Acceleration is respectable considering the size and weight of the R-Class. The transmission upshifts at 6,000 rpm, and redline is marked at 6,400. Shifts are quick and crisp, and the all-wheel-drive system offers excellent traction. The transmission would not let us manually upshift, even in "manual" mode.
Under hard braking the pedal feels progressive and controllable. We noted significant ABS noise and vibration. Some front end dive was prevalent, but the vehicle was very well behaved and easy to control considering it is a crossover SUV.
Despite the vehicle's size and weight, the car is reasonably nimble in the slalom. The ESP (stability control) system is too aggressive when turned on, but in the "off" mode it still intervenes but allows enough slippage to get decent numbers. Steering feel is excellent with just enough weight and feedback.