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Avg. Price Paid:$12,022 - $30,418
Original MSRP: $43,000 - $87,400
MPG: 16 City / 21 Hwy
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2007 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Mercedes-Benz R-Class was new.

Many critics praise the R Class for its car-like performance. "Each of the four models accelerate, corner and ride like big luxury sedans," says New Car Test Drive.

USA TODAY feels "The R is more car than truck underneath, so it rides smoothly and handles well. Mercedes calls it a sports tourer, not an SUV, to emphasize its genteel attributes."

Acceleration and Power

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz R Class offers four engine options. The base model R350 has a V6 delivering 268 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque, and the R500 houses a V8 engine with 302 horsepower and 339 pound feet of torque. The R320 CDI has a V6 diesel engine, making 215 horsepower and 398 pound feet of torque. The top-end R63 AMG has an AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine with 503 horsepower and 465 pound feet of torque. The Detroit News says "from a powertrain standpoint, the R-Class is world-class." The 2007 base R350 model delivers an EPA estimated 15 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway and takes premium unleaded gasoline.

Most auto writers highly regard the 2007 Mercedes-Benz R's V6, but find the V8 brisk and the top-end performer, the R63 AMG, suited for buyers who want powerful acceleration. Automobile Magazine reports that the V6 provides "respectable acceleration and passing power." U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman says that the V6 engine "moves a fairly big car with urgency," calling it "more than adequate" and "light and responsive."

Automobile Magazine calls the R500 V8 engine "an attractive alternative, dropping 0-60-mph times from just over eight to just under seven seconds and making hilly terrain and heavy passenger loads less challenging." Edmunds adds "If brisk acceleration is at the top of your must-have list, you'll want either the R500 or R63 AMG."

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz R Class is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with electronically controlled shifting. "The smooth engines are hooked to the world's first production seven-speed automatic transmission, instead of the usual four-, five- or still fairly rare six-speed automatics," says MSN. Car and Driver says the transmission is "smooth enough in its gear changes, and it skips directly to the ratio it wants at any given time, so there's never a sense of shuttling through a seven-pack of speeds."

Handling and Braking

Most auto reviewers find that the R Class handles with confidence for a car of its size. U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman says that "the R's athletic agility allowed me to dart through that Manhattan traffic as if I were a bike messenger." Despite a 40.7-ft.turning circle and tires that "favor comfort over absolute grip," says Automobile Magazine, "the R-Class maneuvers well and feels exceptionally positive and self-assured through corners."

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz R Class is fitted with four-wheel independent suspension, with double wishbone in the front and four-arm multilink in the rear. "With the standard suspension," says Edmunds "body motion is well-controlled." Car and Driver similarly reports "The suspension has a deliberate, sure-footed feel."

Auto writers praise the 353 Air Suspension Package, which is standard on the R63 AMG and optional on the other trims. Edmunds says this optional air system ensures "just the right damping for all situations," with "three distinct firmness settings." The Boston Globe explains "Normal is benign and good for cruising. Comfort softens the ride and, while it makes it a bit tippier in corners, absorbs bumps. Sport stiffens the ride, holds it upright in corners, reveals bumps with a bit more thump, and is perfect if you're going to drive aggressively."

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz R Class is fitted with dual-circuit power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes with a standard Antilock Braking System, Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution, which auto reviewers say deliver sure stops. "There's more than enough braking capability to stop the hefty R-Class right now, and the pedal feel is very good compared to some other Mercedes models," says New Car Test Drive.

All Wheel Drive

The R Class comes with 4MATIC permanent four-wheel drive, with 50/50 front/rear torque split. "The all-wheel-drive system works in the background whether you're on pavement, dirt, snow or ice, and keeps the car planted and pointed properly," says New Car Test Drive. "It's engineered in such a way as to keep entry and exit height nice and low, not like a typical SUV, and it adds an element of confidence and security in sloppy conditions."

Performance Options

R350

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz R350 has a standard DOHC V6 engine, a 7-speed automatic transmission with electronically controlled shifting, 4MATIC permanent 4-wheel drive, independent double wishbone front suspension and independent 4-arm multilink rear suspension, with power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.

R320 CDI

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz R320 CDI comes with a DOHC V6 engine, a 7-speed automatic transmission with electronically controlled shifting, 4MATIC permanent 4-wheel drive, independent double wishbone front suspension and independent 4-arm multilink rear suspension, with power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.

R500

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz R500 has a DOHC V8 engine, a 7-speed automatic transmission with electronically controlled shifting, 4MATIC permanent 4-wheel drive, independent double wishbone front suspension and independent 4-arm multilink rear suspension and power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.

R63 AMG

The 2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG has a V8 engine, an AMG SpeedShift 7G-Tronic transmission, permanent all-wheel drive, double-wishbone front axle with air suspension AIRMATIC level adjustment, adaptive damping system, stabilizer bar and four-link rear axle suspension and power-assisted rack and pinion steering.

Review Last Updated: 5/2/08

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