By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/14/2011
The 2012 Mercedes R-Class is an unusual vehicle. It's definitely not a minivan nor is it really a crossover (even though that's what Mercedes-Benz calls it). Rather, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class has staked its territory as a no-nonsense rolling monument to practicality. With comfortable seating for six, standard all-wheel drive and the option of a diesel engine, the R-Class puts some of the best-selling SUVs on the road to shame. The R-Class suffers from puzzling nomenclature. The gasoline-fueled version is called the R350 4MATIC, while the diesel-burning variant is the R350 BlueTEC. Both have all-wheel drive.You'll Like This Car If...
With its solid construction, luxury touches and practicality, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is a pleasant refuge from both SUVs and, especially, crossovers with false off-road pretensions.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you must parallel park in your neighborhood or don't have a bunch of children to transport about town, you may find the R-Class to be more car than you need.What's New for 2012
For 2012 the biggest change to the R-Class is the R350 4MATIC's new V6 engine. This 3.5-liter V6 makes 302 horsepower, 34 more than last year's gasoline-fueled V6. Other new standards include LED daytime running lights and Mercedes' COMAND personalization system for sound system, navigation and more.Driving It Driving Impressions
The new V6 in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R350 4MATIC is a welcome addition. While not hair-raising in any way, the extra horsepower does its part to put a spring in the R-Class' step. Mercedes-Benz's 4MATIC all-wheel-drive setup is great as usual and makes for a great year-round people mover. With copious amounts of low-end torque, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R350 BlueTEC is quick enough to keep you from lamenting the diesel engine. The 7-speed automatic transmission finds its place admirably, and both R-Class models are smooth and competent through corners. Excellent braking and turning radii make the R-Class even better an everyday driver.Favorite Features
If you wish more good diesel engines were available in the U.S. and you don't try a 2012 R350 BlueTEC you're part of the problem. This great engine proves the viability of the right diesel in the right machine.
We can't tell you what a joy it is to see second-row seats with such comfort and adjustability. Anything that can be done to reduce acrimony and complaint from the back is a good thing in our eyes.