Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Pros & Cons
- Seating for seven
- comfortable and composed ride
- relatively good fuel economy
- tight build quality.
- Cumbersome to maneuver
- antiquated COMAND interface
- limited cargo and passenger space compared to minivans.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is a competent and reasonably sensible family vehicle for luxury shoppers.
What exactly is the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class? To be frank, we'd like to tell you, but even a simple definition would be tough to provide. We could call it a minivan, but it has significantly less interior passenger volume and no sliding doors. We could call it a wagon, but it's really too big and bulbous for that. Mercedes calls it a crossover, which is probably the best option given the lack of a better term, but the R is hardly consistent with the countless other SUV-like crossovers out there.
Regardless of what name you hang around its neck, the R-Class seats six people — seven, if you opt for the second-row bench seat. It might not be as spacious as a minivan, but it has more cargo capacity than virtually every luxury crossover. It comes with a pair of relatively efficient V6 engines -- one diesel, the other a new-for-2012 gasoline V6 -- and goes down the road with the sort of poise for which Mercedes-Benz is widely known. Inside the cabin you get a generous amount of equipment and the expected luxurious ambience of a vehicle carrying the three-pointed star.
All this sounds good, but there are significant drawbacks. The R-Class might travel down the road as comfortably as a car, but the road had better be wide because this car can feel absolutely enormous from behind the wheel. The R-Class is also pretty enormous in weight, and there's only so much the two V6s can do since more powerful V8 engines are no longer available. Those conventional side doors might look cooler than a minivan's sliders, but you may not care about aesthetics when your kid accidentally bangs one of the R's big rear doors into a neighboring car. Finally, the R-Class is a victim of its age, as it features an older, less user-friendly electronics interface than its newer Mercedes-Benz siblings.
Inevitably, families searching for a large six- or seven-passenger vehicle would be wise to check out more practical, less cumbersome and vastly less expensive minivans like the Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna, or crossovers like the Buick Enclave and Ford Flex. However, such pedestrian name plates obviously don't carry the prestige of Mercedes-Benz, nor are they built to the same exacting standards. This leaves the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class as a pretty sensible family mobile for luxury shoppers compared to large SUVs like the Infiniti QX56, Land Rover LR4 and the Mercedes GL-Class -- even if you can't really define what it is.
Mercedes-Benz R-Class models
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is a large crossover/wagon/van vehicle with a standard six-person capacity. An optional second-row bench seat ups the passenger count to seven. There are two trim levels, R350 Bluetec 4Matic and R350 4Matic, but the difference between the two is restricted to engine and tires.
The R-Class comes standard with 19-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lamps, automatic wipers, a sunroof, power third-row quarter windows, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way lumbar adjustment), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, MB-Tex premium vinyl upholstery, Bluetooth phone connectivity, an older version of Mercedes' COMAND electronics interface, and an eight-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack, satellite radio and HD radio. The Bluetec gets run-flat tires.
The Premium 1 package adds a rearview camera, a power liftgate, power-folding mirrors, auto-dimming exterior and interior mirrors, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory functions and an iPod/USB audio interface. The Premium 2 package includes all of the above along with keyless ignition/entry (available separately) and an 11-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system. The Lighting package adds bi-xenon headlamps with a self-cleaning system. The Sport Appearance package (not available on the Bluetec) adds 20-inch AMG wheels and blue-tinted glass.
Stand-alone options include parking sensors, adaptive suspension dampers, a blind-spot warning system, a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, three-zone climate control, power rear sunshades, the Mercedes emergency communications system and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Performance & mpg
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz R350 4Matic comes with a 3.5-liter gasoline-powered V6 that produces 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and "4Matic" all-wheel drive is standard. Mercedes estimates the R350 will go from zero to 60 mph in a rather sluggish 8 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined.
The R350 Bluetec 4Matic comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesel that produces 210 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. It also gets a seven-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. Mercedes estimates a 0-60 time of 8.2 seconds. EPA fuel economy stands at 18/23/20 -- good but not really that much better than the cheaper gasoline-powered V6.
Every 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is PreSafe, which readies the seatbelts and can close windows and the sunroof if it detects an imminent collision. The Mercedes mbrace emergency communications system and a blind-spot warning system are optional.
In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the R-Class achieved the best rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is big and feels it, but its ride quality is comfortable and its high-speed stability is exemplary. Throw in appropriately subdued noise levels and you've got all the ingredients of a world-class long-distance cruiser. However, maneuvering the R-Class on tight streets and in parking lots can be a chore because of its size, so the optional parking sensors and rearview camera are certainly recommended.
As for engine choice, the new-for-2012 gasoline V6 is more powerful and efficient than before, so the diesel-powered and slightly pricier Bluetec is no longer the easy choice it once was. Still, we'd probably go for it since the diesel engine is stronger at low speeds around town, with better fuel economy and only minimal cost increase.
The cabin of the R-Class certainly warrants its Mercedes badge, with high-quality construction and materials. However, the cabin controls are dominated by Benz's previous-generation COMAND electronics interface, which features a less convenient four-way directional button pad (like an old video game controller) rather than the new multipurpose knob found in the newer GLK-Class and other Benzes.
There are other downsides. The sliding doors of a minivan might not be cool, but the elongated conventional doors of the R-Class (especially the rear ones) can be cumbersome in parking lots. And while the six-person configuration offers plenty of room for all, the optional seven-passenger bench encroaches upon third-row knee room. With the second- and third-row seats folded forward, the R-Class can hold 85 cubic feet of cargo -- less than a minivan, but on par with large luxury crossovers.
|Overall||undefined / 5|
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Most helpful consumer reviews
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.
12/2017 Update: we have owned this vehicle for over 2-years (30,000 miles); which was purchased in late 2015 when the car was approximately 3-years old. The car now has over 55,000 miles with no issues. The car is very reliable and comfortable, especially for extended driving. We originally purchased this car to help our 90+ year-old parents, who both had problems entering / exiting our other vehicles. The car is at a perfect height for them; the wide doors and hand-assists have proven to be invaluable for them; and, the seats provide a wide range of adjustments. The interior ride is solid, quiet, and comfortable. We have used all 7-seats. When the 3-rows are used, the luggage area is cramped; but, when only 5-seats are needed, the back deck is expansive and great for carrying two-large dogs. When only 2-seats are needed, the rear deck is HUGE; although the rear-wheel wells intrude on the rear deck width (i.e., you would not be able to carry a sheet of 4-foot wide plywood, flat. We drove this car through the Blue Ridge / Smokey Mountains...what a wonderful experience. No challenges climbing the hills or managing the curves. The Air Suspension was perfect. We have learned to follow with a bit more distance than other cars, as this is a lot of weight to stop in a panic maneuver. It also took a few days to get comfortable with the overall length when making tight turns. Once fully oriented, it is a great driving experience.
No longer offered new in North America, this fantastic car continues to be highly coveted in Europe. We are on our second R350 and will likely look to import our next one.
We bought this car, a 2012 r350 blutec diesel (we bought it with 75k) on it used after a long search for something big enough to haul my tall kids and two dogs comfortably. This car is awesome, we took it out on a long road trip to iowa, nebraska,colorado, wyoming, montana, and the dakotas. We live in Minneapolis St Paul Mn. It doesn't sound like a diesel, it doesn't drive like a truck and doesn't stink like a diesel.The fuel economy is incredible on this big vehicle. Running fast , up and down mountains it pulled 27.6 mpg for the trip.. if we were not driving fast in the 60s it would do in the 29-31 mpg. Going fast 80+mph up and down mountains etc with the ac full blast it did about 26 mpg. handles like a dream. One definitely can feel the size of it. Not clumsy but handles very well at high speed and in tight corners. The torquey diesel did not let me down in the mountains pulled strongly even at 14,000 feet. Back Seats are great, like the air conditioned front seats were nice too. I would buy it again. we paid $16,000 for a very good shape one with 75k miles. excellent vehicle.
Features & Specs
|R350 4MATIC 4dr Wagon AWD|
3.5L 6cyl 7A
|MPG||16 city / 21 hwy|
|7-speed shiftable automatic|
|302 hp @ 6500 rpm|
|R350 BlueTEC 4dr Wagon AWD|
3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A
|MPG||18 city / 23 hwy|
|7-speed shiftable automatic|
|210 hp @ 3400 rpm|
Is the Mercedes-Benz R-Class a good car?
Is the Mercedes-Benz R-Class reliable?
Is the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class?
The least-expensive 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 4MATIC 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $52,690.
Other versions include:
- R350 4MATIC 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A) which starts at $52,690
- R350 BlueTEC 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A) which starts at $53,840
What are the different models of Mercedes-Benz R-Class?
More about the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Overview
The Used 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is offered in the following submodels: R-Class Wagon, R-Class Diesel. Available styles include R350 4MATIC 4dr Wagon AWD (3.5L 6cyl 7A), and R350 BlueTEC 4dr Wagon AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 7A).
What do people think of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2012 R-Class 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2012 R-Class.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2012 R-Class featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class?
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Should I lease or buy a 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
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