If you want all-wheel drive, room for 6, and can't picture yourself driving a van or SUV, there's no other choice. The Pacifica fits the bill, but it's slow, underpowered and ugly. And, the rear seats on the Pacifica are not as easy to get into. Some reviewers are slamming the R500, because it's a Mercedes that doesn't register with their sense of what a practical car is. Who off-roads or uses all that van cargo space? The positives: V-8 power!, unique sculpted styling, 1st class ride and appointments, not driving the same SUV or van that everybody else is driving. Did I mention blowing the doors off of most vehicles? When the suspension lowers at 70MPH, you'll know sport touring!
V-8 power. Beautiful and comfortable interior. Technology abounds. Mercedes ride. Panoramic sunroof. F1-style manual steering wheel shifters. Free roadside assistance for life with the push of a button.
Less harshness in sport suspension mode. Digital clock in the center console. Better material on the visors. Cylinder deactivation for better mileage. Satellite radio should display title and artist at all times. Better Nav system input methods. Teach the Nav system to speak in a German accent!
It's a Mercedes. What's not to like? Love the side/rear views. I don't love the front, but the S-class interior, amazing sunroof, power everything, and extremely pliable ride quality more than outweigh the taffy-pull minivan front end. The V8 is strong and the 7- speed transmission is so smooth you can't feel the upshifts. Occasionally you feel a downshift if making a "rolling stop" but I learned that sometimes this phenomenon is due to hill start assist applying the break when you're rolling a stop sign if on a hill. Interesting...user error, not clunky transmission.
Glass full-panel roof. Seating with back center console makes it "sedan- like", ride quality that isn't jarring like an SUV. Powerful engine / transmission. Upgrade HK stereo a must. Auto-blink turn signals upon touching turn stalk (you'll miss it in the rental).
Touch screen nav and better graphics. Standard xenons, LED tail lights like the rest of MB lineup. Better looking wheels on all R-classes (R500 standards are best option to avoid minivan look). Choice of Sirius or XM. Standard parktronic or rearview camera in such a vehicle class.
This is my 5th MB and it has been a pleasant surprise. It is a superbly designed, extremely safe, highly functional multi-purpose vehicle. At 28 - 30 mpg on the freeways at 70+ mph, who could complain. Any comparison with the Pacifica is dillusional at best. Recommendation to mfr: make memory seating standard, especially at this price!
Air suspension ride and superb sound proofing coupled with an awesome stereo sound system. Remarkable mileage on highways.
At this price, memory seats should be standard as well as navigation system.
In less than 6 months of ownership, my R500 is being towed back to the dealership for the same problems - SRS warning light. According to Mercedes this may cause the airbags to deploy randomly (nice) or not work at all. Also, the low coolant level light is on. For $70k, one would think you would get a much better car. This will definitely be my last Mercedes. Audi Q7, here I come.
Engine performance is terrific for this glorified minivan.
Build a reliable car. Get back to the basics of Mercedes quality. The most recent consumer satisfaction polls speak for themself. Mercedes is not the same Mercedes of old.