Cons: "Doesn't fit most parking spaces or garages"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"We needed an all-wheel drive car capable of holding two infants, a double stroller, luggage and 7 passengers. The R was bigger than the E-Wagon or ML, less likely to rollover than any SUV, as large as a GL, all wheel drive, and gargantuanly beautiful.
Initially, I was ready to hate it. I read all the reviews about how cheap it looked inside, under powered its V6 gas engine was, and doughy its steering was. Complete baloney! For 55k-65k it has no competitors, none.
Inside, contrast stitched elephant skin textured leather adorns the doors all the way up to the dash. At that juncture, smokey polished wood panels take over and caress all surfaces all the way down to the center console compartments, which are also carved out of wood. The vents and cup holders punctuate this with steely chrome. All you need to complete the Hemingway mystique of all this are some Cuban cigars, a bottle of whiskey (it has a bottle opener built into the center console), and a WWI revolver.
At his point, I have to say I can't believe we ever considered an Odyssey Touring Elite, which was sea of wobbly plastic, cheap leather, and malfunctioning gizmos. When we test drove them the power tail gate failed in one, the 16" HD screen failed in another, and the engine stalled in the last. Then there were the myriad federal airbag, seatbelt, and sliding door complaints the Odyssey had. You get what you pay for though, for 20k more, the R has zero federal complaints. Not a one.
Then, there's the R's ride, which is like lounging in a first-class Euro-Rail cabin. You hear road bumps, but they are distant and soothing thanks to the longest wheel base offered in any Mercedes. Potholes produce a relaxing, cushioned crackle, like biting into a Snickers bar, a good bass sound but won't rattle you. You can change this serenity with the touch of a button. Paddle shift down and the engine screams and launches 5,000lbs of German steel like an angry bison. But even at high speed, it brakes crushingly, shifts like it's on tracks, and you're always in control. There's no tipsyness like in an SUV and no fishtailing like in most other wagons.
Finally, this car is safe. It weighs about as much as some full size pickup trucks but puts all that weight into crumple zones and a unibody construction rather than the chassis. Even the doors feel safe as they're as large as a sail on a boat and half a foot thick. You're basically in a vault when you're in this thing."
"When I purchased this car it had 9,000 miles on it. When it is not in the shop, the performance and handling is superb! However, I've had many electrical issues with this car. I do not know if it was with the 2006 model only, but this car has been in the shop a total of 2 months for the 2 years I've owned it. One night the car completely shut down and went into limp mode. The car needed to be towed stranding us. The headlights quit working another time and the entire headlight system needed replaced ,which MB stated that it was my fault and I had to dispute that with the threat of an attorney to have my certified warranty cover it. The transmission would not shift on numerous occasions and the fan refused to shut off for a period of time. As a result, the fan and battery needed replaced. It is nearly impossible for someone other than MB to replace the battery on this vehicle b/c the battery is under the passenger seat and to my knowledge there is a tool that only MB dealers have to access it. Maybe the electrical issues have been resolved with the newer models, so take this review for only the 2006 R350. One final thought, MB headquarters becomes hard to deal with once you've had a certain amount of warranty work performed on your vehicle. They tend to start pointing the finger in your direction. The last time I threatened the warranty department with an attorney, they stated, "Our resources are far more than your resources." While I tend to agree with that statement, I thought that was out of line and expected more from a luxury class automoblie company. Do your research and choose wisely."
"This is the third MB and the second R. The first R was a 2006 and I traded it in on a new Volvo XC70 as soon as the warranty on the R was up. Usual first model year glitches on the 2006 R and just not worth the annoyance and expense. I soon realized how different the R is from other crossovers. I kept the Volvo XC70 for approximately 6 months then switched to a 2010 R. The level of refinement, driving agility, and passenger comfort are the best features of this vehicle. That having been said my wife has a seven year old E class that has only been to the service center once for anything other then normal maintenance. The R on the other hand is in about every two months. I did purchase the extended warranty which will pay for itself based on past experience. Ultimately, I think buyers are fooling themselves if they expect the repair bills for a $60K car to be comparable to a $30K (insert other American/Japanese brand here) but they will find a higher level of reliability in the other brand. They only produce around 3K R's in Alabama each year and I firmly believe that is the difference between the R and the E. One is built in Alabama and the other is still built in Stuttgart Germany. My next car will be another R but I go in with my eyes open regarding the cost of ownership."
Pros: "Stylish if you like it. Top notch comfort."
Cons: "expensive if it breaks"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The Mercedes R350 styling is not for everyone but the handling aspect of this large wagon crossover is surprisingly good. Decent turning radius (although not like an ML), good braking and an extremely smooth ride. Gas mileage is another surprise @ 17 city and 23 highway as long as your under 75 mph. To do that you'll have to use cruise. You can carry lots of "stuff" and the air suspension in the rear will make up for it or you can carry six adults in the three rows of captains buckets in comfort. Good power from the 3.5 liter six w/ the seven speed trans which will learn your driving style. Expensive to fix at the dealership, find a good experienced local shop. Don't be intimidated by the brand, it's a vehicle with lots of value."
Cons: "Incredibly boring to drive, if you're into that."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"My wife has loved it since we got it. It is a hulking behemoth that moves down the road fine enough, but I think it's exceptionally boring to drive. An Odyssey or Sienna would drive like a F1 car in comparison (and with more utility and better mileage to boot).
The resale on these cars is poor, which makes them an excellent value for used car buyers. Pick up a CDI or Bluetec if you can find one.
Please don't try to make this car sporty; whenever I see this car with aftermarket suspension or wheels, I cringe.
Our car has a lot of miles, but it's still tight and drives like it did when it was new. The materials are top notch, and still look great. It's difficult to find any aging on this car. I replaced the rear airshocks with Arnotts myself ($235), it took less than two hours for both sides. We've had no other maintenance issues.
The Harmon Kardon sound is very good, the massive sunroof is nice, braking, acceleration, and handling are decent for it's size, though it's strange that my father's GL wagon (same year) is bigger and heavier, yet handles 100% better.
I think we'll keep this thing for another five years, it wouldn't shock me if we went longer."
Cons: "Big rear doors hard to open in tight spaces"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is an excellent vehicle. We love that 6 adults actually fit comfortably. The diesel engine is powerful and efficient; we get 30 mpg on road trips. I love knowing that my family is in such a safe vehicle. I would recommend an R-class to anyone looking for a comfortable SUV or wagon with all-wheel-drive."
Pros: "Premium driving pleasure. Very high safety futures. Very roomy."
Cons: "Voice activation system unusable. Command controls (nav) unconventional."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have a 3 series and a 7 series BMW. I had never considered MB before. When boys grew older, and minivan didn't sit well in their coolness gauge, my wife wanted to change her minivan with a 7-seatrer SUV. She was insisting on BMW X5. So, we went to the dealer and looked at one with rare 3rd row seat. Not only the third row seat is not useable, we didn't fancy the car as much as we initially thought. Audi Q7 was the same story with the third row seat.
I had never considered R type because of its really ugly front design, but when the 2011 model came out, it was just love at first sight. When we test drove and sat in the third row seat, we made up our mind already.
Detail to comfort and luxury is incredible. Ride is as smooth and quite as can be. Handling and breaking great. Steering wheel pedal shifts, rear view camera, navigation, bluetooth, all accessories are great. 6 in dash 1 in center console DVD system, cordless headphones keeps the kids really happy at the back. I don't have the Harman-Carton option but the sound system is just fine.
Panoramic roof is really nice. Everything in the car that would make you feel comfortable are there.
So far in 9 moths I owned the car, there has been no problem to report. Are there any negatives? I can only think of three:
- Navigation takes a little getting used to, but once you do, it works great. I don't understand how come they are not offering a touch screen navigation for a car at this price range though...
- Bluetooth telephone, address book works with great sound quality, however, voice command system is a joke. It just doesn't work even after voice training. May need German accent?
- It has a built in hard drive for media files. Size is 4GB.?! Even the flash card I insert has 8 or 16GB capacity.
Other than these, I can not think of anything negative about this car. Interestingly, gasoline mileage is better than advertised. I clocked 21.7MPG on a round trip from Leesburg to Radford, VA. I drive mostly in city, and the average is showing around 17MPG.
If you want a large family car withhout compromising driving pleasure, I definitely recommend this.
I recommend premium package with heated seats and heated steerig wheel, and entertainment system options. I also got the extended 10 years 100,000 warranty. Mercedes offers it for $3,500, and the unused portion of the extended 6 years is returned or can be transferred over when you sell the car."
Pros: "comfortable to drive on long trips and best heated seats ever!"
Cons: "repair bills, more repair bills, and another one tomorrow"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I loved the car at first, and I knew it would need some adjustments because I bought it the first year it came out. I have replaced a cv joint, rear differential, and now the suspension may need a $1000 repair. It is comfortable and spacious, but the love affair is over."
"I've had my R350 for a year now and it is time to review it. I have a black on black with the pano roof and fully loaded with all the goodies, so it's a pretty good representation.
I have a history of driving more exotic and unusual cars, often sports cars, but I purchased this because I have 2 daughters, my wife travels frequently, and so I needed something practical. I was unwilling, however, to give up the exclusivity, so this car came to the top of my list. It is very attractively styled, and I'm amazed at how many questions and compliments I get on it considering its classfication as a family hauler. The interior is also gorgeous, all the controls are in the right places, everything works how it is supposed to except for the clunky navigation system. The interface on it is poorly designed, and it is difficult to use.
The airmatic suspension is neat, but I don't notice much of a difference on the different settings. Sport does, I suppose, improve the handling by reducing lean.
It does not handle like you would expect to look at it, rather it drives more like a much smaller car, an excellent thing considering that it is actually larger than an escalade.
The fittings are nice, but not quite what they used to be in mercedes benzes. It is nicely done, and the plastics you can see are nice, but they're still plastics. The paint also scratches very easily.
I've had a number of electrical glitches that required warranty correction (my window lift, etc), as well as some trim items from the interior. Not too many, and nothing critical, but enough to be slightly annoying.
While the car feels smaller and handles fairly well, the 350 engine is underpowered. It really groans during hard acceleration, and the fuel economy is dismal.
The comfort of the interior is the best in the business and the best I've ever seen. The second row of seats have as much foot and head room as the front row, both of which are on nice, supportive, tall leather seats.
The third row is like the rear seat in a small sedan... slightly cramped, but still certainly useable. With the seats laid down, the storage capacity is exceptional.
I am very pleased with the R350. It is gorgeous to look at, super comfortable, and drives very nicely on the highway.
I don't think you can get anything that brings all of this together in such a useful package at any price, not even in the first class sedans of the big german makers. (the interior of the S class, by comparison, pales in comfort compared to the R). My car before this one was a Jaguar convertible, I had a ferrari before that, then 2 porsches before that, so this is a very different car from what I was used to.
The nice thing is that it makes the transition into responsible parent friendly vehicles somewhat palatable.
-although it doesn't mean that I'm not looking to fill that extra garage space with something wilder."
Pros: "It's ready for whatever your life style is"
Cons: "Repair cost, v6 is a little under powerd"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"I've owned my R350 for 3 years now, and it has been a eye opening experience.
I have never cared for or been a fan of German luxury but I can see where mercedes was going with this car ...it works for me......it fits my life style. It's a luxury car when you go out, it's a truck when you have to haul stuff from Home Depot , it's a snow mobile in the worst snow storm. It's a great vehicle to own but! ......you will have to be a little mechanically inclined. The first time the check engine light came on , the cost of the total repairs came out to $11,000. So I soon became a owner of a hand held obd scanner to read out the "check engine light" codes and look up how to fix it it myself and saved a lot of money doing it myself. Now the R350 is a lot easier to own. Unless your financially set to pay a mercedes Benz specialist every time that dreaded "check engine light comes on.....you better get familiar with the car. Ok, but overall I looked at plenty of cars and trucks and I still think that the R350 is the best car for me. Style ,function, and drivability nothing can beat it."
"Second owner. Love the styling, handling, and especially the roominess. 6 can sit in comfort on a long trip, and the all- glass roof doesn't cause claustrophobia. I can get 28MPG on cruise - not bad for a deuce and 1/2 weight wise. The Sirius radio and Harmon Cardon stereo system is better than most people have in their homes."
"I have owned this car for six years. I use it daily to bring 4 kids to school, drive around with clients and haul the dog to the park. The car looks like new and runs like new. So far I spent maybe 4,000 on repairs (e.g. breaks and other usual things). My next car will be a Mercedes R Class when I sell this one in maybe 5 years. I am not kidding."
Pros: "Cargo space, comfortability and appearance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I had my mercedes R350 for 3 years now and I have enjoyed it thus far. I had to replace the air shocks, but other than that I have not had any problems with the car. When I replaced the air shocks I found the part online, which was cost efficient compared to the dealership. They cost $300 for the pair!"
"German engineering at its best. Very easy getting in and out for older people and kids too. Loads of room and can carry seven in comfort and safety. Handles very well for big vehicle, and mileage is respectable - have gotten 27 mpg on long trips. Retractable moon roof is really great, particularly when showing visitors New York City. Maintenance is not cheap, but its a Benz and any car costs to keep in proper condition. Too bad Daimler AG discontinued the R Klasse in USA. New shooting brake is replacement, but only in Germany and expensive. Find a used "R" and buy it for keeps."
Pros: "Funt o drive, Great pick up for a crossover"
Cons: "gas millage, maintance cost"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I know owning a Benz, is not suppose to economical, but the car has been in the shop over 10 times in the last 2 yrs. Air shocks, engine light going on often, axle ect..... Please keep in mind each diagnostic is 300 at the Mercedes Service department. I have been lucky and found a shop that only works on Mercedes and the cost for repairs are a lot cheaper than the Service Center. THE GAS IS KILLING MY POCKETS. It usually cost me about 100 bucks to fill up and that will last 5 days if that. But on the bright side. Its all I could want in a vehicle. It has all the bells and whistles, SUPER roomy for a family of 6, Love the Harmon system, the heated seats. It is by far the most comfortable, stylish car I have ever owned. I would certainly consider purchasing another in the future."
Pros: "It has the characteristics of most cars in one!"
Cons: "City gas mileage is poor"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've been living with my r350 for about 8 months now. I only had the one problem so far. The suspension airbag went bad NAND out around $400 to replace. Other than that the car is fantastic, it rides smooth , the ride feels like your in a luxury car and feels smaller than it actually is. This is my first mercedes benz, now I see why it's the king of high end luxury. BMW , Lexus , caddillac ,fall short in refinement."
"i love this car and am very disappointed that mercedes has chosen to stop selling them in the usa . stopped in 2012 . the diesel gets 28 + mpg when driven at the speed limit on the highway . it is very comfortable and the seating in the third row is very good for an adult and better than most full size SUVs . it sits lower than a SUV and handles more like a quality car than a minivan or SUV . the only problem i have had is that the engine light comes on too often , but never for anything significant . usually just a sensor failure of some kind , which was usually covered by mercedes benz . i know of no vehicle that compares to the R class , and i believe the only reason this is no longer sold in the usa is poor sales which were due to an anemic marketing program by MB . i can't find a used Rclass to buy with lower mileage because no one wants to sell theirs .."
"I don't know what to call it, but it's amazing. Have to drive one to appreciate it. Got a great deal on a used one because they are not that popular i guess.
Smooth pick up. Corners flat. The ride is butter smooth without being "floaty". You feel the heavy weight of it though, but in a "I feel really safe" way; not a clumsy way. Front seats are great, second row is like a limo, third best for kids or short trips.The thing that amazed me most was the turning circle. How they got the thing to turn so tight is unreal!!! Great for moving a big vechile in small parking lots. Just make sure it is wired for bluetooth. that is a big expensive other wise. Also don't buy the $500 bluetooth attachment, used they are only $80.
Really love thisWagon/Van/SUV!!!!!!!"
"My wife drooled for this car. Every time she saw one she mentioned how much she’d love to someday own one. That day came in 2008. I surprised her with the R320 – white with tan leather interior – loaded. I cannot tell you how much I regret that purchase. The car would die for no apparent reason then suddenly (after being on the phone with MB’s helpline – which is no help at all) it would magically restart. The car will let you know when you have low air pressure. Do you think it will tell you which tire is low? A Chevy and Ford pickup will – but not this car. The headlights are designed to go out every six months. They must, because that’s how often mine go out. The “check engine” light (when illuminated actually means, “it’s time for you to go give MB another $1000) stayed on so much, we now ignore it. The brake ware indicator sensors are required to be replaced each time you change the brake pads. Why? Because they’re $100 per wheel, that’s why. This car holds its value as well as a no-armed man holds chopsticks. The only thing good I can say is that the car is very roomy – but then again, so is a dump truck (in which, riding blindfold you could not tell the difference). But at least it made my wife happy for three months. Yeah, that was worth sixty grand. NEVER again, MB!"
"I bought a 2006 R350 almost 3 years ago. For the price you pay, this vehicle does not meet the quality and reliability standards expected from today's automobiles.
Having owned a Camry for 5 years (60K with zero issues), and an Infiniti G35x (flawless so far after 30,000 miles), I am used to driving cars that work flawlessly, especially if I am paying an exorbitant price.
- Poor reliability - does not come close to Lexus or Infiniti. Hyundai is doing much better in the reliability department.
- Poor assembly. Various rattles from windows and doors that Mercedes Benz was not able to fix.
- Poor pre-delivery inspection by factory and dealer - on the day of taking delivery, I discovered that the rear A/C blower was broken and was making a loud rattling noise.
- Electrical issues - in the third year, ESP failed and brake booster issues surfaced.
- Power tailgate fails to open reliably.
- Features that should be a standard are optional - example Xenon lamps and parking sensors (MUST in such a large vehicle) are extra. Standard halogen headlights are very poor at night.
- Poor powertrain warranty - 4years and 50,000 miles including powertrain. Lexus and Infiniti offer longer powertrain warranty.
- Obsolete - large vehicles such as these are no longer desirable or useful. STEEP depreciation.
- Overall good handling. Makes you feel confident in snow and rain.
- Fairly decent braking and stopping distances.
- 13,000 miles oil change intervals.
- Top Safety pick - 2008 and beyond models only.
R350 would be a nice vehicle, if MB can actually can build a reliable car."
"Almost impeccable. Wonderful traveling and commuter vehicle, any weather, always safe. I don't stress in snow/ice b/c it corrects mistakes without fail (ESP, ABS).
Love the looks, 18" wheels, moonroof, front middle seat heaters, dividable stereo system, location of controls, user-friendliness and uncluttered, tasteful interior and exterior. Even w/o the airmatic great, comfortable, yet, for its size, spirited and confident ride. 500 engine is a must for this size, quick, great tranny w/ manumatic capability. Tend to drive with both feet to get around the throttle delay, esp. at stops when need to get away quickly (which it does!).
Plenty of interior room for family of 5 + lab and stuff (roof racks). Third row seats are more spacious than our MDX (superior ride to the 1st gen MDX). Kids and wife tend to fall asleep quickly..not in MDX, sorry.
MB Service always becoming (they keep forgetting to recommend tire rotations, so wear is uneven). Love the 12k mile service intervals.
Issues limited to cold weather: foggy windows, chassis rattle somewhere right front, that's it. No electric issues at all (wow!).
The R500's been a real treat thus far and makes a lot of sense for what it's intended to be. It grows on me the more time I spend in it. Controls make sense where they are. I needed more space than a station wagon, but not a monster SUV or van. The R perfectly fits the bill."
"I love the convenient design of this car. I have children and this car can haul a LOT (not to mention the third row of seats!). It's pretty good looking and very comfortable to use. HOWEVER!!!!!! I now strongly believe in "planned obsolescence"!!! We've owned 5 German cars so far. I am yet to see a German car that doesn't start breaking down literally the month the warranty expires! Each and every Mercedes and BMW we had, had the same issue - "check engine" is always there - for different reasons, but ALWAYS!!! Air conditioning is literally designed to work for exactly 4 years and 1 month! So is transmission! So is are any wires or pumps that are in the car! All fail within one year from warranty expiration. So if you are thinking of BUYING, please consider leasing. They are great cars, as long as you don't own them!!!
I've also owned some Japanese cars, and those babies last a LOOOOOOONG time!!!!"