Review: Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 – 2013)

Looking for a Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 - 2013)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.


Mercedes-Benz version of a people carrier. Huge amounts of space inside. Available as a long wheelbase for even more room. A seven seater from 2010 rather than the original six-seater.

Feels big and cumbersome from behind the wheel. Sheer size makes it tricky to manoeuvre. Poor warranty claim record.

Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 – 2013): At A Glance

Another day, another massive Mercedes. At 5,157mm (17 feet) the RL is actually 69mm (2.7 inches) longer than the gargantuan GL Class.

However, instead of seven seats, the car is built around six supersize Americans. Everyone gets an individual seat and room to stretch their legs, though the rearmost are only good for people less than 7' tall and weighing under 20 stone.

Looking for a Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 - 2013)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

What does a Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 – 2013) cost?

Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4922–5173 mm
Width 1922 mm
Height 1659–1674 mm
Wheelbase 2980–3215 mm

Full specifications

At 5' 9", getting into the car, I felt like a midget. It's on a different scale, like a ‘Spot On' model car compared to a Dinky. Mine came on optional 19" AMG wheels with gigantic 255/50 x 19 tyres which actually look right on the car, though the standard 235/65 x 17s are probably a bit more comfortable to ride on.

Mercedes describes the R Class as a Grand Sport Tourer: part sports saloon, part estate and part MPV, with a hint of SUV.

The car weighs 2,270kg before anyone gets in, which is 160kg less than the GL. Yet curiously, in hilly conditions, the 320CDI engine seems to struggle to pull it along, whereas it felt adequate in the GL.I can't help thinking that for the UK the R Class would have worked better as a 7-seater, sacrificing a bit of seat width in the centre row to get another body in.

However, with only 395 litres of luggage capacity, six giants, or seven normal people, or a mixture of both are going to have to send some of their baggage ahead.

Child seats that fit a Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 – 2013)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 – 2013) like to drive?

The R hums along the motorway very quietly though, and since 7th gets you 40mph per 1,000 rpm, 70 comes up at only 1,750rpm. Feathering it I averaged 30.7mpg over 45 miles and over the 200 miles of the test I managed 28.37mpg, which isn't bad for such a colossal car.

So where does this leviathan fit? It isn't an S Class estate. It's not as sophisticated as an S Class. It has four wheel drive, but it isn't a cross-country car.

Very simply, it's for big people. If you have four very big people and a couple of big kids to cross continents with, nothing does it better.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
R300 CDI BlueEfficiency 37 mpg 9.5 s 201 g/km
R350 CDI BlueEfficiency 33 mpg 7.7 s 223 g/km
R350 CDI L BlueEfficiency 30 mpg 8.8 s 246 g/km

Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 – 2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

12–38 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Mercedes-Benz R-Class (2006 – 2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

I bought a used car that wasn't fit for purpose - can I reject it for a refund?

I bought a used approved R-Class from a big Mercedes-Benz dealer around 16 months ago. The car has had a history of problems from the time I purchased it i.e. steering wheel issues and suspension problems. Most recently, it has been in for repairs for well over a month for faulty air conditioning (new compressor was hard to find and, when found, it failed again because of a blockage in one of the pipes). I had extended the warranty for a cost, so the works have been covered and they have provided me with a loan car. I've asked for a refund on the basis that I believe this car was not fit to be sold as used approved given its history with me. They have not accepted but would be happy to review the figures if I were to part exchange for a different vehicle. I have not asked them what those numbers look like yet. I would just like a refund. What are my options?
Too much time has passed for a refund which would, in any case, be for no more than the car's present value, not what you paid for it 16 months ago. Best thing to do is see what figures the dealer comes up with and negotiate from there. These American built Mercedes-Benz have a reputation for expensive problems.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions