Although perhaps not the best looking car in Mercedes' showrooms, the R-Class, which has only been in Australia since mid-2006 is a sports tourer according to the German manufacturer.
First presented by Mercedes-Benz in 2002, the R-class is designed to combine all the useful features from an estate, a sporty saloon and an SUV into one neat package.
Currently retailing from a starting price of $85,900, the R 320 CDI is set to be replaced by the new rear-wheel drive R 280 CDI as the entry model, bringing the starting price for the R-Class down to $78,990.
Gearing up for launch at the same time as next month's 2007 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, the R 280 CDI will utilise a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, with 140 kW of power and 440 Nm of torque, with a combined fuel economy of only 8.9 litres of diesel per 100km.
The starting price might sound expensive, and Mercedes along with BMW, are generally known to be the option kings, but for the R-Class, the standard equipment list is anything but lacking. Apart from the Mercedes badge, the entry model R 280 CDI gets:
- Seating for seven as standard (all models)
- PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system,
- ESP® Electronic Stability Programme,
- Eight airbags,
- BAS Brake Assist System and NECK-PRO active head restraints
- Full ARTICO upholstery,
- a 6-disc CD changer (with MP3 compatibility)
- THERMATIC automatic climate control
- 18-inch light alloy wheels in a sporty five twin-spoke design and AMG body styling
As well as the introduction of the new R 280 CDI, the remaining model line up also receive a variety of additional features.
Buyers who opt out for the mid-range all-wheel drive R 350 ($91,900) and R 320 CDI ($94,900) or the range topping R 500 ($124,990) now have a choice between two Luxury Packages, fitted as standard equipment.
Luxury Package 1
- Full burr walnut timber trim,
- leather upholstery
- THERMOTRONIC multi-zone luxury climate control.
Luxury Package 2
- a sports finish
- front sports seats in a mixture of ARTICO and alcantara upholstery,
- sports instrumentation and aluminium sports pedals.
However, if both package don't interest you, you can leave the box blank and save a cool $8,000 of the RRP.
The R 500 also gets Bi-xenon headlamps as standard equipment, but the big news is the new powerplant for the range-topper.
The R 500's previous 5.0-litre V8 (225 kW - 460Nm) has made way for an even bigger 5.5-litre petrol V8 with a monstrous 285 kW of power and 530Nm of torque. The 5.5-litre has so far proven it self in the E-, CLS, S- and GL-Class.
Somehow Mercedes has also managed to bring fuel economy to just 12.9L/100km, a 0.4-litre improvement over the smaller, less powerful engine!
All models have the following options
Vision Package - $4,800
- Bi-xenon headlamps with active light function, cornering lights and headlamp cleaning system
- Glass electric sunroof with tilt and slide functions
- Harman / Kardon LOGIC7® 440 watt surround sound system with 12 high performance loud speakers (including sub-woofer) and additional amplifier
Premium Package - $4,900
- DISTRONIC autonomous intelligent cruise control
- Luxury front seats (both heated and ventilated)
- KEYLESS-GO automatic lock / unlock and drive authorisation system