The quickest family hauler for six.
By Laurenz Peschke on
Vehicle2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R500 4dr Wagon AWD (5.0L 8cyl 7A)
ReviewOur requirements: comfort and room for 5 (3 kids, ages 5, 8, 10) plus dog, power, versatility for different needs; all-wheel drive, useful as commuter and travel vehicle. Went on two 800 mile trips, packed 4 people, their stuff, took the lab to the kennel, and continued the trip to pick up the other two incl. their stuff from camp without a roof carrier: it all fit. The R500 has superb handling, performance, and comfort for a vehicle this size. Even the kids prefer our R over our MDX. Gas mileage is better than advertised. I got 20.3 mpg over 300 miles at avg 64mph, including 40 miles city driving. Normal, passive town driving: 16mpg; aggressive: 13mpg. Love the design inside/out.
Best FeaturesSound system is very good, easy to use. Ability for rear seats to listen to their own music (radio, CD) via headphones is huge. Love the manual shift buttons on the steering wheel, much better than a shifter in the center console. The Nav is great. The cluster features are very informative.
Worst FeaturesLove the nav, wish I could edit a road trip (avoid a road, etc.), voice activation would make it safer to use. Needs carpet insert over the propeller shaft tunnel for the middle seats like the rear to keep base carpet clean. Can't memorize settings with key - really miss that feature.
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