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2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class was new.

The R-Class crossover has a spacious and luxurious interior, innovative styling, and exceptional performance. Still, it's up against stiff competition and ranks near the bottom of its class and the luxury crossover class.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.1
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Sleek styling for a minivan alternative
  • Roomy and luxurious interior
  • Car-like driving performance
  • Expensive, even by luxury crossover standards
  • Rear doors open wide, a hazard in tight parking areas

2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Overview

Reviewers say the 2008 R-Class excels by marrying elements from SUVs and minivans into a spacious and powerful automobile replete with Mercedes style and refinement. Introduced in 2006, the crossover shares the basic platform of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class SUV, but looks much more like a futuristic wagon. For 2008, the R-Class remains virtually unchanged, though the R500 and R63 AMG models have been discontinued. CNET says the R-Class "combines the best features of a luxury sedan, an SUV, and a minivan to give its occupants an incredible amount of comfortable space."

The R-Class comes in two trims -- the R350 and diesel-powered R320 CDI. The R350 is available in two- or all-wheel drive, while the R320 only comes with all-wheel drive.

  • "In many respects, the R-Class, with its cool postmodern styling, establishes a new benchmark for luxury people movers." -- Detroit News
  • "TAKEN on its own, the R-class is a pretty wonderful piece of machinery." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "I find it difficult to recommend a vehicle that is so difficult to live with. After all, anytime you take a car somewhere, unless for the proverbial Sunday drive, its to arrive at a destination, which will require parking. Being that this behemoth is one of the widest vehicles on the planet, complicated by extremely long rear doors that open ultra-wide, well, its pretty well the most inconvenient vehicle Ive had to test in eons." -- Automobile.com
  • "There are certainly cheaper ways to carry six people, but initial sales of the R-Class suggest that quite a few customers prefer their minivan -- or SUV, or station wagon, or whatever it is -- to carry a three-pointed star in the grille." -- Orlando Sentinel
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