2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Update

Mercedes-Benz Australia today announced a variety of changes for the R-Class set for October, including the introduction of a new entry model as well as seating for seven as a standard feature.
2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
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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.

2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

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.

2008 Mercedes-Benz R-280 CDI

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.

2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Seven Seater

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.

2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

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.

2008 Mercedes-Benz R-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