2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Wagon

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Mercedes-Benz R-Class Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 7-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 3800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

  • While something of an outlier among people haulers, the opulent 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class remains a competent and versatile luxury family vehicle.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable for six adults, quiet ride, sumptuous interior.

  • Cons

    Long rear doors are a hassle in parking lots, lack of torque from gasoline V6, pricey for what is essentially a glorified minivan.

  • What's New for 2009

    Changes for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class include the introduction of the 50-state-compliant R320 Bluetec diesel engine in place of the diesel-powered R320 CDI, which was not available in every state. Additionally, a sunroof is now standard, and a new audio and navigation head unit debuts with HD radio, real-time traffic updates, Bluetooth, an iPod interface and new voice controls for various features. Finally, last year's rear-wheel-drive R350 has been dropped, which means all R-Class models are now equipped with all-wheel drive.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (16 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Mercedes r350

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

The Mercedes R350 is the worst car ever, visibility is poor but the car is very stable driving at high speeds. I purchased an extended warranty thinking that I was going to keep the car but I am rushing to get rid of it. The car only has 45,000 miles but have replaced the battery three times due to a faulty computer, and front shock @ 20,000 miles and the other front shock @ 40,000 miles. Each shock is $1,300 dollars, no mechanic want to touch it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

It's not a minivan

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

Due to the growing size of our family a car that seated 6 or more was in order. We did not want a minivan, already had an SUV, wanted a wagon or something that drove more like a car for our long road trips to the beach. This Crossover gives everyone their own room and plenty of it with a nice smooth ride. Bought used and it was well worth the price (new was out of our league), plus it has the Warranty so Mercedes service fixes almost everything.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

A good family car

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

We traded in our Porsche Cayenne for an R350 due to passenger limitation in the Porsche. The Mercedes offered a spacious interior with comfort and luxury as well as easy maneuverability. The engine can be sluggish to start but the ride is smooth once you get going. If you're tall, you may want to think twice as there is little clearance between my head and the interior roof of the car without moving the seat all the way down. The sun visor is also tricky to put down without having to move my head back. Difficult to get used to after having 2 suv's with more height and flexibility.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

I am coming from a 2007 Escalade ESV and have to say I had a lot of reservations about "downsizing"! We have 4 kids 2 of which in car seats and wow is all I can say about this car. I love that the 2nd row seats can move back and forth allowing for very easy access to the 3rd row which seats my 6ft plus 15 year old very nicely! The pick up is great and it is tons of fun to drive. Not too mention very pleasing to the eye to look at. I would say so far my only con is that it seems to have a lot of little things go wrong. Less then a month of owning it the steering column broke in my kids school parking lot and I could not turn the wheels which was scary to say the least.

Underrated great family crossover

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

Pro’s: I had an BMW X3 and drove the X5 along with the MDX the MB had the smoothest ride, best safety features (BMW doesn’t have third row curtin airbags), 3 rows of seating and the greatest comfort in the third row. Pricing was excellent got almost 16K off a brand new 08 and low 66 month 2.9% financing. Everything top of the line quality, metal feels thick strong and confident on the road. MB originally wanted to sell these in 06 for 60-80K. This was built to be a great cruiser like the s class. Feels like the s class and the panoramic roof is incredible. Cons: Navi not easy to use

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

What to call the r-class...nice!

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Vehicle: 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

My wife and I were in the market to replace our Yukon XL 4x4. We were looking at the GMC Arcadia and Buick Enclave when at the time I became aquainted with an R350 at our research lab for vehicle design and repairability review. With all of the safety features this car provided along with the amazing interior room, the R class was just right for my family of 5. I am a first time MB buyer so this may be the last one I buy or the first of many. We are so very pleased with the vehicle. It drives like a cloud. We thought we would miss the Yukon, but those memories are gone. This car provides for all of our needs and then some. We just love this car!

Full 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Review

What's New for 2009

Changes for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class include the introduction of the 50-state-compliant R320 Bluetec diesel engine in place of the diesel-powered R320 CDI, which was not available in every state. Additionally, a sunroof is now standard, and a new audio and navigation head unit debuts with HD radio, real-time traffic updates, Bluetooth, an iPod interface and new voice controls for various features. Finally, last year's rear-wheel-drive R350 has been dropped, which means all R-Class models are now equipped with all-wheel drive.


Part minivan, part station wagon and part luxury crossover, the 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is several cars rolled into one. Essentially a luxurious alternative for those who would never consider a traditional minivan, the R-Class seats six or seven passengers rather than the seven or eight you could fit into a minivan or SUV. However, those six or seven passengers will be pampered by one of the finest interiors of any people hauler on the planet. If you have the means to splurge on this kind of transportation, the R-Class is an intriguing upgrade from the Honda Odysseys of the world.

Roughly 35 percent of R-Class components are shared with the M-Class SUV, and both models are built in Alabama. Still, the R-Class, which is offered in R350 and R320 Bluetec trim levels, is very much its own vehicle. At 203 inches long, the R-Class extends past the E-Class wagon by a foot. It's also longer than rivals like the Audi Q7 and Cadillac SRX.

All that length pays dividends inside. Both second- and third-row passengers have more than adequate room to stretch out. For quick trips, there's an optional seventh seat, but this is not a road-trip seat for anyone. New navigation and audio options this year enhance the luxury feel of the R-Class and also make it possible to add Bluetooth, surround-sound and iPod integration. But the biggest news this year is the introduction of the R320 Bluetec trim level, which features an updated version of Mercedes' turbodiesel engine that's now 50-state legal in terms of emissions.

The one main drawback to the 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is its rear doors. Where minivans use parking-lot-friendly sliding doors, the R uses traditional swing-out doors, and these doors are quite large. The good news here is that the door openings are nice and wide, making it easy for passengers to get in and out. Unfortunately, they're so heavy and long that kids may not be able to open or close them without help.

To some extent, the R-Class leaves us scratching our heads, wondering why a prospective buyer wouldn't just get a minivan instead. With a taller roof, power-sliding side doors and many of the high-end features of a Benz, upscale trim levels of traditional minivans simply make more sense. But if you absolutely must have a three-pointed star on your hood and no-compromises luxury in your cabin, the R-Class will certainly serve you well as a family wagon.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is a large luxury crossover wagon with seating for six or seven passengers. Two versions are available, the R350 and the R320 Bluetec, and they are equipped similarly.

Standard equipment on the R350 includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, Mercedes' COMAND driver interface, bird's-eye maple accents, a power driver seat, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control and a single-CD stereo with eight speakers and a glovebox-mounted auxiliary audio jack.

Most desirable options are rolled into pricey packages, although a handful can be selected la carte. Among the more notable add-ons are a second-row bench seat that allows seating for seven, leather upholstery, burl walnut trim, an excellent 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system, a hard-drive-based navigation system with a rearview camera and real-time traffic updates, Bluetooth, satellite radio and park-assist sensors. Other available accoutrements include a panoramic glass sunroof, 19- or 20-inch wheels, keyless ignition, power and heated front seats, a power rear liftgate, three-zone climate control, a rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control a glovebox-mounted six-CD changer and a dedicated iPod interface.

Powertrains and Performance

The R350's 3.5-liter gas-burning V6 pumps out 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The new R320 Bluetec V6 turbodiesel is good for just 210 hp but cranks out a beefy 398 lb-ft of torque. Both engines route their power to all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission. In terms of fuel economy, the R350 gets an estimated 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined. Opting for the R320 Bluetec raises those numbers to 18/24/21 mpg.


All R-Class models are outfitted with rollover-sensing stability control, antilock disc brakes with brake assist, active front head restraints, side-impact airbags for first- and second-row passengers and side curtain airbags for all three rows.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is both posh and functional. Gauges are large and easily read at a glance, most controls are ergonomically sound and appointments are generally befitting an upscale vehicle. All R-Class models seat six in rare comfort, and the R's combination of elongated rear doors and slick spring-loaded second-row chairs helps to facilitate third-row access. Moreover, with the second- and third-row seats folded forward, the R-Class can hold 85 cubic feet of cargo -- less than a minivan for sure, but on par with other luxury crossovers.

The seventh-seat option, however, is a mixed bag. Wedged between the second-row buckets, the extra seat does add to the R-Class' versatility. But with noticeably firmer bolstering than the others, a seatback that encroaches on third-row knee room when in use and a too-narrow width for adult frames, it makes a questionable addition. Audiophiles will love the Harman Kardon stereo, which now includes true 5.1 surround-sound capability in addition to DSP-driven faux surround sound. The new display screen looks better and lends the R Class' map and menu screens an upscale look.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class hides its length reasonably well when you're at the helm, but you'll never mistake it for a traditional wagon. We highly recommend the optional park-assist system for maneuvering in tight quarters. That said, the R's steeply raked windshield affords excellent sight lines, and its substantial heft and autobahn breeding yield exemplary high-speed stability. Throw in appropriately subdued noise levels and a compliant ride, and you've got all the ingredients of a world-class long-distance cruiser.

Aggressive cornering is naturally not the R's forte, yet the four-wheel independent suspension and available Airmatic air suspension system admirably quell excess body motions. Still, if you're looking for a more responsive drive, there are several luxury crossovers available that are more involving. Even the equally large Ford Flex feels lighter on its feet. The V6-powered R350 is acceptable in terms of acceleration but won't win any drag races. The turbodiesel offers satisfactory grunt along with significantly better fuel economy.

Talk About The 2009 R-Class

Read more about the 2009 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs