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Mercedes-Benz R-Class

merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
Mercedes has announced that R-Class will make its debut this summer in time for a Fall market introduction. This is vehicle that started out as the Grand Sport Tourer and has recently been called the Vison R Sports Tourer. In Mercedes speak "Vision" are concepts with production intent.


The new R-Class should go on sale either late fall/winter or early 2006 as a 2006 model. Pricing is believed to start at 43K for a V6 R350 model. There will be two new V8s, a 4.5-4.7L with about 335hp and a 5.5L V8 with anywhere from 380-415hp. Both will be DOHC/32V in construction and feature direct injection. There should be a R350, R500 and a R550 based on those engines. The U.S. market is supposed to get the long-wheelbase version only, and Europe the short wheelbase version. Mercedes' new 3.0L diesel V6 (224hp/376lb-ft) and a revised 4.0L V8 310hp) will be available in the R-Class, both here and of course in Europe, or at least that is what the rumor mill is saying once our diesel fuel is cleaned up.


Stylewise they will change very little from the concept presented at the Detroit and now Chicago autoshows this year. The new paint technology won't make production and the wheels won't be the 21 inchers on the concepts, but the rest should make the cut.


Any thoughts or further information on the R-Class?




  • SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
    From our Wagons newsletter this week....

    For 2005, Mercedes-Benz plans to come to market with a new wagon. We take a very early look at the R-Class. preview.html
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Member Posts: 619
    I see that the mbusa web site says Fall 2005 release for the GST (they aren't referring to it as the R-class yet). I wonder what the cause of the big delay is.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    information and pictures of both the R & B-Class.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Member Posts: 619
    In DC's press release for the 2004 NAIAS they stated that the cargo volume of the Vision GST with the 2nd and 3rd row seats folded is 2030 litres. This is about 72 cubic feet. The comparable cargo volume for an E-class wagon is 69 cubic feet, according to the mbusa web site. Inasmuch as the Vision GST is a much larger vehicle than an E-class wagon, I presume that the 2030 litre figure is in error. Does anybody know? (The Vision GST info says that the maximum luggage capacity is "far larger than a conventional wagon.")
  • stroudmanstroudman Member Posts: 192
    I'm looking forward to these updated drivetrains, mostly for the perception in the marketplace. I don't think the overall performance (0-60, 1/4 mile) will change much, but for those who do their initial research on the web, and are looking soley at the horsepower ratings, it will get them in the door. Then they will notice the better response, finer notes, and other subtle improvements. The 4 cams and 4 valves per are like butter.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The debut for the R-Class is set for Wed (3/23) morning at 10:20 am EST. Can't wait!

  • tmactmac Member Posts: 6
    at the NY Auto Show. Kinda looks to me from the outside anyway like a Pacifica and Town & Country hooked up and had offspring. Gotta love the column shifter, though, more room in the center console plus when your beer splashes around it doesn't drip all down into the stickshift mechanism. I'm most interested in this guy and when it makes it's dealer appearance I'll give it strong consideration.
  • joed6525joed6525 Member Posts: 1
    I pored over it at the Detroit show in January, and must say: it is one impressive and refined rig. The proporions are perfect, the detailing is very advanced. I have only 3 quibbles: Will I have to pay a lot more for the wheels on the Detroit show car as compared to the dinky ones shown in NY? Will MB offer the awesome liquid silver paint? And should I spec the 350 V6, or the V8. All reports are that the new 3.5 V6 rocks.I placed a position order in November for a GST R500 to replace my wife's PT Cruiser, even got the ego plate for it already.

    Did the same thing 5 years ago when I ordered the next gen SL500, sight unseen. Got it 4/19/03, and it has exceeded all expectations. Except for the cheesy sunvisors.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    I'd been waiting for someone to comment on having seen the actual vehicle. Unfortunately that show car paint job won't be offered for a few more years. As far as the V6 or the V8, I'd suggest that you drive both this fall and see. I too have always said that the R-Class need bigger wheels because the concept looks so good in part because of the bigger wheels.

    Do you still have the SL500 and how has it been? I've heard nothing but problems for the 2003 model year SLs.

  • dazzedazze Member Posts: 1
    M, What have you heard re the availability of the R-Class. My dealer is reluctant
    to talk about a delivery date...
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    All I've ever heard about the R-Class is "fall", meaning Oct-Nov typically for Mercedes.

  • 900turbo900turbo Member Posts: 1
    I saw the R500 on I-65 southbound in Montromery, AL yesterday (5/3). I looked identical to the recent press releases. I called my local MB dealership for a test drive and he reminded me the factory was up the road. It was a test vehicle but it looked great. As one of the previous posters said, I am interested in sampling the 3.5 v6. The last benz I owned was the 300E with the inline 6.
  • captntruckscaptntrucks Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know what MB has done to the R class to make it a 50k automobile? It looks just like the B class which sells in Europe for about 30k. Also, has anyone imported an A model from Europe?
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well for starters the R-Class is much bigger than the B-Class. The R is awd only and the B is fwd only. The R offers V6 and V8 engines while the B only offers 4-cylinder engines. The R will be available in the U.S. starting in Sept/Oct while the B is (for now) a Europe only vehicle. The R is much bigger and will likely come standard with Airmatic making the ride way better than B-Class. True they are the same in concept, but the execution is way different.

  • chris65amgchris65amg Member Posts: 372
    The R-Class, even though it looks sleek and small, is actually longer than a Cadillac Escalade.
  • innhitman1innhitman1 Member Posts: 2
    I have had my deposit down on this car for almost two years.... I started the list at my dealership....
    I just recently test drove the new BMW 5 series wagon.... That is also an impressive car. I wish the R class was available now, so I could decide between the two. I guess patience is a must.

    I also drove many others... the most impressive was the Cayenne S... but that car has too little room.....

    I am tall... so my concern with space for the passengers sitting behind me is an issue.

    Also, the d*mned cupholders in the others are so flimsy... my wife is a coffee addict and she needs her cupholders... why doesn't BMW take this seriously.... If we want to spend $50K or more on a car and want solid cupholders then let us have them :)

    The cupholders in the R class seeem to have it right... don't think I am buying a car based on cupholders... but believe it or not.... it could tip the scale... with all things being equal.

    Also, the heads up display on the BMW wagn is a great featre if you use navigation as often as I do.
  • innhitman1innhitman1 Member Posts: 2
    I have had my deposit on the R class since 1/13/2004

    I actually started the list at my dealership.... it's tough waiting...

    I test drove the new BMW wagon this past week... twice.... it is really amazing.... I almost bought it... but decided to wait a few months to drive the R Class.... I plan on driving this next car as a family car for 10 years.... so, waiting a few months to make the best chose is no problem.... gotta love those solid looking cupholders in the Rclass... BMWs are still silly.

    The most important factor aside from the ride, etc is the space inthe vehicle for passengers and their comfort... I am 6'5" so usually the back seat behind me is useless..... which is cool... it's the cost of being tall..... but in the R class it seems that seat will still be functional when I am driving.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,135
    but we had duplicate R-Class discussions, so they were combined.

    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • ichenichen Member Posts: 7
    I'm specifically curious about how things might be going with an R class with the same 320 cdi engine.. i'm seeing (reading) conflicting reports on the internet about whether or not the diesel made it into the final R class or not.. because it looks like the only one available currently (in the states) is the E 320 cdi..

    Going to go test drive an E tomorrow actually, and probably could do OK with a sedan (2 adults, 2 kids), but have always liked the SUV capabilities (own: ML320, Acura MDX)..

    Maybe it's piddly not, but I really like the idea of diesel fuel economy..

    Any diesels or hybrid MB news on the forefront?
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The R-Class won't get the new diesel engine until the 2007 model year. MB, BMW and Audi are all waiting on low sulphur diesel fuel to become widely available before bringing over their latest diesels. A hybrid-diesel from anyone is at least 3 years off, imo.

  • ichenichen Member Posts: 7
    Hi Merc1
    Thanks very much for the update..

    I guess I could try to wait it out till the 2007 (late fall 06 i guess that means) for the diesel...

    Maybe my E 320 diesel test drive might lean me one way or another.. seems like both will be priced right around the $50k mark anyways.. The changes on the new R though, seem very exciting, but it's hard to know without ever seen one or test-driven one - but it certainly has a lot of the features and things you might look for... on the other hand, the E diesel sounds quite impressive - i heard it just set a new record travelling 1000+ miles on one tank... I'm assuming the R320 cdi is going to be the same one as the e320cdi?

    Coming from both the ML and a MDX, I"m not sure if we need the flexibility of the 3rd row R anymore (not planning on any other kids), and would probably use the MDX if need to carry more people instead.

    I'm not usually a lease type person either, otherwise I might consider leasing something for a year then considering a 07 R-class..

    If there's any thoughts that might sway me one way or another that'd be great.. I guess my options are:
    1) Wait for a 2007 diesel R
    2) Lease something, then maybe get a diesel R
    3) Forget the R totally and get a diesel E
    4) Consider some other car
    5) Get a 05-06 regular R

  • ichenichen Member Posts: 7

    Went and test drove a E320 CDI..

    .. and then put a deposit down on getting one. :)

    Will probably be getting a pewter metallic/stone one with the premium package..
    dealer was happy, because it just happened to be one they just got in.. it's still got all the tape and stuff on it..

    The R will probably have to wait 2 years or so.. in time to wait for the diesel i guess
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    My guess is once you drive and get used to the economy and torque of the E320 CDI you will not be happy with a gas vehicle again. I am waiting for the R class with diesel. By the time it gets here it will more than likely be the new V6 CDI. It is designed for ULSD Only, so our dirty diesel would cause lots of problems.
  • ichenichen Member Posts: 7
    I'm going to hazard a guess and say we may or may not see the R diesel until 07 year (maybe - depending on how our ULSD goes) - Mercedes obviously has the new V6 since they showed it off in the 3 E320 V6 CDI's that just set new world records..
    but they can't introduce them this year, so my guess would be as a '06 or 07' v6 e320 cdi which puts it fall of 2006 maybe at the earliest..
    .. which would probably but the R320 CDI at the earliest around the same time.. all dependent on the ULSD of course. For now, we decided to go one suv, one sedan (instead of the two suvs), which will help some with the $ and gas.. and when the R320 cdi comes out, we'll consider that..

    ... interestingly, as I learn more about diesels, i came across a lot of articles also about biodiesel, that it would work just as well.. Anyone know what the MB line is on this biodiesel, and warranty issues, and can they even figure out that you've used it?
  • drivenowdrivenow Member Posts: 45
    My dealer can custom order an R500 for me from his special MB dealer's computer....However, there's no published guide that I can refer to...I want to get this order right, not forget anything...It seems the 2006 ML ordering guide (on Edmunds, is similar to the R-Class ordering info (presently ONLY available to MB dealers)...Does anyone have any link to a consumer friendly R-Class ordering guide?? Thanks
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Anyone know what the MB line is on this biodiesel

    I talked to MB in Hawaii and their first reaction was negative. The reason being there are no standards to which biodiesel has to adhere. Many people in the islands are running B100 as it is very competitive to regular diesel price wise. Willie Nelson for one has run only B100 in his E320 CDI since it was new. His wife runs it in her Passat. Several other entertainers on Maui use it exclusively. Wille liked it so much he is now a spokesman for biodiesel is several parts of the USA.

    As far as warranty. If they can prove the biodiesel caused the problem they can void your warranty. That is the law. I don't think I would be getting old cooking oil from McDees and running it in my new Mercedes. Use a reputable supplier and it is great stuff.
  • mandochopmandochop Member Posts: 2
    Hi all,

    The R class looks good for our family for a number of reasons. I have two questions about fuel economy and fuel type.

    First, any guesses on the fuel economy of the gasoline models coming out this fall? While poking around on some UK sites it seems as if the V6 might get close to 30 mpg. Any ideas /guesses on this? What about the V8? (and PS, what does cdi mean?)

    Second, I've read the few posts here about diesel. Don't know much about that. So there is a new low sulphur diesel fuel that will be available? Will it be available here in the states? Any guesses if an R series diesel will be with this new diesel fuel or the current stuff?

    Well, it's probably clear that I don't know much about these sorts of things. ve found no definitive info from MBZ, so I'd guess that responses are probably conjecture. Please let me know how / why you have the opinion and info that you do on these questions.

    Thanks in advance!
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Welcome to the forum. MB has put out a little on the engines they will offer for the "R" class vehicles. What I read was first we get the gas versions 350 & 500 same as the ML. Next and in conjunction with the mandate on ULSD for the entire USA, they will add the 320 V6 CDI (diesel) & a possible diesel/hybrid. I would be surprised if the diesel R shows up before the first part of 2007. That is what I am holding out for. Here is some info on that diesel engine and what it is capable of.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Common-rail Direct Injection (CDI) That is Mercedes newest diesel technology.
  • mandochopmandochop Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info and the link to the article about the diesel engine... very impressive to say the least, I can see why you might hold out for it. Actually, makes me think that might be the right thing for us to do, too...

    Can anyone tell me the mileage for the two M Class engines? I'd appreciate that, too.
  • stroudmanstroudman Member Posts: 192
    A visit to your local MB dealer to test drive the new M-class will tell you more than half of what you might be wondering as far as Drivability, fit and finish, acceleration and braking. You can probably expect 3-5 miles better per gallon in the R vs. the M, realistically. Premium fuel.
  • mscmsc Member Posts: 5
    A visit to your local MB dealer to test drive the new M-class will tell you more than half of what you might be wondering as far as Drivability, fit and finish, acceleration and braking.

    I agree and disagree. I drove the M500 before, and it was much more nimble than the R, handling wise. The air suspension felt more responsive in the M class: it was more predictive, and would flatten out the car in a curve before there was much (if any) body roll. The R would flatten out around a curve, but if you took one too quickly, the moment that it takes for the suspension to react almost results in a bouncing-back sensation as the car leans out, and then is flattened again. Acceleration as well is effortless in the M500, less so in the R500, but still very generous.

    The braking feel is similar: I believe that both cars are brake-by-wire, and the feel is very authoritative and smooth in both. Fit and finish in both cars was phenomenal. As for fuel economy, time will tell: my impression is that the R is heavier than the M, and retains 4wd, so my guess would be that the R is a little worse on that issue.
  • rktechrktech Member Posts: 25
    Have any of you compared the Chrysler (Daimler) Pacifica basic design concept to that of the R class ? Essentially they're the same in terms of size and seating layout, but clearly the sheetmetal differs by leaps and bounds.

    ...just curious if anyone picked-up on the similarities ?

    Oh, and if the R class had automatic sliding rear doors, we'd have perhaps the ultimate luxo minivan (yes, I like minivans, and am willing to admit it modestly disguised in an online forum).

    Enjoy all !
  • stefanxkrstefanxkr Member Posts: 3
    Do any of you "sheep" recognize a Chrysler Pacifica in "R" Class clothing???

    It's pretty obvious to me. The Pacifica is an ok car but the ergonomics and design (assuming the improvements MB running gear and engines make) are mediocre, at best and have been in production now for a few years in the USA. So what is everyone so excited abouted?
  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    much bigger than Pacifica, I believe. It's a foot longer than an Escalade and weights 5000+ lbs.
  • chris65amgchris65amg Member Posts: 372
    Is worlds different from the Pacifica. I don't see a thing alike between them other than the fact that they are both not quite SUVs and not quite vans. I've heard good things about the R-Class thus far.
  • navigator89navigator89 Member Posts: 1,080

    Power, interior, exterior design, features, handling. The R class doesnt share any of these with the Pacifica.

    I don't know if they share parts or not, but I do know the R class is not a dressed up Pacifica the way and Escalade/QX56/LX470 are.
  • rockypaulrockypaul Member Posts: 104

    The pricing I received from M-B USA starts at $48,775 for the R-350.

    Anyone thinks this a disguised Pacifica has lost their auto enthusiast gene!
  • rktechrktech Member Posts: 25
    I don't think the R-Class is a redressed Pacifica, but conceptually the two are very similiar...seating setup, and overall size. As I understand it, the R is roughly the same size as the Town&Country van, perhaps not quite as tall, and is rear wheel drive...again, all quite like the Pacifica.

    Now, true to MB form, the interior and mechanical features are thoroughly upgraded...they're marketing to a different set of folks than the typical Pacifica driver.
  • once_for_allonce_for_all Member Posts: 1,640
    with standard AWD?

  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The R-Class is awd only, not rwd.

  • once_for_allonce_for_all Member Posts: 1,640
  • innhitmaninnhitman Member Posts: 7
    I have been on the waiting list at my dealership for almost 2 years now... was actually #1...

    I have ordered the R350 silver/black...

    with airmatic, premium pkg, rear side airbags, sirius, comfort, etc... listing at about 61k

    Haven't decided if it will be a lease or a buy.... leaning toward lease because newer engines will be out shortly thereafter....

    Was surprised that Blue Tooth is not mentioned in this first vehicle.... hmmmm... that is a much needed feature in this day of cell phone ticketing..............

    Also getting a new 3 series 4wd for drives where I don't need to haul people... should be a good winter..
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Well the R350 won't be getting a new engine, but of course for the 2007 model year the R500 will get the new 382hp 5.5L V8 from the new S-Class.

  • wopelwopel Member Posts: 92
    I have looked at the options time and again for the R Class and don't believe I see anything about a roof rack. It would seem to me that a station wagon/suv/etc type vehicle would have one. I don't use the one I have regularly, but it's a nice feature to have when I need it. Do you or anyone have any info on this?
  • ysleepysleep Member Posts: 1
    We are in the market for an R class but hate the idea of having to pay full MSRP on a car we won't even get a chance to test drive and is in its first year of production. In particular when it is coming out of the same manufacturing plant that has had difficulties in the past. I have called a couple of local dealers and they are insisting on the full MSRP. They both say that they have low margins on the car. How likely am I to pay less than MSRP if I wait a few months on the purchase? Those of you who have ordered the vehicle, where you able to get any discount? Any advice on getting a better price?
  • scott1256scott1256 Member Posts: 531
    here thinks the R is a disguised Pacifica.

    The point several posters have made is that it looks very much like a Pacifica.

    Similar styling among MB/Chrysler/Dodge products may be inevitable now.....

    IMO it is a mistake to let the R resemble the Pacifica so closely.
  • teds1teds1 Member Posts: 180
    I loved the R class at the NY auto show when I saw it up close... very classy even Maybach Classy. I'd like to be driven in it but as far as a purchase, not really my style. I love that there is a movement towards large respectable non SUV luxo haulers though. Down with escalades.
  • djagdjag Member Posts: 39
    It is essentially a Pacifica with a slightly longer and narrower body. Even the option list is about the same except the R is higher. The Pacifica has a terrific nav system located in the center of the speedo. But even the dash resembles the Pacifica a little. The drive train and suspension for both is from the E model. There is a strong resemblance in the two designs but of course the Mercedes trim and the V8 will attract many buyers who are willing to pay the extra price.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    The drivetrain for the Pacifica is not from the E-Class and neither is the suspension. The Pacifica has a similar design made from iron as opposed to aluminum on the previous Benz E-Class. The Pacific's engine is pure Chrysler.

    The R-Class shares nothing but a similar theme with the Pacifica.

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