Changes You'd Like To See in the R-Class

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
edited March 2014 in Mercedes-Benz
Have an idea to improve the R-Class? This is the place to let us know!


  • alandparkeralandparker Member Posts: 7
    Below is my draft of the letter to my MB dealer as I return my R500 with "issues." YOu should know, I bought this vehicle in early Spring, drove it under a thousand miles, and wrecked it. It took FOUR MONTHS to get it back. I've now had it for another two thousand miles.

    REad on and excuse the "frankness"

    October 18, 2006

    Mr. Pat Hathaway, Service Manager
    The Automaster, Inc.

    Re: Warranty Issues
    MB, R500

    Mr. Hathaway,

    Below please find a short list of issues that have arisen with my new R class Mercedes purchased from The Automaster recently.

    Please respond via email, phone, or mail with an appropriate day and time to facilitate corrections/investigation of the issues listed below. While responding, please address, specifically, the “replacement” vehicle issue and it’s coordination.

    While not exhaustive, the issues below are apparent to me. Please don’t hesitate to exceed these issues with appropriate inspections/investigations/analyses:

    • rear center console rattles constantly; if you release and reset it, it stops for a bit but returns; releasing and “slamming” it is NOT the solution. Please be aware that there are numerous other minor rattles and squeaks in the vehicle, especially at speed, but I’ve not been able to locate the sources specifically. Please don’t hesitate to install a “professional”, or at least a very accomplished, driver in the vehicle and “stretch” it’s legs. It is, in fact, beyond the break in period, and after having handled the vehicle appropriately early on, it will, and can, “perform” if “tested”. I mention this issue primarily because of my long history of Benz ownership, despite a five to eight year period recently, where solidity, quality of build, was apparent, in one aspect, with “dead quiet”, “tight” interior environments. My understanding is that the quality issues have been addressed that I experienced with my late 90’s, early 00 MB’s. I aspire to the “interior of old” compared to, for example, the CLK I departed with for this vehicle.
    • power outlet under glove box does not work.
    • this item may be “technique” only. . . please attempt to reach into the rear of the vehicle to “lift” the third row seat into an upright position. My experience, repeatedly, is that I end up with the small plastic part, designed for this purpose, in my hand with the seat still folded.
    • catches for front console bins(both large and small) have either fallen out completely or are about to. This occurred very early on and is disconcerting, in the least.
    • please drive vehicle with rear windows open at at least 40 mph. The “whistling” starts at around 40 and by 60 is incredibly loud. I realize this is a design problem, in essence, but I’d rather not hear that as a solution. Design “problems” require design “solutions”. I will be painfully honest here. I was aware of this issue before I ever bought the vehicle. As a car afficiando, I read all monthly car magazines. Two, and most likely, three of the four or five noted this in their reviews. Someone in design must have addressed this by now. Duct tape? Please don’t tell me to keep the windows closed.
    • Please observe the car in either intensely bright sunshine or “intense” interior lighting. The entire exterior exhibits “swirls” which we know, as car “afficienados”, is unacceptable. If eliminating them and returning the vehicle to a “glassy” finish is difficult, expensive, or whatever, I’d be happy to complete this work in return for a deduct. I’d suspect around five hundred dollars would be appropriate. In addition, and I meant to contact you immediately upon discovering this issue, please note significant scratches in the “flat area” below the license plate at the rear of the vehicle. If an attempt is made to eliminate the “swirls”, my choice would be Zymol’s top shelf product. Please be aware that you’ll need the product specific to dark vehicles. (
    • The wheel well, mud flap area around the passenger side back tire rubs the tire often times and seems to be loose and “disconnected” in comparison to the other back tire. A “clip” did fall off while cleaning the vehicle which is in the center console.
    • The navigation DVD is title “2005 C class”. I’d like a 2006 RClass DVD. There is, in a few small ways, a difference.
    • The rear luggage cover, when installed with the third row collapsed, will not roll up entirely but rather sags and hangs with 8” or so of cover still exposed.
    • Lastly, but probably, most significantly, the vehicle pulls to the right significantly. In order to maintain direction, with the “compass” displayed at the dash, the steering wheel (i.e.? front tires, must be held in the -1 “degree” position. I suspect further alignment issues.
    • After approx. 200 gallons of fuel, mileage has peaked at 15 mpg. I never received the window sticker and would like to have it for resale, but also, I vaguely remember it stating a “city” expectation of 20 mpg. Is this correct and, if so, should I be concerned that the vehicle is 25 to30 % less efficient than portrayed? Would an exhaust/injector analysis be appropriate.
    • Finally, and politely, I’m accumstomed to being provided a “loaner” vehicle when servicing a multitude of different vehicles that I “own” either personally or, by default, as owner of Harvest Const., Inc. This includes all of the 30K some odd trucks, a variety of 20K some odd passenger vehicles, and, interstingly, even a used Audi or two. Am I correct in understanding that this service isn’t provided as a purchaser of a Benz north of 70K?? That seems odd. I’m probably more sensitive than most in that I’m required to dedictate an employees salary to getting this vehicle serviced. If this, in fact, the case, please facilitate a rental vehicle for Tammy, our office manager and CFO, whom is the only person I trust to deliver the Benz.

    Finally, as an aside, if you remember my mentioning it, the only real issue that caused me to purchase another Benz rather than a Q7, was my impetuousness. I tired of waiting for them to “cross the pond.” I’ve since had the opportunity to drive a Q7. I made the right choice without question. The Audi is much smaller and much more truck like. So what that it “squats” like a camel when asked, it doesn’t have the “presence” of this R class. I happened to pull into a parking lot just recently as both an older, G Wagon and Rover Sport were “unloading” with drivers all “puffy” and looking back at their prides and joys. They were visibly “deflated” when seeing the big, black apparition before them. The R class, in general, is very, very good at quite a few different aspects. Better than any other vehicle available with so many different “aspects” to transporting one. The one, huge caveat. . . the R class is not the very BEST at any one aspect of vehicles/driving. It’s an awesome, “long legged” sport sedan when asked. Force
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    This one really isn't about problems you may be having with your individual vehicle, but more about features you'd add or design changes you'd make.

    We have specific discussion for problem areas like:

    Mercedes-Benz R-Class Tire/Wheel Questions
    Mercedes-Benz R-Class Electrical Problems
    New R-Class Owners - Give Us Your Report
    Mercedes-Benz R-Class:MPG-Real World Numbers
    Mercedes-Benz R-Class Suspension Issues

    where you might want to go into some of the issues you're facing in detail.
  • mezecamezeca Member Posts: 66
    I'm just wondering how many of these problems are related to the vehicle being wrecked.
  • alandparkeralandparker Member Posts: 7
    Good Point. Undoubtedly, the "swirls" in the paint, the pulling to the left, the loose fender well.. . but not the rear console, "whistling seat belts" , dead power outlet, "fallen out" center bin clips, plastic devices that end up in your hand lifting the very rear seats. Bear in mind that this vehicle was wrecked with 1000 miles on it. The interior was pristine and, for the most part, unused.
    Regardless of the issues in my letter, given my experience with the repair of the vehicle, whether it was due to the wreck or not, really isn't important. I understand how it would be important to someone gathering information about the quality of an R class, in general. The various issues are readily divided into "possibly a result" and independent of the accident.
  • amgsteramgster Member Posts: 4
    I'd like to see an auxiliary jack for MP3 players come as standard equipment. The iPod interface for whatever ridiculous price is just not worth it.

    They should get Honda's navigation system. Soooo much simpler to operate.
  • guestguest Member Posts: 770
    I would like to see an option for 7 passenger seating
    3 in the middle row. can't be any worse than 3 in the back seat of an e class.
  • jonsagerjonsager Member Posts: 1
    The R-class has limited rear visibility due to the tapered roof line. :confuse:

    Parktronic should be standard along with larger side mirrors.

    This platform should be able to tow a 1,000 pound load. :(

    Sliding side doors would overcome the wide sweep of the current rear doors. :(

    Standard Bluetooth cell phone link-up with the sound system since this is a high end car. :D
  • jprescott1jprescott1 Member Posts: 29
    MB always seems to be a few moths off of Audi,BMW,Lexus
  • irishrogue1irishrogue1 Member Posts: 127
    how about an owner's manual that fits in the glovebox! where do i put this thing??? it is like a piece of luggage for chrissakes!
  • nscoolernscooler Member Posts: 1
    In addition to the larger side mirrors mentioned by another member, I would suggest the following (not in order of importance):

    1. Folding side mirrors.

    2. Put the clock in the center of the front console so passengers may see it. Better still, make it part of the display, with digital display.

    3. Add touch-screen capability to the navigation system. It's extraordinarily clunky. The one in my daughter's new Civic is markedly superior. MB should be ashamed of this one.

    4. I also second the member who mentioned that there's no suitable place for the manuals. I ended up putting them in the spare wheel compartment. Enlarging the door storage compartments might help.

    5. Make the cargo cover standard, as it seems to have been when the vehicle first came out.

    6. If the law allows, consider using a convex rear-view mirror. The side and rear sight lines in this vehicle are dangerous. (See comment above regarding larger side-view mirrors.)

    7. Allow the sun screen to be used when the panoramic sun roof is open.

    All in all, it's been a very comfortable and, so far (7,000 miles), reliable vehicle. But the rear and side view issues make it unlikely that I will continue with it after the lease expires.
  • claudius2000claudius2000 Member Posts: 1
    Believe it or not, the R-class does not seem to have proper lumbar support for the passenger. The lumber support for the driver is mediocre.

    Long distance trips require proper seating and lumber support.

    Claudius :blush:
  • babaluisbabaluis Member Posts: 3
    How about a trailer hitch? Even a light duty 2000 lb. hitch would be OK and would allow me to tow my boat. I had my heart set on buying a CDI R-Class but the lack of a tow package is stopping me. The only other 6 passenger CDI powered alternative is the $70K GL which is out of the question.
  • babaluisbabaluis Member Posts: 3
    I found that a trailer coupler is offered as an $886 option in Mercedes Benz' foreign markets.
  • paxnrthpaxnrth Member Posts: 6
    1 year owner of R Class:
    YES--Touch Screen for Navigation.
    YES--TRAILER HITCH for Bike Rack, and Boat Towing.

    BUNDLE OPTIONS into packages or lines instead of having us special order each individual car.
    There should be a $40K Standard, $45K Delux , and $50K Loaded R350 MRSP. And similar for the other engine choices.
    Seat Heaters shouldn't be an option for people in Minnesota!
    Air adjust shocks shouldn't be an option for anyone.
    Options should be paint colors and wheels, not basic features.
    THe best headlights should come on all models of MB, safety features shouldn't be optional.
    And remind me, why is the battery under the passenger seat?
This discussion has been closed.