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2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Review

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class has a luxurious cabin with comfortable seats, even in the third row. It also has an available diesel engine for improved fuel economy. When it was new, reviewers said that if you could deal with its minivan looks and price, the R-Class makes a good family hauler.

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth, fuel-efficient BlueTec diesel
  • Car-like performance
  • Luxurious interior
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Minivan styling
  • Poor fuel economy on gas models

7.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
Safety: 10.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Overview

Though it’s considered a crossover, reviewers said the 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is essentially the most luxurious minivan you can buy. Though the R-Class’ soccer mom looks may be a turn-off to many SUV shoppers, the R-Class’ positive attributes may make up for its unexciting exterior style. Its available BlueTec diesel engine gets fairly good fuel economy for a three-row luxury SUV, and all models come standard with all-wheel drive. Test drivers loved its upscale, comfortable cabin. This Mercedes boasts one of the roomiest third-row seats in its class, with accommodations big enough for adults.

However, the R-Class isn’t for everyone. If you just need a nice minivan for your family, and not a luxury brand, a 2009 Toyota Sienna may suffice. Compared with the available diesel engine, the base six-cylinder gasoline engine has disappointing fuel economy. Some reviewers complained about the R-Class' rear doors, which swing out rather than slide and are longer and heavier than most SUV doors. However, its safety scores are good for the class.

See the full 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you don’t need adult-sized space in the third row of your crossover and want something fun to drive, consider the 2009 Acura MDX. The MDX gets one more mpg on the highway than the gasoline-powered R-Class, though it can’t match the diesel R-Class’ fuel economy. When it was new, the MDX was much less expensive than the R-Class, so a used MDX may cost less than a used R-Class.

The 2009 Audi Q7 offers three rows of seats and is available with a diesel engine, just like the R-Class. Both diesel models get similar fuel economy, but the Q7 offers an especially luxurious interior without the minivan styling. Its safety scores are slightly better than the R-Class’ as well, and test drivers appreciated its refined ride. Keep in mind, though, that the Q7’s third-row seats are nowhere near as spacious as the R-Class’.

Compare the R-Class to the MDX and Q7 »

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