounts and the $2K rebate hovers at around $30k. The R-500 (well equipped) generally will sticker out in the upper $60K to almost $70K, believe it or not.

    That leads me to the value question again, shouldn't a $60-70K vehicle really knock your socks off?

    I'm not only talking performance, but shouldn't a vehicle in this price class just blow away the competition with innovations and unique features that no one else has?

    Why would I want to shell out this much money for what is essentially a minivan without sliding doors, and without 3rd row seats that fold out of the way for example?

    If you are buying the R class for the comfort & utility, then why not look at minivans?

    I think the answer is- minivans are not cool right now. (I have a feeling that might change soon, because the guy who was the head of styling on 300/magnum vehicles has been put in charge of a radical new desighn for the Chrysler minivans)

    By the way, Mark, I did point out that the R-class was german designed, and I did not mean to imply that building the vehicle in the USA was a negative. in fact many good foreign owned products are now built here with great success and good build quality. But you have to admit that the Pacifica and much of the newer lineup from Chrysler is also german designed as well. You're deluding yourself if you think otherwise.

    The Pacifica IS very similar to the R Class precisely because of the influence and design teams from Daimler who have been steering the styling direction of both companies. When I first saw a prototype of the R-Class (I believe it was called the Vision at that time), the first thing that popped into my head and apparently most automotive journalists was- Pacifica!

    In fact, most of the Road Tests that I have read in Motor Trend, Car & Driver, and their ilk have consistently compared the R to the Pacifica.

    The BMW X3 that I own as I mentioned previously is a superior product to the other smaller SUV's out there, but your stated examples of comparing the X3 to Hyundai's and Kia's is a little silly. A more valid comparison for value would be the Acura MDX, Nissan Pathfinder, or even the Honda Pilot. These are vehicles that cost less than the BMW X3 and give you a good amount of bang for the buck. These are certainly not Korean vehicles. But again the difference in price between the X3 and these other vehicles range in the $5-7K range not $40K.

    By the way, I don't believe the X3 is built in Spartanburg (not that there's anything wrong with that (a little Seinfeld humor there....)).

    While I was replying I read headcrackers post, and I think essentially he's saying the same thing as I am especially regarding the level of equipment and the perceived value of the R class. There should have been a whole heck of a lot more equipment and innovation in the R for the kind of price strata it inhabits.

    I agree with headcracker that even the Honda Odyssey Touring edition is better equipped than the R.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    We can debate style and design until the cows come home, but there should be no question when it comes to MB build quality and overall platform execution. As nice as the new ML and R may be, there is "something" missing in the overall feel of the vehicles compared to the S/E/CLS/CL. Regardless, the automobile industry has changed and many companies believe they must have a product for every conceivable demographic.

    Still, the initial launch of both the ML and R indicate that MB learned from the 1998 ML debacle. Both are good products and well-realized for whom MB believes will buy them... just not sure MB needed this level of diversity. Thank goodness they killed the "scooter" - the C230 coupe :) MB did not need to go there in the U.S.!

    Think the new CDI engines coming from MB will add a new dimension to the R and ML purchase criteria.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc, I beleive the 330 SRT 8 is lot closer to the E55 AMG model than you might suspect. The build quality is not as good, but again would you really expect it to be at such a huge difference in price?

    Well it isn't. I had the chance to drive the 300C SRT-8 and I've driven the E55 more than a few times since 2003, and let me tell you it ain't so. The NYT is clueless if they think these cars are equal. The 300 is awesome, but the E55 is off the charts, and the only area where the 300 is superior is in handling feel, whereas the E55 is faster, has a better ride, and is better built, among other things. The general refinement of the E55 is a lot better than the 300 also.

    Your other question regarding the $40K difference in price between the Pacifica and the R-500 is a real number. The average Pacifica (very well equipped) lists out in the mid $30K but actual transaction prices between dealer discounts and the $2K rebate hovers at around $30k. The R-500 (well equipped) generally will sticker out in the upper $60K to almost $70K, believe it or not.

    Well if you're going to go into transaction prices I'm sure that the R500 won't be going for sticker price after the initial hype dies down. Either way a buyer will have to work hard to see a 40K price difference.

    Yes the R-Class should be superior in most ways to the Pacifica. I'm not really defending the R-Class because I personally don't like SUV/Crossover things (i.e. anything that isn't a "car") anyway, but some of what I reading here sounds suspect, especially about a 40K price difference.

    If you're the equipment type (dvd, leather etc.) that doesn't care or understand the other finer points about the engineering that goes into more expensive vehicles thats fine, but a little reasearch should be in order before blasting a product as being not worth the money. Again, I'm not saying the R is worth 70K, because I don't think it is either, but what Mercedes puts into a vehicle that you can't read on the window sticker accounts or something. Furthermore, a Kia Minivan can be had with most of the same features on the Honda you and others keep mentioning, doesn't mean its the same class of vehicle. Also, just because R&T compare the R with the Pac doesn't mean the Pacifica is in the same league, their comparision centered around the two vehicles sharing the same purpose.

    Also, on the subject of "value". Value is what a person sees in a vehicle, its not always the old standby of "I got leather this and DVDs here and what not" either. Luxury SUVs and Crossovers are poor values to start with going by that standard because each and every one of them have a cheaper competitor that will do the same job and in a lot of cases its a platform/badge mate to the luxury SUV/Crossover in question. The R-Class is no different.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Think the new CDI engines coming from MB will add a new dimension to the R and ML purchase criteria.

    True, this should happen around this time next year.

    I'm not crazy about the R, M or upcoming GL, something is indeed missing compared to Mercedes' cars.

    M
  • Please do not succumb to the vapidness of "that doesn't care or understand the other finer points about the engineering that goes into more expensive vehicles thats fine",to make your point. Tell us exactly what the superior engineering is. Most vehicles today are quite close in terms of engineering. We pay for the name, no shame in that, but it is true. Is there more tactile feel in a Mini vs. an E class, I dare say there is. Is there more luxury in the E class, I dare say there is. Which is the better engineered car? Is the Quattroporte better engineered than the Cayman, doubtful, but I pay for the rarity, the name, and the "fine Italian leather". No, engineering and its finer points are not being discussed because it is unlikely you can tell us how we are to discern the difference. Is it the superior reliability of MB products-that is clearly not the case. Is it the excellent ergonomics of the passenger compartment-let Comand be your guide. No, it must be the universal praise of the brake by wire technology-oops no that was universally derided.
    Please do not ratchet up the emotional content of your statement with reports of posters blasting the R class.
    No my dear sir, most car buyers are paying for content, the equipment which you believe is secondary. They pay for leather instead of cloth, they pay for contrasting piping, for 12 speakers v. 4. Let us also posit that most MB buyers are looking for an overall superior experience. You know the argument "I know it when I see it". Comparing the R class to nothing else, I believe one has a difficult task to show me the objective reasons why it is superior. As in all other things price does not equate with quality, innovation, or a superior experience. Therefore hasten not to a comparison with a Kia for you might find MB wanting. Oh, yeah, tell me again why a car that costs 30,000 less should have more content. The question for me is not finding the cheapest alternative, but being able to justify why I was willing to pay more. This is where we agree, compared to other MB products the R class suffers, and that more than anything else is what irks me about its pricing. MB sells itself on luxury and excellent build quality. This more than any other reason is why the C class has never competed sales wise with the 3 series, because BMW sells itself on a better drive and I can get that in a cheaper package. However, it is also the reason why the 7's will never match the S class. At that price point the driving is not nearly as important as the surroundings and letting others know you can buy the S. The R class, is it a vastly improved minivan-no it is not. Is it exceedingly luxurious- no it is not. I just cannot justify the difference, so for me it is a no go. Will this class of vehicles be successful, I think so. My prediction is the Lexus version, when it does come out in 3-4 years(because you know they will build it)will reign, just like they do the luxo SUV market. The drivers will opt for the BMW( monkey see monkey do), and the new Audi (Q7 or something else) will be ignored as are their other vehicles.
  • markc5markc5 Posts: 19
    And so the debate rages on.... Do I like it or Do I hate it. Doggone Germans should have added this or that. Meanwhile in Gotham..... I continue to enjoy driving this whatever you want to call it. I just added my IPOD to the auxillary port yesterday and along with my sattelite radio I have a great driving experience. The only thing I am missing is the backup camera which my lexus has. That would be nice. But the backup sensors work great in this car. So you guys continue to hammer away and enjoy your debate. Meanwhile I will pass you in the fast lane as you drive your Honda Odyssy to the next soccer game. (YUCK!!!!)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Please do not succumb to the vapidness of "that doesn't care or understand the other finer points about the engineering that goes into more expensive vehicles thats fine",to make your point. Tell us exactly what the superior engineering is. Most vehicles today are quite close in terms of engineering.

    My original point was this. If you're going to knock a vehicle you should know everything about or at least most things, not simply talk about what a vehicle does on doesn't have in the way of things that any vehicle can have. Sure the R-Class isn't hands down superior to the Pacifica (never said it was) but for the extra refinement, safety engineering etc. you'll have to pay more for the Mercedes name, as you put it. Secondly, rear-seat DVD players and cooled seats don't make a Mercedes, but they do make the cheaper vehicles in the minds of most. Apparently that is what is happening here, the R getting knocked for those type of "features" not being present. A loaded R500 may not be a "value" for the value=cheaper shoppers, but its ride, refinement, safety, would be ahead of any of the vehicles its being compared to here. Now whether that is worth the 30K or whatever difference between it an something similar is up to the buyer, but the difference is present.

    Is there more tactile feel in a Mini vs. an E class, I dare say there is. Is there more luxury in the E class, I dare say there is. Which is the better engineered car?

    Doesn't apply here because a Mini and a E-Class don't compete in any way, nor do they share the same concept.

    No, engineering and its finer points are not being discussed because it is unlikely you can tell us how we are to discern the difference.

    Thats my point, people either get it or they don't. No one can make a person see or feel something different about a vehicle they aren't trying to see or unable to see. Some people could drive a Mercedes S-Class and call it just another car. There are posts on Edmunds about the 3-Series where the person who drove it didn't feel it handled or drove any better than anything else. This person doesn't get it, and I'm not saying its they're stupid or clueless, its just over their head.

    In all fairness you are correct about the R lacking compared to Mercedes cars, as I have stated this also because I can tell just by sitting in one it isn't the same vehicle a CLS/S/E is when it comes to that tactile feel of quality or what most people would deem feeling expensive. That doesn't make it chopped liver either, which is the tone I'm getting here.

    The R-Class doesn't have Mercedes' brake by wire system, btw.

    No my dear sir, most car buyers are paying for content, the equipment which you believe is secondary. They pay for leather instead of cloth, they pay for contrasting piping, for 12 speakers v. 4. Let us also posit that most MB buyers are looking for an overall superior experience.

    True, they are paying for content, which I don't think is "secondary" but they are also paying for the nuances that a luxury product provides. Whether it be styling, a better ride, better performance or more sophisticated engineering like 7-speed transmissions and air suspension. If content was the only thing or such a superior reason for buying a crossover/suv type vehicle there would be no reason to buy any luxury suv/crossover product because they all have much cheaper competitors that do the same things with the same "equipment". This about content being the biggest driving factor on a purchase of something like an R-Class doesn't address the luxury vehicle aspect of it. If content was the end-all there are dozens of ways to transport 6 people with similar or the same "stuff" as the R, all of them being much cheaper. Basic equipment can be had on any vehicle, doesn't mean its done in the same manner or as seamlessly as it is the luxury product. This is why a product of lesser price can have more "content". The Koreans for example are good at this, while they give you all this stuff, the refinement, fit and finish are poor and the driving experience sucks.

    The C-Class and 3-Series really have nothing to do with this, but the 2 main reasons why the 3 outsells the C is because BMW has more variants and they've made their name on making a superior sports sedan. Mercedes up until now wasn't even playing the same game as the 3-Series when it came to making the 3-Series sporty. Mercedes' so-called "sport" packages on the C (up until 2005's facelift) were nothing more than an a afterthought. You say that the 3-Series is superior car, well yeah for a person looking for a sports sedan yes, but many find the C to meet their small luxury sedan needs just fine. And the 3-Series is hardly any cheaper than a comparable C-Class, its down to a few hundred dollars for comparable equipped cars now, if that. You can get a 3-Series up to 45K very easily today.

    The R-Class isn't trying to be a vastly improved minivan because for one it isn't a minivan. Secondly I don't think its worth E-Class/CLS type money either, but to simply judge it on window sticker features and declare it non-superior in any way is just to simplistic imo. Also, everyone doesn't have the same value = this or that type system. Maybe the poster that has a R500 wanted something different, love it or hate the R is definitely something that. Everyone is going to see this differently.

    M
  • Firstly, Marc- you shouldn't get so emotional about this debate. After all, we're talking about a CAR- not a human. I understand you are spending your hard-earned dollars on this lease, and you would like to feel you made a good decision- but ultimately the marketplace will speak & determine whether or not they think this vehicle is a desirable product or not.

    We are just debating the finer points, the plusses and minusses of this new vehicle. It's supposed to be FUN debating, not a chore. No vehicle out there today is going to make everyone happy, nor will it fill everyone's perceived needs. If you enjoy your new R 500 then go ahead and enjoy it, but when you put down others for driving a Honda Odyssey, you're essentially doing what you are accusing others of doing here on this forum.

    No one on this Forum is putting YOU down for driving an R class, but you seem to not be able to separate yourself from criticism of a car.
    Lighten up.

    Merc, as you know, I have actually driven the R 350 (not the 500) and I spent a fair amount of time in a MB dealership going over options & pricing. I agree with you that the actual transaction price of an R 500 will eventually trend lower, but even so, let's say the sticker on most R 500's will average about $68K. Even if the dealers discounts the hell out the vehicle, I can't see it going out the door for less than $62K (unless MB offers rebates or spiffs to the dealers). That still makes for a $32K difference in price between a well-eqipped pacifica & an R 500. That's still a staggering difference.

    Ok, you say, lets compare an R 350 future transaction price vs. Pacifica.
    Here: Sticker R350- avg. $58K
    probable heavy discount : $53K
    Still a $23K difference in price with the Pacifica. That $23K buys a lot of dinners at Peter Lugers or Ruth's Chris for you non-nyers.

    What will likely happen if MB gets stuck with these, they will offer inflated residual values & very reduced lease money factors to get the monthly lease payment more palatable.

    In response to your assertions that there are certain aspects to the design, build & mechanical superiority of MB products- I agree with you, and I made that same point when showing that I thought my X3 was overpriced (but I leased it anyway) but also pointed out that the diifference was only about $5k, not $23K or $32K.

    By the way, this is exactly what happened with the BMW X3 I own. When I first looked at the X3, the lease payment averaged in the upper $400- slightly over $500 amonth for a modestly equipped version. When the X3 sat on the lots for a while the money factor & residuals were raised to a point where I leased one for the very low $400's a month. Which leads me to the perceived value argument of headcracker.

    I also agree with many of the points that headcracker has made, particularly about the content level of a vehicle IS a major factor in why we buy a particular vehicle. We should expect that if a vehicle is more expensive than another very similar competing vehicle it should, at the very least have as much standard equipment as the lesser vehicle, and at its inflated price, offer at least a modicum of innovation & unique features to help entice you and make you feel you not only got a great superior vehicle, but one that represents value as well.

    I just want to remind you guys that in the early 70's the Japanese were just starting to tackle the US market, and they did a very clever thing. They took small cheap cars & dramatically increased the content level. We, at that time were used to driving larger American cars which very often only had power windows, door locks, and other "luxury" equipment included as costly extras. As a result, lots of bread & butter american vehicles at the time had crank windows and push down door locks. The Japanes won over a lot of buyers by using content as a selling tool. Today, even the lowliest vehicles have all the power equipment standard (even power steering).

    What I am getting at is that headcracker is right- the bar has been raised- especially by the Japanese manufacturers. We should expect a full complement of the latest features in the most expensive cars, and we should complain about it if MB or other manufacturers don't include them.

    Finally, of course no one can ever "win" a debate on whether a product is worth its price or not. Of course it is "worth" whatever someone is willing to pay for it.

    I believe that market forces will eventually determine what this R class is "worth" and that MB will be forced to sell it at that price or stop producing it if it doesn't succeed or loses money for them.

    And oh yes, Merc- the R-Class IS a minivan, just like the Pacifica.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc, as you know, I have actually driven the R 350 (not the 500) and I spent a fair amount of time in a MB dealership going over options & pricing. I agree with you that the actual transaction price of an R 500 will eventually trend lower, but even so, let's say the sticker on most R 500's will average about $68K. Even if the dealers discounts the hell out the vehicle, I can't see it going out the door for less than $62K (unless MB offers rebates or spiffs to the dealers). That still makes for a $32K difference in price between a well-eqipped pacifica & an R 500. That's still a staggering difference.

    As it will be with any luxury product if you're going to compare them to regular vehicles. On that basis no luxury product is going to be worth the premium to you.

    In response to your assertions that there are certain aspects to the design, build & mechanical superiority of MB products- I agree with you, and I made that same point when showing that I thought my X3 was overpriced (but I leased it anyway) but also pointed out that the diifference was only about $5k, not $23K or $32K.

    I'm glad you see my point, but how do you know a X3 isn't worth that much over whatever you were comparing it too? Just looking at the window sticker and counting up features isn't going far enough to justify saying that the X3 isn't worth the premium.

    I also agree with many of the points that headcracker has made, particularly about the content level of a vehicle IS a major factor in why we buy a particular vehicle. We should expect that if a vehicle is more expensive than another very similar competing vehicle it should, at the very least have as much standard equipment as the lesser vehicle, and at its inflated price, offer at least a modicum of innovation & unique features to help entice you and make you feel you not only got a great superior vehicle, but one that represents value as well.

    Well features are important, but again any vehicle can have the same things, doesn't mean it is the same class of vehicle, that is the point of buying a luxury vehicle in the first place. Its not simply reading the window sticker and counting up what it has or what it doesn't have compared to a much cheaper and lacking in other areas, vehicle. It is the entire package that makes the luxury vehicle just that, plus the features.

    The R-Class is not a minivan, and neither is the Pacific. It would seem kinda silly for Chrysler to have both the Town and Country and the Pacifica if they were both minivans. They are crossovers, and they don't have the storage or the awful, boat-like dynamics of minvans either.

    M
  • markc5markc5 Posts: 19
    Dear "Shelly" I am not taking anything in this forum personally.I am simply responding to what some are referring to as a purchase that was not worth it's price. I still remain amazed how anyone can compare apples and oranges as skillfully as you do. I would not consider buying a chrysler because at the nuts and bolts level it is not a mercedes and I think you know what I mean. Additionally, I am pretty sure anything that qualifies for the minivan title has a sliding door and can't compete style wise with a R series or a Pacifica for that matter. I sure hope that the market bears this car up I would love to know that my instincts served me well on this decision.
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    Do you know that chrysler cars' built quality ranks higher than MBs according to survey?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've never heard of "built" quality. Must be something new. Chrysler might be ranked higher in reliability because of simplicity, but they surely aren't physically built better than a Mercedes. To gleam that from a survey is a sign of very little or no actual experience with Mercedes products.

    M
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