Should I buy a used R class? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Should I buy a used R class?


I found this wonderful forum while doing some research. My wife and I are looking for a minivan/ crossover/ SUV type of a vehicle to purchase in the next 2-3 months. Other vehicles we have looked at are the Murano, Toyota Sienna, and a few others. To consider all options we expanded our search to more high-end vehicles, and we surprisingly found that a used R class falls into a similar price range as those 2 vehicles.

Does any one know why that is? This type of depreciation seems quite large. Is there any reason for this beyond high gas prices?

Can one gauge the reliability of such a new model? We usually drive our cars to about 120,000 miles. Is this reasonable to assume that the R-class will last this long without breaking the pocket book? Consumer Reports seems to slam all Mercedes vehicles in the last 8-10 years, showing severe electrical and breaking issues, among many other potential problems. I am curious how much there is Consumer Reports negative take on all Mercedes cars, or if Mercedes has addressed some of the more serious issues.

Do you guys recommend a warranty to hedge these potential risks, or are the warranties useless?

Is the 2007 R-class much better than 2006?

What are some of the issues you have had – both major and minor? What do you guys love or hate about this car? The R-class us absolutely gorgeous – inside and outside, and emotionally I want it. However, it has had very lackluster sales. When I think rationally about purchasing it, I have the questions above. Any insights and thoughts are greatly appreciated!

Thank you very much,
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 11:22 AM
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I was in the same boat about 2 months ago, except no minivans were on my list. I didn't want a full size SUV but needed three rows of seating, good performance, nice styling, tons of options, and decent gas milage. Nothing else I found really fit the bill within my $30K price range. I eventually bought a 2006 R500 w/ 30k miles. And let me tell you, 4 out of 5 aint bad! Actually fuel economy is not as bad as I expected. I took my 1st trip to FLA from VA and averaged 20 mpg. That's about the same as I used to get on the Chrysler Town & Country. But that's where the similarities end. This is really a great luxury vehicle. Mine is fully loaded with all option and cost over $70K new. I can't beleive I'm driving such a vehicle for - believe it or not - $24K. I have a Dealer friend who got it for me at the MB Financial auction. The car has since been fully checked out at the MB dealership and is in mint condition. I can't really speak of reliablility/maintenance and such, but as far as everything else goes - I love it. When I think about some of the other vehicles that I test drove in this price range I really feel like this was a steal. This car does require premium fuel and only gets about 14-15mpg around town, but since it's not my daily commuter (I still have my 3 series) I don't mind all that much. And with the $6K I saved (because I would have easily spent the full $30k on this vehicle) I won't feel that bad about any maitenance/repair bills down the road. Do not pay close to MSRP on a new one, or Blue Book on a used one, but if you can get a sweet deal - and there are many to be had - then I'd say 'Go For It'.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 01:22 PM
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Check if the R is really what you want. Being long time ML owner I choose 3-rd row seat in R just to test it.
It was lousy at least. Most of minivans have the 3-rd row much more comfortable with the exception of Highlander that is probably the worst.
If you don't need 3-rd row, ML IMHO is much better performer, or if you really need big car, GL looks good, although I have never been inside one.
About the prices Mercedes suffers not only from bad economy but also from bad wrap triggered by lousy service.
If you are DIY like I am you are going to love the brand, especially now when you can buy 3 years old car for less than a 1/2 of original price.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 09:10 AM
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Just left a Town and Country minivan or an is an awesome car. 3rd row is somewhat small but it works great for kids and the gas mileage is a little better than what we were getting with the T&C. As the others have stated buy used...saved tons!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 01:25 PM
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The R is ugly, slow and very unreliable (just take a look at CR survey data "POOR"). Mercedes is currently considering cutting the model from its line-up due to super poor sales and numerous expensive warranty issues. The build quality isn't that great and standard features are lacking for the price. The rear doors are just horrible, especially if you have little kids. Please do us all a favor and get something with sliding doors, because the kids will open the over sized ugly doors into other peoples cars and cause door ding damage. You will have to put some serious cash into the R to get anywhere near 120k miles. That is a lot of miles for an R. It won't be worth anything on future trade in either, because the model will discontinued and in no demand.
For your money, and for kid hauling, consider the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. They are both MUCH better, in just about every single category (build quality, reliability, features, electronics, ergonomics, ect...). The other minivans on the market don't even come close to these two pack leaders.
If you really must have a Mercedes with 3 rows, look at a GL. It is a solid and very well designed truck. It also looks great and the rear doors are smaller.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 08:55 AM
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Yes, Honda Odyssey is the champ of the minivan sector these days and is not a bad car.

I've driven one and it's basically an appliance.

The R-class will have lots more soul and character and you really ought to let the dealer maintain it on the Mercedes schedule. The Honda is a bit clunky and crude in spots where the Mercedes is always smooth and sophisticated.

Of course, the diesel version of the R-class is a hands-down winner.

Pay more, get more, as usual. And you will pay more.

Kent Christensen
'07 GL320CDI
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