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

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


+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.

Insurance Groups are between 44–48
On average it achieves 93% of the official MPG figure

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.

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.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

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
Seven seat crossover? Cadillac or Mercedes?
"We are looking for a crossover/soft-roader. We also would like 6 or 7 seats for times when we have my in-laws with us (for short drives mostly).Our driving patterns tend to suit petrol better than diesel, and automatic transmission is a must have. We have been considering a Mercedes R-class, but are concerned about general reliability and service costs. We did come across a Cadillac SRX, that looks to fit the bill well. However, we know little about them, and concerns remain the same as mercedes (service costs and reliability). What are your thoughts on these two - and/or should we consider something completely different?"
Warranty Direct's Reliability Index consistently finds the R-Class to be one of the most expensive vehicles to run in terms of repairs. Hardly any Cadillac SRXs ever got sold in the UK so maintenance and parts won't be much fun. If Land Rover fitted the Discovery Sport 7-seater with Ford's 240PS Ecoboost engine or the 3.0 V6 and an 8 or 9 speed auto, that might suit, but will be juicy.
Answered by Honest John
Which SUV do you recommend to tow a caravan and return good mpg?
"I'm currently using a Mercedes-Benz R320CDI L to tow my caravan. It's a lovely, comfortable car that tows with ease. However the fuel economy is not great (about 22mpg when towing). I'm thinking of changing cars and I'm looking for suggestions. I had looked at the Audi Q7, but the reviews were not that great. Can you suggest a car that will tow up to 2200kg (currently towing 1400kg) and return nearer to 30mpg when towing with just two passengers? I only use the car at weekends or when caravanning as I have other cars for commuting etc."
You have picked one of the best tow cars there must be with its four-wheel drive and colossal weight. If you can do without an automatic transmission, then both the KIA Sorento 2.2 R Type diesel manual and the Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 R Type diesel manual will tow 2500kg and probably give about 40mpg solo. The automatics can only tow 2000kg.
Answered by Honest John
Which Mercedes-Benz to replace my modern classic?
"I have recently purchased a 1986 R107 Mercedes-Benz SL. Unfortunately I have come to realise that I have made a mistake in buying such an old design, and would prefer something which I could reasonably use almost every day. I am still very keen to have an open-topped car, and would prefer one which has done most of its depreciating. I am inevitably drawn to more recent Mercedes-Benz models such as the W124 Cabriolet and the newer SL models (R129 and R230) but I don't want to spend much more than £10,000. I would appreciate your views on my choices."
Of these, a late 3.0-litre V6 R129 SL is the one to go for. R129 SLs have very complex electrics, so the older the car is the more likely these are to be flaky due to moisture ingress and the breaking down of insulation. It's best to buy as late as possible. Early R230s had problems with the electric folding hard-top roofs and with the fuel tank (which requires removal of the roof mechanism to access). If you do go for an R230, then it has to be the 2006 - 2008 version with the upgraded power output. More here:
Answered by Honest John
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