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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Review

If you can get past the 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class’ minivan-style looks, test drivers said it’s a great luxury SUV for families.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable on-road driving dynamics
  • Fuel-efficient diesel option
  • Roomy third row
  • Outstanding safety scores
  • Minivan-style looks




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.4
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 10.0 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Overview

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is basically Mercedes’ version of a minivan. Its sleek, swoopy styling may turn off some buyers who want an SUV that actually looks like an SUV, but if you can get past the R-Class’ looks, test drivers said it’s a great family SUV. Its available diesel engine gets up to 24 mpg on the highway, its third row is roomy and its safety scores are at the top of the class. Test drivers said the R-Class isn’t sporty by any means, but it’s surprisingly car-like to drive for its size, and its ride is comfortable and smooth.

Though the R-Class is a great family SUV, it’s not perfect for everyone. The R-Class comes standard with features like dual-zone automatic climate control, burl walnut wood trim and a sunroof, but that’s not great compared with many rivals that offer more on their base trims. Features like a rearview camera, bi-xenon headlamps and navigation were part of options packages when it was new. If you need an SUV with more off-road and towing capability, or want a minivan alternative that looks a little less like a minivan, then you’ll want to look elsewhere. Otherwise, family drivers looking for luxury should be sure to put the 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class on their shopping lists.

See the full list of 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you want a three-row SUV with sportier performance, consider the 2011 Acura MDX. The MDX has handling that was praised across the board, and it looks more like a traditional SUV than the R-Class does. The Acura MDX also gets better fuel economy than the gas-powered R-Class.

The 2011 Lincoln MKT might not have the same prestigious luxury badge as the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, but it has especially good safety scores. Test drivers loved the MKT’s roomy cabin and smooth ride, and noted that its third row of seats is one of the most spacious in the class. Some reviewers had problems with the MKT’s MyLincoln Touch infotainment controls, but otherwise, it’s a great choice in its class.

Compare the R-Class to the MDX and MKT »

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