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2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 4MATIC 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A) R350 4MATIC 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
This is a long, wide, sea monster of a car with a brutish grin. All it needs are fins! I wanted something (1) low to the ground, so it wouldn't tip over, (2) with all wheel drive to drive on ice, (3) great crash test scores, (4) a large trunk, (5) third row seats, and (6) was fun to drive. The R350 excelled in all of this. I was torn between the Odyssey Touring Elite and the R350 but decided to go with the R350 for the safety. The snob appeal certainly helped. Odysseys have been plagued, with airbag failures (either deploying when they shouldn't or failing to deploy in crashes). There are several complaints filed with the NHTSA regarding this for 2011 and 2012 alone. The R350 had none.
The interior is stunning. Contrast stitched leather lines the doors and extends all the way up to the dash. All the compartments are polished wood and air vents are chrome. The acoustics remind me of a train ride. You hear road bumps but they are soothing thuds in the distance. It's also fun to drive. The V6, especially paddle shifted down, launches the car like a raging bull. It's no sports car, you definitely feel the mass under you, but it's controlled (you don't feel the rear pulling out) and balanced (you don't feel it tipping because it's low to the ground). And its brakes are sharp as hell. I also love the massive doors. You feel like you're in secured vault when you get in
This is the perfect family car for the midwest. A backup camera should have been standard though. We didn't get the diesel due to reports of it freezing up in the winters here. And 4-Matic 4 wheel drive is supposed to be great on snow and ice. The new grill, overall shape, and exterior design are gorgeous. The interior is like riding a limo. The seats are gigantic and the car is as large as a large SUV inside. You feel very special as there's practically no one else driving one of these things. $70k for a "minivan" is a lot, but this one is worth it. We have two kids and this is the safest thing out there. The only thing that comes close is the E Class wagon, but this is bigger.
The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class in WA is: