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2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

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2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


Is it an SUV? Is it a really large station wagon? Is it, well, a minivan? Though the exterior styling of the 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is hard to define, this is a vehicle better judged from the inside out. If you find what you desire on the inside, the exterior can be easily justified. Dubbed a "sports tourer," Mercedes believes the R-Class has what upscale families need: Luxury, space, utility and performance. The R-Class includes a seven-speed automatic transmission, an all-wheel-drive option and a choice of gasoline or diesel engines. Other stand-out attributes include its remarkably spacious and feature-rich seating for six people and so much cargo space it bests the huge Cadillac Escalade.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your need for utility is equal to your need for luxury and the thought of driving a vehicle that may be perceived (well, perhaps) as a minivan doesn't bother you, the 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is a vehicle you will want to check out.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you don't require spacious seating for at least four people on a regular basis with plenty of additional cargo, the R-Class is too much car for you. It's big!

What's New for 2008

The R350 is now available with two-wheel or all-wheel drive. All models offer a three-person second-row bench seat, AMG body styling and 18-inch wheels. The R500 and R63 AMG are discontinued.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The 3.5-liter V6 powering the R350 partnered with Mercedes' full-time all-wheel-drive system and seven-speed automatic transmission creates a pleasant, but not spirited driving experience. The R320 CDI actually feels quicker, no surprise given its abundance of low-end torque. We found that even on winding roads, the R-Class smoothly carved through the turns and the seven-speed transmission delivered seamless shifts, always finding just the right gear when needed. Like many Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the R-Class has both Sport and Comfort suspension settings, and we found the Sport setting quite pleasing and agile. Stopping this heavy vehicle is also no problem with its 13.8-inch front brake rotors and standard ABS and Brake Assist features. The R-Class also has an excellent turning ratio, making it even easier to maneuver than many SUVs.

Favorite Features

Second-Row "Captain's Chair" Seating
We are quite fond of the second-row seat comfort and space. This is one car that makes the back-seat riders as lucky as those in the front.

Panoramic Sunroof
It's nearly six feet of glass, making the back-seat passengers feel much less "trapped" than in any other vehicle we know.


For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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