Daimler AG (2007–2013)
AM General (2014–present)
|Production||June 2005 – present|
|Model years||2006–2013 (worldwide); 2014–present (China)|
|Assembly||United States: Vance, Alabama (2005–2013; Mercedes-Benz U.S. International) |
Mishawaka, Indiana (2014–present; AM General)
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Mid-size luxury SUV/MPV|
|Body style||5-door MPV|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Related||Mercedes-Benz M-Class |
|Engine||3.0 L V6|
3.5 L V6
5.0 L V8
5.5 L V8
6.2 L V8
|Transmission||7-speed 7G-TRONIC automatic|
7-speed 7G-TRONIC Plus automatic
|Wheelbase||SWB: 2,980 mm (117.3 in)|
LWB: 3,215 mm (126.6 in)
|Length||SWB: 4,922 mm (193.8 in)|
LWB: 5,156 mm (203.0 in)
|Width||2006–2008: 1,922 mm (75.7 in)|
2009–present: 1,958 mm (77.1 in)
|Height||SWB (2006–2008): 1,674 mm (65.9 in)|
LWB (2009–present): 1,661 mm (65.4 in)
|Curb weight||2,130–2,375 kg (4,696–5,236 lb)|
|Successor||Mercedes Benz V-Class|
The Mercedes-Benz R-Class is a large luxury MPV introduced by Mercedes-Benz in 2005 for the 2006 model year. Following the sales success of smaller A-Class and B-Class MPV, a concept vehicle, Vision GST (Grand Sports Tourer), was shown at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show. Mercedes-Benz introduced the official production version at 2005 New York International Auto Show. The R-Class was built in Vance, Alabama until 2013 when its production was moved to Mishawaka, Indiana for the continued production to this day. The R-Class is based on the same platform used by M-Class and GL-Class with two wheelbase lengths: 2,980 mm (117.3 in) and 3,215 mm (126.6 in). The R-Class for North American market was available in long wheelbase only. In the model range, R-Class was slotted between ML-Class and GL-Class.
R 63 AMG
The AMG version of the W251, R 63 AMG, was introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show as a 2007 model. It features a handbuilt 6.2-litre M156 V8 engine producing 375 kW (510 PS; 503 bhp) and 630 N⋅m (465 lb⋅ft) of torque. Unusually, the R 63 AMG wasn't equipped with seven-speed AMG Speedshift 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission as found in ML 63 AMG despite both sharing the same engine and 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. The driver can manually select the gears by pressing the upshift and downshift buttons placed behind the steering wheel spokes if desired. No rear-wheel-drive option was offered in R 63 AMG. The top speed is electronically restricted to 250 km/h (155 mph) or 275 km/h (171 mph) with optional extra-charge AMG Driver's Package. Despite its heavy weight, the acceleration is brisk with 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) time of 4.6 seconds.
A high performance version of R-Class wasn't well received due to the poor handling dynamics, especially with heavy V8 engine. Due to extremely low sales figures caused by lack of advertisment, R 63 AMG was withdrawn from the market in 2007, making it a single model year.
As of 2019, the long wheelbase R-Class is still produced and exported to China with two engine choices (R 300 4MATIC Long and R 400 4MATIC Long), both equipped with 7-speed 7G-TRONIC automatic gearboxes and 4MATIC drivetrain. The R-Class enjoys the popularity in China with annual sales between 12,000 and 14,000 units per year. Due to the extremely low production number, R-Class is assembled by contract manufacturer AM General in Indiana from 2015 to present.
Sales had not met with manufacturer's expectations of selling planned 50,000 units a year with half destined for the North American market. While the initial strong sales of first two model years, 2006 and 2007, the sales began to nosedive in 2008 following the Great Recession and was less than ten percent of ML-Class sales. It never recovered and continued the downward slide, and R-Class was discontinued in 2012 for the North American market and in 2013 for Europe and the rest of the world with exception of China where R-Class enjoyed the rare popularity there. Mercedes-Benz Metris introduced in 2014 is considered a successor to the R-Class for the North American market.
In Germany, the limited engine choices and lack of available rear-wheel-drive option at the launch led to very slow sales with almost 4,500 units sold in 2006. The sales decline followed for a few years despite adding more engine choices and rear-wheel-drive option. The 2011 mid-cycle refresh increased the sales slightly to almost 2,500 before nose-diving to less than 500 units for the final model year, 2013.[circular reference]
The cause of poor sales performance is hard to attribute, considering multitude of possible reasons. One is the confusing marketing of what R-Class is: Mercedes-Benz tried to persuade the customers that R-Class represented a new category of luxury passenger vehicle with the attribution of station wagon/estate, crossover, SUV, and van rolled into one. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz initially marketed R-Class as R-Class as a "Sports Cruiser" and later as a "Family Tourer". It also suffered the "image problem" caused by ill-fated Chrysler Pacifica that looked too similar to R-Class and was similary sized despite R-Class having more luxury features and better managed launch. Chrysler Division of parent company, DaimlerChrysler, had introduced Pacifica a few years prior to the R-Class introduction, and Pacifica was plagued with production and quality issues as well as poor marketing and severe lack of engine choices. Secondly, the customer preference had shifted away from MPV minivans and vans to CUV and SUV during the late 2000s and most of 2010s. Thirdly, the Great Recession of 2008-2009 greatly impacted the automotive sales and consumer's confidence along with strong increase in fuel price, making R-Class less desirable due to its higher fuel consumption.
The mid-cycle refresh didn't help with sales at all despite improved fascia appearance more in line with ML-Class and GL-Class and better interior.
Safety and security
The R-Class scored "Good" in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) front crash test but "Acceptable" in the side impact crash test due to the excessive load against the dummy's torso. After modifying the seatbelts and interior door trim for the 2009 model year, the IIHS rated the R-class "Good" overall in side impacts allowing the R-Class to receive the Top Safety Pick award.
In the United Kingdom, Thatcham Research's New Car Whiplash Ratings (NCWR) tested the R-Class and awarded it the top "Good" rating overall for its ability to protect occupants against whiplash injuries. Thatcham Research's New Vehicle Security Ratings (NVSR) awarded R-Class with five out of five stars for vehicular theft deterrent and four out of five stars for breaking-in deterrent.
The entry with (Long) in parenthesis denotes availability in both standard and long wheelbases. Otherwise, the entry shows the standard wheelbase only. The Long without parenthesis denotes long-wheelbase version only. The asterick next to the figures denotes the long-wheelbase R-Class. The double asterick denotes the optional extra-cost AMG Driver's Package.
|Model||Years||Configuration||Displacement||Power||Torque||0–100 km/h (0-62 mph)||Top Speed (km/h)||Fuel Consumption/Efficiency (EU-Norm combined)|
|R 280||2007–2009||V6 (M272)||2996 cc||231 kW (314 PS; 310 bhp) at 5,000 rpm||400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft) at 1,300–4,500 rpm||9.6 seconds
|222 km/h (138 mph)||10.9 L/100 km (21.6 mpg‑US)|
10.9 L/100 km (21.6 mpg‑US)*
|R 300||2009–2014||V6 (M272)||2996 cc||231 kW (314 PS; 310 bhp) at 5,000 rpm||400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft) at 1,300–4,500 rpm||9.6 seconds||240 km/h (149 mph)||11.0 L/100 km (21.4 mpg‑US)|
|R 320 4MATIC Long
|2015–present||V6 (M 272 DE 30 AL)||2996 cc||200 kW (272 PS; 268 bhp) at 5,000 rpm||400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft) at 1,300–4,500 rpm||7.8 seconds||240 km/h (149 mph)||10.5 L/100 km (22 mpg‑US)|
|R 350 (Long)||2007—2010
|V6 (M 276 DE 35 AL)||3498 cc||200 kW (272 PS; 268 bhp) at 6,000 rpm||350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft) at 1,300–4,500 rpm||8.1 seconds
|234 km/h (145 mph)||11.3–11.5 L/100 km (20.8–20.5 mpg‑US)|
|R 350 4MATIC (Long)||2006—2013
|V6 (M 276 DE 35 AL)||3498 cc||200 kW (272 PS; 268 bhp) at 6,000 rpm||350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft) at 1,300–4,500 rpm||8.3 seconds
|230 km/h (143 mph)||11.6–11.9 L/100 km (20.3–19.8 mpg‑US)|
|R 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY (Long)||2012���2014||V6 (M 276 DE 35)||3498 cc||225 kW (306 PS; 302 bhp) at 6,500 rpm||370 N⋅m (273 lb⋅ft) at 3,500–5,250 rpm||7.8 seconds
|245 km/h (152 mph)||10.0–10.1 L/100 km (24–23 mpg‑US)|
|R 400 4MATIC Long
|2014–present||V6 (M 272 DE 30 AL)||2996 cc||245 kW (333 PS; 329 bhp) at 5,250 rpm||480 N⋅m (354 lb⋅ft) at 3,600–4,000 rpm||6.7 seconds||250 km/h (155 mph)||10.5 L/100 km (22 mpg‑US)|
|R 500 4MATIC (Long)||2006–2007
|V8 (M 113)||4966 cc||225 kW (306 PS; 302 bhp) at 5,600 rpm||460 N⋅m (339 lb⋅ft) at 2,700–4,750 rpm||6.9 seconds||245 km/h (152 mph)||13.2 L/100 km (17.8 mpg‑US)|
|R 500 4MATIC (Long)||2010–2014||V8 (M 273 E55)||5461 cc||285 kW (387 PS; 382 bhp) at 6,000 rpm||530 N⋅m (391 lb⋅ft) at 2,800–4,800 rpm||6.1 seconds
|250 km/h (155 mph)||13.2–13.4 L/100 km (17.8–17.6 mpg‑US)|
|R 63 4MATIC (Long)||2007
|V8 (M 156)||6208 cc||375 kW (510 PS; 503 bhp) at 6,800 rpm||630 N⋅m (465 lb⋅ft) at 5,200 rpm||5.0 seconds
|250 km/h (155 mph)
275 km/h (171 mph)**
|16.3 L/100 km (14.4 mpg‑US)|
|R 280 CDI 4MATIC||2007–2009||V6 (OM 642 DE 30 LA red)||2987 cc||190 kW (258 PS; 255 bhp) at 4,000 rpm||440 N⋅m (325 lb⋅ft) at 1,400–2,800 rpm||9.8 seconds||210 km/h (130 mph)||9.3 L/100 km (25 mpg‑US)|
|R 280 CDI (Long)||2007–2009||V6 (OM 642 DE 30 LA red)||2987 cc||190 kW (258 PS; 255 bhp) at 4,000 rpm||440 N⋅m (325 lb⋅ft) at 1,400–2,800 rpm||9.7 seconds
|210 km/h (130 mph)||9.0 L/100 km (26 mpg‑US)|
|R 300 CDI 4MATIC||2009–2010||V6 (OM 642 DE 30 LA red)||2987 cc||190 kW (258 PS; 255 bhp) at 3,800 rpm||440 N⋅m (325 lb⋅ft) at 1,400–2,800 rpm||9.8 seconds||210 km/h (130 mph)||9.3–9.5 L/100 km (25–25 mpg‑US)|
|R 300 CDI BlueEfficiency (Long)||2009–2012||V6 (OM 642)||2987 cc||190 kW (258 PS; 255 bhp) at 3,800 rpm||440 N⋅m (325 lb⋅ft) at 1,400–2,800 rpm||9.5 seconds
|215 km/h (134 mph)
210 km/h (130 mph)*
|7.6–7.8 L/100 km (31–30 mpg‑US)|
8.6 L/100 km (27 mpg‑US)*
|R 320 CDI (Long)||2007–2009||V6 (OM 642 DE 30 LA)||2987 cc||165 kW (224 PS; 221 bhp) at 3,800 rpm||510 N⋅m (376 lb⋅ft) at 1,600–2,400 rpm||8.7 seconds
|222 km/h (138 mph)||8.7 L/100 km (27 mpg‑US)|
8.8 L/100 km (27 mpg‑US)*
|R 320 CDI 4MATIC (Long)||2006–2009
|V6 (OM 642 DE 30 LA)||2987 cc||165 kW (224 PS; 221 bhp) at 3,800 rpm||510 N⋅m (376 lb⋅ft) at 1,600–2,400 rpm||8.7 seconds
|222 km/h (138 mph)||8.7 L/100 km (27 mpg‑US)|
8.8 L/100 km (27 mpg‑US)*
|R 350 BlueTec 4MATIC Long||2009–2012
|V6 (OM 642 DE 30 LA)||2987 cc||155 kW (211 PS; 208 bhp) at 3,400 rpm||540 N⋅m (398 lb⋅ft) at 1,600–2,400 rpm||8.9 seconds||220 km/h (137 mph)||8.4–8.5 L/100 km (28–28 mpg‑US)|
|R 350 CDI 4MATIC (Long)||2009–2010||V6 (OM 642 LS DE 30 LA)||2987 cc||165 kW (224 PS; 221 bhp) at 3,800 rpm||510 N⋅m (376 lb⋅ft) at 1,600–2,400 rpm||8.7 seconds
|222 km/h (138 mph)||8.5 L/100 km (28 mpg‑US)|
|2010–2012||195 kW (265 PS; 261 bhp) at 3,800 rpm||620 N⋅m (457 lb⋅ft) at 1,600–2,400 rpm||7.6 seconds||235 km/h (146 mph)|
All models except for R 350 4MATIC BlueEFFICIENCY (Long), R 400 4MATIC Long, R 300 CDI BlueEfficiency, and R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC use seven-speed 7G-TRONIC automatic transmissions. The latter four models use seven-speed 7G-TRONIC plus automatic transmission. Unusual for AMG model, R 63 AMG did not use AMG Speedshift transmission.
Mercedes-Benz announced in May 2007 that the R-Class model range would be expanded with more engine options and availability of rear-wheel-drive system for selected models in addition to 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. A new smaller 3-litre V6 is available in both petrol and diesel versions. The seating options became more flexible, offering five, six, or seven seats. AMG styling option was added to the extensive list of standard and extra-cost options.
2011 Mid-Cycle Refresh
The R-Class received a major facelift to the front and rear fascias, grille, side mirrors, and taillights for the model year 2011 to present. The revised model was unveiled at the 2010 New York International Auto Show.
At the same time, the new 5.5-litre V8 motor was introduced to R-Class for the first time since the last R-Class with 5-litre V8 motor, R 500, was withdrawn from the market in 2007. The reintroduced R 500 was not offered in the North American market. The North American market retained R 350 4MATIC and R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, both in long wheelbase form, for 2011 and 2012.
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