The Mercedes-Benz R-Class was an odd duck of sorts: Lets take a seven-seat SUV and a minivan, and blend them together. This odd duck was pulled out of most markets aside from China in 2013 due to poor sales. In China, its a different story where it sells 12,000 to 14,000 R-Classes.
But one official at Mercedes-Benz believes the R-Class should make a comeback. Wolf-Dieter Kurz, Mercedes-Benz’s vice-president of product group SUVs and sports cars tells CarAdvice that they were too early with the R-Class. Kurz goes onto say that crossovers could be a major driver of product variants in the future due to their popularity and that there is room for practicality-focused models.
“Basically I think I feel that the SUV segment – due to its growth, and the worldwide interest that the SUVs have – the SUV segment will be also in future the one which sees most derivatives, let’s say, in the outskirts of the portfolio. Because it’s getting kind of fussy in it’s outskirts, let’s say. There was already one that we had in the portfolio – maybe we were too early – which was the R-Class, which we are still selling in China. It’s doing good, with 12,000 to 14,000 units per year. So let’s say these more, let’s say, on-road based but still very roomy, but not station wagon, is definitely an interesting segment also in the future,” said Kurz.
That last line sounds similar to the R-Class or something in the vain of the Subaru Outback.