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

2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Wagon

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Mercedes-Benz R-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.0 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 302 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 12/17 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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (44 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

9 of 14 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.

41 of 53 people found this review helpful

Must read r500 review

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

I am writing this to inform any potential R500 buyers out there of what to expect from this car. First the good stuff - this is the best car you will find with three row seating. It is really fast and luxurious. The V8 which they don't even offer anymore is bullet proof. It is the same engine that they have perfected over 10 years. The R350's are underpowered and there is a problem with the engine. There is a pending class action on the R350's. The gas mileage is not the best... FWY is 21 around town you will average 14-16 The 3 things that WILL need to be addressed are the transmission valvebody $2k, the airmatic shocks $1K and the rear taillights wiring $250 they WILL fail .

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Airmatic suspension failure

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

I bought this vehicle new and within weeks of purchase it began displaying a warning light relating to the suspension system. I have had suspension problems over and over again with this vehicle. I had it at the Mercedes service center four times in less than 2 months this summer--each time was due to a suspension problem. I called Mercedes USA to no avail. They would promise a remedy but fail to follow through. I will not purchase another Mercedes because, in my experience, the company does not stand behind defective products.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

Happy but dissapointed

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

It's a great car, I love the look of it from the front and when I got inside and test drove I fell in love and I got a great deal. First brand new car I purchased and am glad I did. So I have owned mine now for 4 years and its still drives like a brand new car .

I love it but the

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

I bought this vehicle to accommodate my family of 5 and that it has done! Elegant look, smooth ride, and the space/seating capacity keeps the kids from fighting. The only issue I have had with this crossover is the gas mileage. It seems I am always at the gas station! We have to stop between our frequent team practices, and I often have to stop for gas several times during the week for work and extra curricular activities. This is a real drag. And we now have to plan a gas stop into our travel time when planning out our routines. This is no fun and it takes the pleasure out of driving this family dream machine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A tour deforce

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

I bought this with 70,000 miles and it drives like new. The comfort is incredible. The multicontour seats fit like a glove. The armrests and steering wheel are in the perfect position. The head rest doesn't push my head down to my chest like all the new cars do. The sound system is the best I have ever heard. I keep finding more features to use. The mileage better than most smaller v6 SUVs. None of the problems some people talk about. Too bad the economy forces me to sell it.

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

Talk About The 2006 R-Class

Read more about the 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

Gas Mileage


  • 12
  • cty
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs