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#5

in 2011 Luxury Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $29,095 - $32,790
Original MSRP: $50,240 - $51,740
MPG: 15 City / 19 Hwy
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2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Many critics agree that the Mercedes R-Class provides a roomy and sumptuous interior. With seating for six or seven, it’s a luxurious minivan alternative. It also has a spacious third row that most midsize SUVs can’t match.

  • "The third row can accommodate most adults, and even though the majority of the interior is unchanged, it is still a nice place to be with high build quality and it's put together with nice materials." -- AutoWeek
  • "The cabin design is the expected blend of rich, textured plastics, soft-touch surfaces, and high-quality materials." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Materials and workmanship, as always with MB, are excellent." -- MarketWatch
  • "The cabin is still a comfortable place to spend a road trip no matter where you're sitting." -- Autoblog

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Seating

Comfort is a standout feature of the 2011 R-Class. Reviewers say that even the third row is big enough to fit adults -- just as long as they’re under six feet tall. The base R-Class seats six, though buyers can opt for a middle seat in the second row and get seating for seven.

Leather upholstery and power driver and passenger seats are standard. Memory seats and heated front seats are optional.

  • “Six-footers have abundant 2nd-row headroom and knee space, plus adequate under-seat foot space. Seats blend fine support with soft padding. Second-row seats slide forward and tilt up for entry and exit to the 3rd-row seat, which is roomy enough for two 6-foot-tall adults and more comfortable than those in most midsize SUVs." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Adults should have no problem getting into the back row as the second row seats easily flip up and out of the way, and with 32.4-inches of legroom, they're probably not going to complain about sitting back there for a spell unless they're on the local basketball team." -- Motor Trend
  • "Mercedes-Benz is particularly proud of the fact that the vehicle's third row is actually functional, and it's true that full-grown adults who are less than five-foot-eleven can fit in the way back seats without suffering a cramped neck or bruised knees." -- Autoblog
  • "The seats offer magisterial comfort and support, are wholly adjustable to suit one's physique, and remain appealing even after hours of driving." -- Cars.com

Interior Features

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class comes standard with a leather-covered tilt and telescopic steering wheel, burl walnut wood trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-disc CD changer and a power sunroof. New for 2011 are two-tone color schemes, silver air vents and special three-dimensional gauges.

A hard drive navigation system is optional, but many reviewers criticize the design of the system and placement of the screen. A rear-seat entertainment system is a stand-alone option and comes with two eight-inch LCD screens mounted on the backs of the front seats.

Though reviewers love the cabin’s soft-touch materials, they aren’t so fond of the R-Class’ COMAND infotainment system, which integrates controls for the stereo, navigation system and Bluetooth. Since it’s an older generation of the system, some find it complicated and outdated.

  • "We weren't in love with the shallow depth of the available navigation screen, but the automaker's COMAND system is among the best in the business at managing vehicle functions." -- Motor Trend
  • "The navigation system absorbs most audio functions, requires multiple steps for some basic tasks, and its low-mounted screen requires a long glance away from the road to read." -- Consumer Guide
  • “Our biggest gripe is that the nav screen is still located low on the dash, meaning the driver has to spend too much time staring down and away from the road to get an idea of where he or she is headed. It's a distraction that would require a significant redesign of the dash to fix " -- Autoblog
  • "The dash can now be had in something other than black, and there's trim available in a choice of woods." -- MarketWatch
  • "The 2011 update barely touches the interior -- the R-class, for instance, still does not get the excellent multifunction knob controller seen already in the Mercedes sedans." -- Automobile Magazine

Cargo

Cargo space is another one of the R-Class’ strengths. The R-Class provides 15.2 cubic feet with all three rows of seats in use, 42.2 cubic feet with the third row folded down, and 85 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down. That maximum capacity beats less expensive competitors like the Lincoln MKT and Audi Q7.

  • "Second- and 3rd-row seats fold easily to lay flush with the floor, providing a cargo hold that's nearly 8 feet long. The available 2nd-row console protrudes above the seat backs, though. Liftover is low for easy loading. Deep door pockets and multi-chambered 1st- and 2nd-row consoles provide abundant small-item storage." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Visions of wealthy surfer dudes chasing tasty waves isn't exactly the first image we'd associate with the freshened up 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class, but right before our drive in-and-around New York City, we received this tidbit during the press preview: it'll swallow 7-foot boards. Good to know." -- Motor Trend
  • "There are also lots of places to squirrel away stuff in the R -- console bins, door pockets, and so forth. And in a major philosophical reversal, Mercedes has admitted that cup holders aren't just a bit of American lunacy; the R can be had with as many as eight of these Big Gulp repositories." -- Car and Driver

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