Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - R-class - 5-dr wagon range
Facelift of unconventional Benz R-class improves looks but appeal remains limited
29 Nov 2010
Rich people have big families, too, which is why Mercedes came up with the R-Class, a luxurious seven-seat people-mover. It also designed the R-Class to sit higher than a normal wagon and fitted it with all-wheel drive for extra traction in slippery conditions rather than off-road work. The first generation, introduced in 2006, was not popular, partly because of its odd front end styling, so Mercedes has given the new model a more masculine SUV-like nose. It has also rationalised the model line-up and now offers only a single 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine.
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W251 R-classReleased: April 2006
Ended: November 2010
Family Tree: R-class
Based on the Vision GST concept of 2002, the R-Class made its production debut four years later. Sharing its platform with the ML, the seven-seater was designed with the American market in mind and came standard with all-wheel drive and rear air suspension. Mercedes offered it in two wheelbase lengths and customers could choose from five engines, including a 200kW/250Nm 3.5-litre V6, a 165kW/510Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel and a 225kW/460Nm 5.0-litre V8 that all made it to Australia. There was also a 375kW/630Nm 6.2-litre V8 AMG version that was not sold locally. The Australian range started off at $82,900 for the petrol V6 and ran through to $122,900 for the petrol V8 long-wheelbase model.Get the full story: R-class is the latest all-new niche model from Mercedes-Benz, but who will buy it?
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