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Road Test: Mercedes R500

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There weren't any reviews of the R-class on here, so I figured I'd dig up some...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9379352/site/newsweek

Road Test: Mercedes R500
Not up to speed.

The luxury automaker's first—and forgettable—foray into minivans

Newsweek
Sept. 26, 2005 issue - Think "minivan" and you usually get a ride that's unsexy, decidedly unhip and suburban, right? But what if that minivan—oops, I mean crossover vehicle—was made by Mercedes-Benz. Sexy now? Sorry, no. There's just something about a wedge-shaped hunk that's impossible to construe as attractive. Though the Mercedes folks insist the R class isn't technically a minivan (the press material compares it to a sport utility vehicle, luxury wagon and sports car), it certainly looks the part—albeit with a prettier interior and no telltale sliding side doors.

As for sports-car-like performance, I'd like to test the one they used for comparison. The model that I drove handled corners about as well as a schoolbus. On the bonus side, there's some giddyap from the 5.0-liter, V-8, 302-horsepower engine. Inside, legroom is outstanding, with plenty of space for six tall adults. Stereo headphone jacks in the back kept my little ones entertained. But when it comes to versatility, the R class again falls short. The pair of third-row seats, which easily fold, take up too much floor space when flat and too much trunk space when upright. Then there's the exterior. Tell me you don't see a Chrysler Pacifica in its silhouette. Who wants to pay big Mercedes dollars to get something that looks like it cost half as much?

Tip: Shave off $7,500 and 34 horses with the R350 model.

—Tara Weingarten

© 2005 Newsweek, Inc.

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I really don't see it as a minivan, but I agree it is kind of pointless.
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I do see minivan in it, and I'm so glad at least one reviewer didn't like it, because it is so pointless for Mercedes to have. Not to mention, UGLY.
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No it's not a minivan. It's more of a ummm.... like, uhhh... Mini-crossover-tall-roof-wagon thingy... :P
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. In 10 years Mercedes as well as BMW will no thave the same respect they have worked so hard to get. They will be thought of us poor quality toyotas.
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I sat in one today. There's nothing minivan about it, and I know minivan is derogatory term these days. I look at it more like a companion to the S-class. I think the bling-cruiser crowd will get on this quite heavily, as well as a lot of rich parents. This is more what the average person needs, certainly way quicker than an SUV...in my mind, if Cadillac offered a lowered SRX, you'd have the R's competitor. Buick should build something like it too. But for the price, I'd drive one in a heartbeat...thsi could easily be a hit.
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Those 2 already don't have the same power of reputation they had 10 years ago!. 10 years from now things are really going to be bleak. You know bmw's minivan is on the boards right now... :lol:
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BTW, you should see the length of the R's hood....definitely nothing you'd find on a minivan, not even that long on many cars of today.
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Buick should build something like it too.

[post="26147"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Agreed... the next Rendezvous? Most people don't need the ground clearance of SUVs anyway, and most of those car-based "SUVs" can't even go off road.
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Is it me or did DCX just take the pacifica and put some benz into it?

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Agreed... the next Rendezvous? Most people don't need the ground clearance of SUVs anyway, and most of those car-based "SUVs" can't even go off road.

[post="26177"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Damn, you beat me to it. I think this type of vehicle is right up Buick's alley. I sat in one; didn't get do drive it. As was said, it's NO minivan, it's a bling cruiser.
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I've said it before and I'll say it again.  In 10 years Mercedes as well as BMW will no thave the same respect they have worked so hard to get.  They will be thought of us poor quality toyotas.

[post="26002"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


The really insane part is, it's like they're intentionally trying to create that image!

I'll never forget the Mercedes commercial from a few years ago.. A guy walks up to a vending machine, gets a set of keys out of it, and drives off in a Mercedes. Then the voiceover says something like "Some day, we hope it will be this easy to get you into a Mercedes."

I couldn't believe my eyes. I don't even think Hyundai would want to run a commercial saying they want to be so so cheap and volume-oriented that their cars will come in vending machines.
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Why does everyone think it is a chrysler pacifica. Come one i went to out local dealerships introduction of the R-Class with my mom. I when i saw it i saw nothing of chrysler in it. It is so classy and yet sporty. In no way is this a minivan. I has none of the features, the looks, or the lake of power. I went on a testdrive with my mom and she feel in love with it. If we had the money she said she would purchase one. I personally like it espacially the R63 AMG. I think it will be a hit and that cadillac should make a cheaper better version with a v series.
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I've said it before and I'll say it again.  In 10 years Mercedes as well as BMW will no thave the same respect they have worked so hard to get.  They will be thought of us poor quality toyotas.

[post="26002"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


:blink:
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Mercedes needs to stick the basics like they used to. They are trying to go in too many directions and enter too many niche markets. All these vehicles are unecessary. Make damn good sedans like you used to and convertibles as well. Go back to being thee highest quality company you once were cause you really don't have a whole helluva lot anymore! Mercedes at one time were very highly regarded, man did they lose that status!
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Nice to know the review that disses the car is the one everyone responds to....in agreement at that.
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I've said it before and I'll say it again.  In 10 years Mercedes as well as BMW will no thave the same respect they have worked so hard to get.  They will be thought of us poor quality toyotas.

:blink:

[post="26671"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Look at it this way... If BMW isn't careful, it and Pontiac will be trading places. :D
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Oh wow! The (available) V8 powered Chrysler R-Class, or is that Mercedes-Benze Pacifica?

I realize they don't really share anything (tranverse engines vs. longitudinal, V6 vs. V6 & V8, front drive/all wheel drive vs. all wheel drive, and such) but their appearances are so similar even though the Mercedes is a bit bigger (like a ten inch longer wheel base, right?).

I guess that if Mercedes-Benz wants or needs a minivan, fine. But I feel that Mercedes-Benz, a premium and classic automaker shouldn't be chasing volume. Isn't that what Chrysler Corp. is for now? Trying to jam the three pointed star into every conceivable niche will surely only corrode and destroy all that they have achieved. I mean, come on, an A-Class!? Please.

I'll take the Chrysler.




http://2004%20Chrysler%20Pacifica.jpg




http://mercedesbenz_rclass_2006_450x225.jpg
*Images from Yahoo Autos and Chrysler Car for Sale .com
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I really wish I never posted this review.....
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I really wish I never posted this review.....

[post="30526"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

What did you expect? :) We generally do not like min-vans but a MB mini-van is even more ludicrous. Maybe they should get some rapper to endorse it and make it hip that way.
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What did you expect?  :) We generally do not like min-vans but a MB mini-van is even more ludicrous.

[post="37732"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

That's my point though, it's not a minivan....more like a tall wagon. It doesn't have the sliding doors or stubby hood characteristic of minivans either.
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That's my point though, it's not a minivan....more like a tall wagon.  It doesn't have the sliding doors or stubby hood characteristic of minivans either.

[post="37781"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Thats very true but people will still equate it with a minivan. The first Honda min-van did not have sliding doors either but it was still a mini-van in my book. If I were to spend that kind of money, I would choose some other MB.
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