Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - R-class - 5-dr wagon range
R-class is the latest all-new niche model from Mercedes-Benz, but who will buy it?
13 Apr 2006
By CHRIS HARRIS
TWO things struck us after seeing the new R-class in the flesh for the first time. The tyres – 255/55 R18s – looked as though they would do justice to a small truck and the vehicle’s physical presence dominated everything else on the road, bar a road-train. How could this swoopy juggernaut possibly appeal to buyers outside North America, where the roads are wide and the people even wider? Mercedes-Benz Australia reckons there will be a small, but important, niche of buyers who’ll warm to the R-class, a vehicle with the practicality of the E-class wagon and commanding view and versatility of the M-class SUV. It is clearly a six-seater with excellent seat and headroom in both the second and third rows, both of which also fold flat for some serious load carrying capacity. Not surprisingly the M-class was the donor for many systems, including the all-wheel drive system, although there is no low-range: the latest Merc is not intended for off-road duties. Like the B-class, Mercedes-Benz has seen a niche and decided to fill it. Beyond the US of A, though, we think it will remain a vehicle for a select few.
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Model release date: 1 April 2006 to 1 November 2010
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