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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at a few used R350 models through Carmax, I have a 2006 Pathfinder and just got my wife a new Infiniti EX35 last year, now that we found out, we are having our second child I figured that it is time to get a little bit better "family" car. I do not want to get rid of my wife's car because it will do for day to day driving with a couple of kids, and is an absolute blast to drive, and overall we love it, from top to bottom. So the Pathfinder is on the chopping block, I love it as well but, surprisingly despite the size the rear seat room on the Pathfinder is absolutely horrible, not enough distance between front seat back and rear seats to fit two adults in front and two carseats in back, at least not on any out of town trip, which we take fairly often. Anyhow, I would love to get a fullsize SUV, but the few I really like are at an uncomfortable cost (new baby has me wanting to tighten budget a bit more for a couple of years). That being said there are Plenty of Gentley used R350 models at Carmax. They seem to offer everything I need except for towing which is no big deal, as I have a couple of older trucks to use for such occasions. To shorten this up, I am looking at either an 07 or 08 less than 30K on the ODO, I will probably only keep the car for 2-3 years as, a sort of a stop gap until I can get what I really want.

From all that I have read reliability is an apparent problem.
Does the 08 offer better reliability, than 07?

Since the car offers everything I am looking for right now is it worth it to know that 90-95% of the time the car will be solid but I am guaranteed that about 10-5% the time the car will be F'd up.

I guess I am asking that those of you that own the car would you do it again, does it make you happy enough that the issues are not that big a deal (as long as they are covered by warranty) I definitely do not want to get involved with lots of out of pocket money. Thanks in advance. B2
 

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No you are NOT crazy. You just read all sorts of posts from people complaining about problems they had with their R-class and you are assuming that it has a reliability problem. Although the earlier models 06 and 07s experienced some issues as first year production vehicles, all these issues have been corrected under warranty. Please understand that only a fraction of vehicles experienced some of these and not all vehicles. For example, my car has experienced one of the issues noted here but none of the others mentioned.
Also understand that forums like this one is a place for people to come and vent about their car problems, and understandably so. For each member here that is having issues with their R there are 100s out there that are enjoying a perfect vehicle.

I have a 2006 R500 for two years now and had no issues with the exception of the erratic shifting that was corrected a month after I bought it by the dealer through warranty. The car is rock solid. A well maintained car (as per the manufacturer schedule with OEM parts) will run solid 100% of the time, especially during the first few years of its life. Repairs are expensive, that's a given, but inline with other luxury brands.

This is my third Benz, and my first R-class and would definitely buy one again, but only if they come out with a V8 again. IMHO a heavy car like that needs to be powered by a V8
 

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Also on my 3rd Benz.
All have been very very reliable.

Love my R. I have the diesel so I'm not missing having a V8 at all. Tons of power; always have a great time passing most everyone else on the highway while climbing steep hills. I'm not aware of any reliability issues at all when it comes to "car won't function, need a loaner" type issues. As mentioned, most of the issues were with the early cars, but even then most were fairly minor. Mercedes are generally a pleasure to deal with. When under warranty, they are very generous, will not give you the run around like other manufacturers/dealers often do...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks

That is the sort of feedback I was looking for. I have already made the assumtion that alot of what I have read needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The whole "squeeky wheel" theory. I guess I figured more often than not the people that shout the loudest are the ones that are pissed a bit. I really do like the concept of this car and it fits all of my parameters, roomy, AWD, decent gas mileage, decent get up and go, etc. However, I have no experience with MB, mostly Nissan & Infiniti, a little BMW, some bad experiences with domestic brands (mostly jeep/chrysler) and that is it. So this will be my first venture into this brand. I have looked at other MB models, considered the GLK when I got my wife's Infiniti, but couldn't pass on the sportiness and quality for the price on her car. I am planning on going ahead with the purchase, since the 08 I am looking at has well over a years worth of factory warranty and I believe it was an in house loaner at a MB dealership, so I have to figure they would have taken good care of it. Just out of curiosity are there many Dad's driving these? This is about as close to the MiniVan concept as I want to come.
 

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That is the sort of feedback I was looking for. I have already made the assumtion that alot of what I have read needs to be taken with a grain of salt. The whole "squeeky wheel" theory. I guess I figured more often than not the people that shout the loudest are the ones that are pissed a bit. I really do like the concept of this car and it fits all of my parameters, roomy, AWD, decent gas mileage, decent get up and go, etc. However, I have no experience with MB, mostly Nissan & Infiniti, a little BMW, some bad experiences with domestic brands (mostly jeep/chrysler) and that is it. So this will be my first venture into this brand. I have looked at other MB models, considered the GLK when I got my wife's Infiniti, but couldn't pass on the sportiness and quality for the price on her car. I am planning on going ahead with the purchase, since the 08 I am looking at has well over a years worth of factory warranty and I believe it was an in house loaner at a MB dealership, so I have to figure they would have taken good care of it. Just out of curiosity are there many Dad's driving these? This is about as close to the MiniVan concept as I want to come.
I am with you on that one. I have refused to drive a minivan since my kids were born and saw this as a great alternative. The R is not at all a minivan. It behaves like tall wagon - car like experience.
 

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hmm...
I'm a dad. I certainly wouldn't consider the R a mini-van. No sliding doors and a much lower/sleeker roof-line.
It is technically a truck. Looks like a tall wagon as aggst1 mentioned. Some people call it a crossover.
Opinions differ on what it drives more like.. car or truck. In 2 feet of snow, it definitely feels like a very capable truck. Compared to a true sedan like the E class, it certainly feels like a truck as well. But that's not a bad thing. It's probably one of the best riding trucks out there and handles surprisingly well when needed. Our R was a compromise purchase between wife and I. She liked the looks and I had to have a diesel. So the R it was. Since purchase, we've had most of the issues reported here fixed under warranty. I was pretty annoyed with all the issues, but this car definitely grows on you. The styling was way ahead of its time and I find it better looking then when we first purchased it. As usual, MB is first with innovation. You now see all sorts of attempts at the crossover formula by every car manufacture out there, none executed with as much subtle elegance IMO. It's not the best representation of MB IMO, but I think you will be very happy with the R if you decide on the purchase.
-Robert
 

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hmm...
I'm a dad. I certainly wouldn't consider the R a mini-van. No sliding doors and a much lower/sleeker roof-line.
It is technically a truck. Looks like a tall wagon as aggst1 mentioned. Some people call it a crossover.
Opinions differ on what it drives more like.. car or truck. In 2 feet of snow, it definitely feels like a very capable truck. Compared to a true sedan like the E class, it certainly feels like a truck as well. But that's not a bad thing. It's probably one of the best riding trucks out there and handles surprisingly well when needed. Our R was a compromise purchase between wife and I. She liked the looks and I had to have a diesel. So the R it was. Since purchase, we've had most of the issues reported here fixed under warranty. I was pretty annoyed with all the issues, but this car definitely grows on you. The styling was way ahead of its time and I find it better looking then when we first purchased it. As usual, MB is first with innovation. You now see all sorts of attempts at the crossover formula by every car manufacture out there, none executed with as much subtle elegance IMO. It's not the best representation of MB IMO, but I think you will be very happy with the R if you decide on the purchase.
-Robert
+1. Well said.
 

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My hunt was for an all wheel drive, diesel, that could tow, with a lot of storage and passenger capacity, that *didn't* drive/handle like an SUV. That search led me straight to the R. Heck, the diesel even gives me better fuel economy than my last C class sedan. Love it, love it, love it!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good deal, it is nice to see the positvie feedback on this car. It is very unique and not quite as easy to research as your basic SUV or Sedan. I went ahead and had them bring in the R350, I think I will be happy, and it really is a win-win. It will cost the same per month as my Pathfinder, it has a year and half or almost 20K on the warranty, I still owe almost 2 years on the Pathfinder, so I would have definitely traded it in 2 years anyway because by then it would probably have 125K miles on it. So basically I am just making a swap, and in 2 years or about the time the warranty is running out, I will either, love and add an extended warranty and keep it or trade up to a new model, or trade for something differenet and go about my business. One thing I like about this particular car is that it was a lease vehicel and as a result was serviced dilligently and the mileage works out to be almost exactly 12K a year (2.5 years old 30K miles). It has had no warranty work done which means to date it has had no problems. One thing I am concerned with is the fairly lightly optioned with most of the basics (panorama roof, parktronic, power rear hatch, 2nd row buckets, and a few other small things) I am not concerned about Navi or much of the high tech features but 1 thing I wish is that it had real leather (as of now there seems to be some confusion but they are thinking that it is leatherette), and the color it is the Dark Blue with Gray interior. I am a little bit more of a black/silver on black person, but for what it is it will do. Anybody have the color combo? How does it look day to day (alot of cars are attractive at first but odd colors can lose their "luster" quickly. What aboutthe leatherette? If it turns out that it actually has it, will I be able to tell the difference and possibly be dissapointed. Thanks again gang.
 

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The leatherette is actually called MB tex. This material is more durable then real leather, and in most cases, most passengers in your car will probably not notice the difference. I don't think it should be a dissapointment you have MB tex and not leather and the leather will show wear quicker.
 

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check out a 25 year old MB with MB tex and you will see why most prefer it over leather.
-R
 

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OB, good luck as you have made up your mind.

The R class is perception among non R-class owners is that its an ugly minivan type vehicle that is a gas hog and sketchy reliable as a used vehicle not under warranty.

I love it when some publicaly talks themselves into on a low volumne homer thread. Im sure I sound like a hater, this is perception is from friends who shopped it and decided on another. Its mostly a mini van type vehicle. Sorry if that bothers people but its the perception. I don't understand the hate towards the mini van. If yOu are loading baby seats the sliders are great. Gas MPG is much better! And Japanese reliable to boot! So why the hate on them? Call the R a tall wagon, a rough and tough "Truck", what ever. IF the repairs eat you up you'll run no matter what you call it.

Personally I love the R-class and it drives great. Its a true luxury auto with a premium ride, premium engine and premium running costs. And the warranties are very expensive for a reason. I am still considering it. Owners know the benefits and ask one and they will mostly reinforce the decison by recommending it. Its human nature. Like your premium expensive CrossWhatever thingy? Of course you do! Do I like my Current BMW? Of course I do. Am I objective about it? Of course not!

Im not trying to rain on anyones parade but just inject a bit of objectivity here as most owners are fully in and drinking the coolaid. I have owned German cars for over 20 years and love them. I understand them, the cost and benefit but reality of the costs.

The R class stands alone with no peer. That is both a compliment and a warning. If your value system is ok with the costs then by all means do it.

Are you crazy? No, not if you do your homework and think it thru. Once done and you decide to buy it (soulds like you have) you will enjoy the wonderfulness of the R-class, safety features and smooth operation. Be objective and you'll make the right Choice FOR YOU! Good luck!

PS: I love my BMW! A friend of mine recently bought a 2009 5 series sport and freaked over the tire cost when he needed new. I asked him if he knew they were runflats? He said No. Asled him if he realized they were summer tires. He said no. Now he regrets ownership. THinks the MPG is lousy (its not for a V8) and he drives it hard. Thats my point, these are not typical cars with typical running costs. You want to play you have to pay. Accept it and enjoy the miles. Due dilligence!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks again to all.

I went last night an got the the R class. Have really only had the chance to drive it home and sit in long wnough to set my Sat radio. So far I am very pleased with my decision. Knowing how my little girls carseat fit into the Pathfinder, as soon as I put it into the Benz I knew I would be happy. The drive is nice an pleasant maybe not quite as quiet as I thought it would be but a definite improvement. To me feels like a heavy sedan in the corners but for sure not like something that holds a family plus bags and a dog. I have never had an AWD car before only slectable 4WD SUVs, and I am happy that you can't really tell that all the wheels are working, and that is nice. The car itself is in great shape for 30K on the ODO, there are about 4 scratches of note and 2 very small very inconspicous door dings, other than super solid, Car Max could have done a better job cleaning it he interior up a bit, no stains or anything but just not detailed properly, but aht is an easy fix. I am very concerned about the light gray interior, I knew the seats were really light but was not worried because they are wipable, however, the carpet is also super super light, and not so wipable. I wonder if after I have it detailed if there is a spray that will help block stains that I can pick up. Again thanks for the advice. I have a feeling that This car may be traded at the end of warranty for a new/newer model.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Also, Didn't realize that keyless entry was not standard, I guess I wasn't really paying attention during the test drive, plus I wish there was just a touch more under the hood (at least based on limited seat time), not tons more just a touch.
 

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I don't understand the hate towards the mini van. If yOu are loading baby seats the sliders are great. Gas MPG is much better! And Japanese reliable to boot! So why the hate on them? Call the R a tall wagon, a rough and tough "Truck", what ever. IF the repairs eat you up you'll run no matter what you call it.
I don't think anyone is hating on mini-vans, or the sliders. There is actually a safety reason against the use of "sliders" as you put them. In the event of a crash, the sliders will not open, leaving your occupants trapped waiting for help. Also I'm not sure how you figure gas mileage being better in a minivan... Are you comparing same class vehicles (ie. similarly sized V6 vs V6)? At a weight of over 5000lbs the R class is in fact a truck. Also, no one is claiming it is rough and tough.
Regarding its prowess in snow.. that is from personal experience having driven many types of other 4wd vehicles. The shear weight coupled with the electronic tranny allows you to rock the vehicle out certain situations much like a manual car where a regular automatic would certainly be stuck.
Bargamon,
you claim to not be a "hater" and yet the only remotely factual claims you have against the R class (higher maintenance/running costs, less reliable) also applies to your beloved BMW, most people (including me) who work on their own cars would even say more so. BMWs have some of the worse reliability records and extremely poor parts support. (I'm not biased there either since I'm also a BMW owner). Often they keep useful information out of hands of end-users (check out ALLDATA for example, BMW is the only manufacture which refuses to include workshop diagrams for DIY repair). Finally, I think with the fact the OP was even shopping for a MB to being with, he is well aware of the costs of premium brand ownership. He obviously knows he's posting in a R class forum and I think he got what he wanted in terms of useful advice.
-Robert
 

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Well said....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bargamon View Post
I don't understand the hate towards the mini van. If yOu are loading baby seats the sliders are great. Gas MPG is much better! And Japanese reliable to boot! So why the hate on them? Call the R a tall wagon, a rough and tough "Truck", what ever. IF the repairs eat you up you'll run no matter what you call it.
I don't think anyone is hating on mini-vans, or the sliders. There is actually a safety reason against the use of "sliders" as you put them. In the event of a crash, the sliders will not open, leaving your occupants trapped waiting for help. Also I'm not sure how you figure gas mileage being better in a minivan... Are you comparing same class vehicles (ie. similarly sized V6 vs V6)? At a weight of over 5000lbs the R class is in fact a truck. Also, no one is claiming it is rough and tough.
Regarding its prowess in snow.. that is from personal experience having driven many types of other 4wd vehicles. The shear weight coupled with the electronic tranny allows you to rock the vehicle out certain situations much like a manual car where a regular automatic would certainly be stuck.
Bargamon,
you claim to not be a "hater" and yet the only remotely factual claims you have against the R class (higher maintenance/running costs, less reliable) also applies to your beloved BMW, most people (including me) who work on their own cars would even say more so. BMWs have some of the worse reliability records and extremely poor parts support. (I'm not biased there either since I'm also a BMW owner). Often they keep useful information out of hands of end-users (check out ALLDATA for example, BMW is the only manufacture which refuses to include workshop diagrams for DIY repair). Finally, I think with the fact the OP was even shopping for a MB to being with, he is well aware of the costs of premium brand ownership. He obviously knows he's posting in a R class forum and I think he got what he wanted in terms of useful advice.
-Robert
 

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I am like a lot of you on this forum when it comes to describing our vehicles. I did not want a mini van, but techinically that is what we drive, but at a different level. The looks of any vehicle are subjective and people will buy what they like and thinks will work best for them and their family. As owners, we already know what the benefits of owning one of these fine driving machines are. Being a hater on this kind of forum is a waste of time but people are free to do that. By the way, BMW do have serious reliability issues when they get older and higher mileage, I know this for a fact because our BMW customers pay more for repairing their vehicles than the MB customers. Something to definitely think about when deciding on an used BMW that is out of warranty.
 
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