2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Wagon

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mercedes-Benz R-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 268 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/20 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

  • The 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class combines the best features of a car, a minivan and a sport-utility vehicle. And while the Pacifica may have done that first, the R-Class sports tourer does it better.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Good performance, ritzy interior, supreme comfort and versatility.

  • Cons

    Long rear doors a problem in tight parking spaces.

  • What's New for 2006

    The all-new R-Class -- a premium wagon with more than a trace of minivan and SUV in its DNA -- joins the Mercedes-Benz lineup for 2006.

Full 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Review

What's New for 2006

The all-new R-Class -- a premium wagon with more than a trace of minivan and SUV in its DNA -- joins the Mercedes-Benz lineup for 2006.


Mercedes-Benz labels its new R-Class a premium sports tourer. Though it bears elements of a car, minivan and SUV, the R has the kind of layout and looks -- three rows of two seats, an elongated profile -- that'll likely have you labeling it a very upscale, rather attractive wagon. The R-Class is based on the concept Vision GST, or "Grand Sports Tourer," that debuted at the North American International Auto Show in 2002, and the production vehicle has remained mostly true to the concept.

The Mercedes-Benz R-Class' styling -- accentuated by a thick horizontal crease that angles forward and down from the top of the taillight -- does little to make the very long vehicle seem, well, less long. Rear doors are enormous. Somehow it all kind of works, especially in lighter colors. The R's two trims share their powertrains with the M-Class; Mercedes' newish 3.5-liter, 263-horsepower V6 motivates the R350, while the R500 is powered by the manufacturer's veteran 5.0-liter, 302-horse V8. An AMG-tuned model is set to join the lineup in 2007. Both engines get the superb seven-speed automatic that is working its way across the Mercedes lineup. All-wheel drive is standard on both trims, but it's clearly intended to help on-road -- no R-Class will be spotted at the end of the Rubicon Trail. Coupled with electronic traction control, stability control, BrakeAssist and four-wheel discs with antilock, safety features are nicely integrated.

For a short while, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class will have the "premium sports tourer" category all to itself. On some level, the V6-powered R350 might compete with the still cheaper Pacifica, but the R500, which has a base price of over $56,000, is in a class by itself. That is until the Audi Q7 and other competitors from BMW, Lexus and Lincoln come to market over the next two years. Until then, the only premium sports tourer choice is an excellent one.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Mercedes-Benz R-Class six-passenger wagon comes in two trims: base R350 and high-end R500. Standard equipment on the R350 includes 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seating, power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control full power accessories, bird's eye maple wood trim and CD player with an auxiliary MP3 jack. The R500 offers all this plus 18-inch wheels, driver seat memory, heated front seats, burl walnut wood trim, TeleAid and a glovebox-mounted six-CD changer. Options include HID headlights with corner-adaptive lighting, two different sunroof designs, heated rear seats, satellite radio, a rear-seat entertainment system, a power liftgate, a navigation system, Keyless Go and Airmatic air suspension.

Powertrains and Performance

The R350 gets its juice from a 3.5-liter V6 that boasts 263 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. Powering the R500 is a 5.0-liter V6 that commands 302 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to Mercedes' outstanding seven-speed automatic transmission. All Mercedes-Benz R-Class models are equipped with an all-wheel-drive system that in normal driving situations applies power in a 50-percent front/50-percent rear distribution.


Standard safety features include ABS, a tire-pressure monitoring system, stability and traction control, three-row side curtain airbags, front-passenger detection for airbag deployment and a rollover sensor that can activate the seatbelt tensioners and side curtain airbags. Rear side airbags are available as an option.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Mercedes-Benz R-Class offers an interior that's plush and nicely executed. Gauges are well placed and controls are mostly intuitive. The vehicle comfortably seats six; even the two rearmost seats are pretty comfortable for adults. Mercedes has made third-row access easy by expanding the length of the rear doors and putting both second-row seats on spring-loaded hinges. They jump out of the way with the flick of a lever, and snap back into place just as easily. With the second- and third-row seats lowered, the R-Class can hold 85 cubic feet of cargo.

Driving Impressions

With the standard suspension, body motion is well controlled. Optional on both R-Class models, Mercedes' Airmatic air suspension system ensures just the right damping for all situations. This is no sports car, but for what it is, Mercedes engineers did themselves proud. The seven-speed transmission has a lot to do with the vehicle's impressive performance; although we think it could downshift a little quicker, it's geared perfectly and clicks off swift upshifts when the driver has his foot down. Though the 3.5-liter V6 lacks a bit of the punch of the venerable V8, both engines offer pleasing amounts of power and torque. Steering is a little slow, but braking is pleasantly uneventful.

Read our Mercedes-Benz R500 Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Unreliable s

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

Purchased this car 2.5 years ago. The car was a 2006 with 45K miles. After only 2.5 years of driving this used car the Transmission tanked, just shut down. I was told by the mechanic at the dealer that a part inside was broken and it would cost $6,000 to fix - I thought i was getting a bargain purchasing this car for $19000 with only 40k miles, what a mistake. Prior to the transmission going the car randomly drops the left side suspension. Apparently the air shocks deflate overnight or while parked for a long time and it tilts to one side. Gas guzzler too, costs me $100 a week to fill it up!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Big mistake! least reliable car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

Just bought this car in March '13. The car is a 2006 with 68K miles. During the test drive everything was running smooth and we fell in love with the car, (more the interior than the exterior) The car almost looks like a Minivan but it grows on you. After 3 months of driving this used car the Transmission pooped out on us. It cost $1,500 to fix and we did not take it to the dealer (this was the cheaper mechanic option) Now the car randomly drops the left side suspension. Apparently the air shocks deflate overnight or while parked for a long time and it tilts to one side. Can't wait to find out how much new air shocks will cost but I'm assuming it will not be cheap. Gas guzzler too!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

Mercedes does not stand behind

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

2006 Mercedes with 63,711 miles and has had all recommended service performed at the suggested mileage, including regular oil changes every 4,000 miles (synthetic oil). Car stalled without warning. Towed to Park Place Mercedes where it was diagnosed that pistons in cylinders 1 and 4 had come apart, requiring a complete engine block replacement. The cost of repair was quoted at $15,000.00. The value of the car, prior to the catastrophic event, as listed on Kelley Blue Book is $17,000.00 private sale. My expectation is that an engine on a well-maintained, vehicle should last beyond 63,711 miles, unless there are issues with quality of parts used, or the quality of the engine construction.

9 of 15 people found this review helpful

2006 r500, unfortunate disaster, 74k

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R500 4dr Wagon AWD (5.0L 8cyl 7A)

I bought this car certified and have had problem after problem beginning with a water issue that caused electrical problems. Which, despite the knowledge of this problem Mercedes didn't want to admit it existed. They never fully addressed the problem until my warranty coverage was up, then they insisted we put the $7K claim through MY insurance. A few months later I had to spend $3,200 more to fix a rear suspension problem....now 60 days later I'm looking at $2,500 for a differential. I haven't even touched on the problems with the steering column, or the window switches that don't work because the entire panel simply fell out of the drivers side door one day.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Multiple, major problems

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I bought my 2006 R Class brand new in January of 2006. I have enjoyed driving the car and agree it has been the best car that fits my lifestyle, children, and hauling. However, this car has been very expensive to maintain. I have invested nearly $15K in repairs for things that were not covered under warranty. I have had to replace both the front right and left struts for $4K. The SOS system which I never used for $1,700. The seals on the transfer case for $1,100. The Cam Shaft for $5K. The airshock suspension systems for $2,100. The list goes on and on. MB USA has never stepped up to assist in any of these repairs. I doubt that I will ever buy another MB again. Don't love the car that much.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

Total loss at 48k miles

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Vehicle: 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)

I thought this car was a wonderful solution for a luxury drive with three rows of seats. That is until it had complete transmission failure at 48k miles, notwithstanding regular and expensive service at my local dealership, Autohaus on Edens. According to my independent, it has a failure in almost every major system. Neither the dealership nor Mercedes will stand behind the car and it will cost more than its blue book value to fix. Had planned on buying MBs forever. Never again!

Talk About The 2006 R-Class

2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Discussions See all Started By

Mercedes has announced that R-Class will make its debut this summer in time for a Fall market introduction. This is vehicle that started out as the Grand Sport Tourer and has recently been called the...

I have a 2006 R Class 320 4Matic LWB, recently I have had problems with the clock reverting to GMT from British Summertime (Going back 1 hour) and the speakers going from front bias to centralised ea?...

R-Class - New R320 CDI and R550 for 2007. More options also on schedule for 2007 production. There might be a R450 model with the new S450's 335hp V8. This new 4.5L V8 makes 339lb-ft of torque so i...

Read more about the 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 20
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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