First of all, many of the things you have heard about this car is true! It's lack of appeal was confusing to most. Not a car, and not a SUV/minivan. But,...you have to realize it can't perform like a sophisticated sedan because it isn't a sedan in weight and size. But it handles better than any 7 passenger SUV or minivan because it's not as bulky without the higher center of gravity. With the Blutec (turbo diesel) feature, I was able to transport 7 adults, for several hours, on freeway and hilly terrain. I was never at a loss for power, it handled the road better than my past minivans and suburban (and was more fun to drive!), no one exited the car with "confinement cramps", and I got 29 mpg! My best highway mileage was 40 mpg with four passengers traveling 75-85+ mph! Hope they begin reselling them in the U.S.
I just purchased my second "R" diesel, a 2011, black and almond.
Many magazine reviews for this car since its introduction categorizes it as some version of a minivan. Believe me, it is not a minivan by any measure of comparison. It is an SUV, pure and simple! Having owned a MB-GL diesel, a gas ML, and a 2008 R diesel, I can say it is the best of the three models.
It has more usable room, weighs less, handles better, accelerates faster, uses less fuel, is more passenger friendly and more comfortable than its MB stablemates. Plus it is $10,000 cheaper than the comparable GL.
My 08 R had 50,000 miles on it, all w/o a single mechanical issue or problem.
The exterior styling was never my favorite feature, but it has grown on me.
The few styling revisions of the 2011 model are so subtle that only the discerning eye can tell the difference.
The best option package for this car is the diesel version w/Premium 1, no panoramic roof, heated front seats, trailer tow, second row middle seat, basic roof rail system, and parktronic.
The MSRP will be around $60,000.
I hope that these comments were a help to those considering purchasing this automobile.
I purchased the R-Class From Mercedes Benz of Cincinnati(great dealer) It has all the usual great Mercedes comfort & tech packages. The command center is terrific. Extremely quiet ride. Excellent mileage, great ride, very comfortable seats. I can't think of anything that I do not like about this auto.
Diesel, command center, heated steering wheel, rear camera,etc.