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Discussion Starter #1
So I've narrowed it down to these two.

Assuming price is not the issue (It's a company car and I have a generous allowance for it, so I could get either loaded) I'd love to hear some thoughts from forum members.

And yes, I realize this is a Mercedes forum so there might be some bias. I'm also posting this question in a Flex forum as well.

The Flex I'm thinking of is the 2010 with the new EcoBoost 355 hp engine. It's due out in June.

Both of these cars have controversial style. But I like both of them. I might give a small edge to the Flex's looks but the R-class is still pretty cool looking to my eye.

I've driven the R350 and liked the ride a lot. The Ford isn't available for test drive yet. Will the Merc drive that much better?

I'm assuming the Mercedes would be the more luxurious car with more amenities but by how much? Does this give the R-class the edge?

Both are very similar in size and storage.

What do you guys think? Thanks!
 

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Check out the Linclon MKT - either on the Lincoln website or Edmunds. Its coming out this summer - assuming Ford stays on track. I like it for its 18 cu ft of trunk space behind the 3rd row. And only $50k. It is built on the Flex platform.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Check out the Linclon MKT - either on the Lincoln website or Edmunds. Its coming out this summer - assuming Ford stays on track. I like it for its 18 cu ft of trunk space behind the 3rd row. And only $50k. It is built on the Flex platform.
I've seen the Lincoln MKT on the web. I know it'll be more luxurious than the Flex, but honestly I think the Lincoln is butt ugly.

I like the styling of the R350 and the Flex much better.
 

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I am in the same boat; looking at a 6-7 passenger vehicle.
I would not consider the Flex for two reasons: it is the first year out & it's a controversial design. It could be another Aztek for all we know regarding the styling. People's attitude change quickly on styling. When the Pacer came out it received rave reviews because of it's innovative design.

And the Mercedes will have measurably higher quality from the feel of the interior, anyway... but I would say that is easily offset by the service costs.
 

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Personally, the R class wins but this goes a little deeper than just looks. First fuel economy on the Ford product will likely be fudged in some fashion as will the incentives to get you to buy it. This is the Detriot game. Yes, I know the blue oval doesn't have it's hand out yet like the others but without some competition this could happen.

Then there is the fit and finish. I would have to say that cost aside the R will have this nailed. I'm not saying ford doesn't make a good product but there is always the opportunity that things may not line up as they should and such.

Personally, I would need to test drive both and then determine but right now, my bet is R.
 

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Go for the R (Mercedes). It is Premium brand and FORD (Economy brand) is not.
You get more heads turn in Mercedes than FORD.
None of mercedes cars are cheap.
 

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Is that a joke?

It must be. Cannot compare MB with Ford. The design and materials is just crap. What was FORD thinking. Then they wonder why they are going down. The R is one of the most beautifully designed vehicles. The exterior is amazing bold design although other people who like GMC may disagree. The interior rivals the S Class and I have not seen anything like it hands down.
 

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I like the versatility and look of Flex. Finally Ford gangs won't have to settle for ugly Freestyle.
I'll say the only thing R350 or R500 will lose over EcoBoost is horsepower. But then, other than drag-racing from the light, cornering stability, center console interfaces, safety equipment, usability, service cost, and build quality, etc. make up the major factors when shopping.
You'll know what you prefer after driving one. Try to compare both models with loaded options.
2010 model should come with face-lift and minor upgrades. That should add up some arsenal against Flex.
 

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Well, of course I love my R350, but I have also owned many Fords and currently own a Ford Explorer V8 Eddie Bauer. I have had 2 Fords hit 200k miles without any major problems. I take care of my cars and my Fords have been good to me. I think your choice will depend greatly on 2 factors: 1. Price....The Ford will cost you less in almost all aspects. No suprise here. 2. Overall Quality: The Mercedes will give you a superior quality overall. The ride, the steering, the brakes, the seat comfort and of course safety. I love my Ford, but I always choose to drive my R350 when I can. Ford makes a good product, but it is not a Mercedes. I am sure you will enjoy whatever you choose. Good luck.
 

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1987 560SL - Signal Red, 2014 ML350 - Diamond White, 2019 Ford Explorer - Magnetic (company car)
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So I've narrowed it down to these two.

Assuming price is not the issue (It's a company car and I have a generous allowance for it, so I could get either loaded) I'd love to hear some thoughts from forum members.

And yes, I realize this is a Mercedes forum so there might be some bias. I'm also posting this question in a Flex forum as well.

The Flex I'm thinking of is the 2010 with the new EcoBoost 355 hp engine. It's due out in June.

Both of these cars have controversial style. But I like both of them. I might give a small edge to the Flex's looks but the R-class is still pretty cool looking to my eye.

I've driven the R350 and liked the ride a lot. The Ford isn't available for test drive yet. Will the Merc drive that much better?

I'm assuming the Mercedes would be the more luxurious car with more amenities but by how much? Does this give the R-class the edge?

Both are very similar in size and storage.

What do you guys think? Thanks!
I like your bold thinking of a usefull car:D both the Flex and teh R-Class will offer that.

The advantage I can see from the Ford is the price, I have never tried it so I can't tell how it drives, but Ford still own Volvo so hopefully some of the handeling from the XC90 came to the Flex.
The down side of the Flex is that it is a brand new product, always wait for the 3rd year in line, then many off the "kids" issues have been corrected.

Also the safety, if they have used Volvo's knowledge, will be on side with the MB.

In the MB you get the star in the front = status, but you also get a in my eyes a nicer looking car. You can choise a diesel, better millage and low end tourqe. Most likely the seats are better. The finish on the MB is very nice and clean. There are so many small details that you will discove after you start driving the car.

We love our R-Class for versatility 5 people and a huge trunk, when grand parrents come to visit we can fit 7.

What ever you choose enjoy:thumbsup:
 

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Ford versus Mercedes? Hmmm, that's an interesting comparison. You should probably compare the Flex to the VW Routan, not the R350. Pricewise and build wise, that's probably more of a comparison. I may be off on the numbers, but I thought a nicely/fully equipped Flex comes out to the mid to upper 40's? That seems awful steep for a Ford. I don't care too much about marquee and turning heads, I care about safety, build quality off the lot, fit and finish over the long haul and practicality when it comes to options and daily use. Here's the problem I have with American car manufacturers- they use inferior steel compared to Euro and most Japanese car manufacturers, they have the looses tolerance requirements when it comes to parts on the car and they have the highest depreciation values. That says a lot to me. American cars are nice off the lot, but in a year or two, put one next to a euro or japanese car and you'll see which has aged more gracefully.
 

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Come to think of it it if the FLEX was an oil burner that might be more of a comparision - esp. if they borrowed Volvo's euro diesel technology.

On the subject of HP this is a number which is very difficult to justify. Torque on the other hand - you feel this, right off the line. With my experience in diesel power you can really get people's heads to spin when they see you take off. My R320 is still stock and will be until it is paid for but my truck for example is only about 325 RWHP but much closer to 900 foot pounds. This throws you back in the seat and makes you sit up and pay attention.

So, without a diesel option personally I'd be all over the R320 (as I am) and enjoying the 900 km per tank to boot.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the input everyone.

And although it may sound like a joke at first to compare the Flex to the R350, I don't think it is. At least from my viewpoint--they are my two favorite cars that meet all of my (and my wife's) criteria.

I think the Ford wins in two categories:

1. The ecoboost engine will be more powerful and slightly more fuel efficient. (This isn't a deal breaker for me but it is a check in the plus column for Ford.)

2. The Flex is a cooler looking vehicle.

Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And as I said earlier, I do like the way the R-class looks. The difference is, I like the look of the Flex from every angle. The R350 looks great from some angles and then awkward from other angles.

I secretly wish the Mercedes had the Flex look--then it'd be a no-brainer.

The Mercedes more or less trumps the Ford in everything else. And as well it should. When both are loaded, the R350 is about 20K more.

In the end, I'd probably be crazy not to get the Mercedes. Especially considering it's on the company's dime.

Does anyone know when the 2010 redesigned R-class might hit showrooms? It doesn't look like much of a redesign--squared off headlamps and a few other things. If it was happening sometime in the next few months, I might wait. But if not, I'll probably get the new car in the next month.

Thanks again.
 

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In my view it is a no brainer. The R class is a much better vehicle all around. Why? Because it is by design a premium luxury vehicle. This means that aside from the bells and whistles (electronics etc) there is something else you get. The feeling of road authority. I am not talking about the prestige that comes with the three pointed star (personally I don't care for that too much). I am talking about the feeling of driving a VERY solid and refined vehicle. Test drive one for about 20 miles and you will see what I am talking about.

The Ford is designed to be middle of the road. You really can't compare the two.

You need to define what you need and want and go for it. You mentioned it is a corporate car. Do you have any issues with the vehicle being foreign or domestic? My wife has an allowance for a vehicle and we decided to stick with domestic since she is in sales and frequently travels to client sites that are part of the Detroit automakers' supply chain. She felt that she may get funny looks if she pulls up with a Benz or anything not domestic.

Let us know what you decided.
 

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The Flex was designed to be "cool" looking. That was the whole marketing angle. Problem is that it's using all of the same technology and "engineering" of other fords. Best thing that ever happened to Ford was buying Mazda and utilizing their engine tech in Ford's. Personally, I think the Flex looks like an ice cream truck. Now, the looks of the R-class didn't and still don't win me over. I didn't buy the car because of looks.

I've seen four Flex's in past 4 months and 1 of them was on the back end of a tow truck and the other was on the side of a highway waiting for a tow truck. No joke on this one.
 

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Ouch. Although I find that hard to believe that has to have some truth to it. New model years are generally like that though. Problems throughout.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks again for the comments.

After weighing it, the R350 is the winner.

One last question: Does anyone know when the 2010 R350's arrive in dealerships?

I've googled it and seen spyshots of the 2010's. It looks like it will be a redesign--angular headlights, new grill, maybe some interior,etc.

If it was arriving in the next two months, I would probably wait. (We currently have a car.) If it was going to be like six or seven months I probably wouldn't.

If anyone has the inside track on this, I'd appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just got an email back from my local Mercedes salesman.

He said the 2010 R-class would be arriving in late August.

So four months......hmmmmmmmm....now I'm in a quandry.

Is it worth the wait?
 

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Just got an email back from my local Mercedes salesman.

He said the 2010 R-class would be arriving in late August.

So four months......hmmmmmmmm....now I'm in a quandry.

Is it worth the wait?
Wait 4 months and you will have a choice of a new design 2010 or a dirt cheap 2009.
 
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