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2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey fellow car nuts- I am researching a replacement for our 1998 Town & Country minivan; my wife's car. This has been a phenomenal vehicle for us, but it is time to upgrade.
The new T&C is even better with Stow 'n Go seats, Back-up camera, U-Connect, Dual DVD overhead screens, etc... but it is so ugly.
The T&C has hauled TONS of sheetrock, beams, joists, concrete, bricks, etc for my constant remodeling projects... things the R-Class can't do. But I can work aroound that with the work van.

So I am looking at ~$30k for a new fully loaded T&C verses a ~2007 R-Class with~15k on it. The options on the T&C are greater than the R, but the R is the superior vehicle in almost every measure. I know most of the pros and cons, but these forums are the best place to hear from those who REALLY know!

Thanks in advance.

Here is our current minivan

(with my SRT8 wheels on it, lol... :


And my car:



...yeah, I am a total gearhead.
 

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2006 R3504M, 2007 E3504M
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412 Posts
Nice car... Even from a german fan!

The T&C and R-Class cannot be compared. If you're looking for a mini-van, then the R-Class will not work for you. The R-Class storage is not as practical as in a minivan, but the vehicule is even longer. If you plan to have the 3rd row up most of the time, then you'll find there is not enough cargo space in the back. The large back doors also force you to carefully chose parking spots (probably far away), so you have to accept this.

I think the R-Class is good for a family with 2 kids, with parents that like to drive in style and appreciate interior luxury and comfort. The 3rd row is useful occasionally when you need to carry your in-laws for an event, but are not carrying any suitcases.

As far as the quality/offering is concerned, today Chrysler is probably the absolute worst on the market (even outclassed by Koreans). I think that any money spent on a Chrysler today is too much money. At the other end, the value for money of a new or CPO R-Class may be the best hidden secret on the market.
 

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2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks lippens!
Yeah- I hear you on the quality point, although both the T&C and my SRT8 have been great as far as repair is concerned. The brakes, power & suspension on the T&C is aimed at the soccer mom (of course) and really suck. I wish Chrysler made an SRT version of the Caravan or T&C, but they must figure there is no market. Most people who would want something like that wouldn't be caught dead driving a minivan because of image. I felt the same way before I rode along with a friend who had one and couldn't believe how versitile it was.

I think I am going to have to test drive the R-Class to see if it will fit. I have been spoiled by the size & usefullness of the T&C. But of course, the quality handling, ride, etc. of the Mercedes will pull me over as well.

One concern is whether Chrysler will even be here in a year. Mercedes will definitely be with us for a while, but the R-class won't.

I am a mod freak, and if we get the Mercedes I will certainly be more likely lowering it & adding 22" alloys, etc. than the minivan, lol.

Decisions... decisions....
 

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'06 R350
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143 Posts
Interior:
If you want 7 seats, you have to get an 2008, otherwise '06-'07 will provide ample 6 seats. You can consider a 2nd-row console to store some kids' goodies, I don't know whether it folds flat though. I don't have one and figure that without one it's a waste of space in the middle since there's not enough room to act as a pass way neither.
With 3rd row down it holds three big and one small suitcases, pretty big appetite.
I would choose black interior as my grey carpet is messed up pretty badly by the kids.

To save you some bucks and headache on modding and retrofitting, here's the MUST list had I do it all over again:
AirMatic
Backup camera or at least Parktronic
HID headlamps
TeleMatic/Bluetooth
Pano roof
Navigation
Satellite radio and iPod integration
 

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2006 R3504M, 2007 E3504M
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412 Posts
The R-Class might not be with us for much longer, but Ièm not worried for technical support. Anyway, apart from body and trims, the ML, GL, and R share the same mechanics and electronics.

If safety weighs a lot in your decision, then the R-Class should win hands down. I have read in many places that mercedes did not implement the sliding doors because they would not open after a crash. I recently spoke with a body shop guy at mercedes who told me that in 15 years at MB, he was always able to open the doors on a crashed car, regardless of the severity of the accident. GM and Chrysler usually force firefighters to cut the cars apart to get the poeple out...
 

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2006 R350
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191 Posts
Very nice 300. And if you want the muscle R, there is a R63 for sale in Denver going for $66k...the dealer won't budge at all, but in all fairness it's still a great price. 500hp, and the looks on the faces of kids in 'stangs and camero's as you blow them away w/ 5 other people in your ride is priceless.

Otherwise, the 500 or the 350 is plenty of room, especially if you have the 3rd row down. The R lowered w/ 22's is a really stunning ride.
 

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Thanks lippens!
One concern is whether Chrysler will even be here in a year. Mercedes will definitely be with us for a while, but the R-class won't.
MB announced a facelift for the 2010 R - I would be surprised if they eliminate it.

I've always been baffled by the min-van vs. R class comparission. The R is not a mini van, it is not a station wagon - it is kind of in a class by itself (plus you are comparing a Chrysler to a Mercedes). You can't carry sheets of plywood, you can't load up the car and have 6 passengers.

It is however a great ride; it is a rocket. I went from a Denali to the R - lost a lot of space and the luxury of not having to remove the junk from the back. But I love driving the car.
 

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MB announced a facelift for the 2010 R - I would be surprised if they eliminate it.

I've always been baffled by the min-van vs. R class comparission. The R is not a mini van, it is not a station wagon - it is kind of in a class by itself (plus you are comparing a Chrysler to a Mercedes). You can't carry sheets of plywood, you can't load up the car and have 6 passengers.

It is however a great ride; it is a rocket. I went from a Denali to the R - lost a lot of space and the luxury of not having to remove the junk from the back. But I love driving the car.
Well said. Totally agree with your reaction as far as comparing the R class with other vehicles that are not the same category. I guess that's expected because there are no other vehicles (besides the Pacifica) to compare with.

I used to drive a minivan and I'm not going back after driving the R class.
 

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2007 R-350
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77 Posts
The R-Class might not be with us for much longer, but Ièm not worried for technical support. Anyway, apart from body and trims, the ML, GL, and R share the same mechanics and electronics.

If safety weighs a lot in your decision, then the R-Class should win hands down. I have read in many places that mercedes did not implement the sliding doors because they would not open after a crash. I recently spoke with a body shop guy at mercedes who told me that in 15 years at MB, he was always able to open the doors on a crashed car, regardless of the severity of the accident. GM and Chrysler usually force firefighters to cut the cars apart to get the poeple out...

Wow, I knew Mercedes Benz were pretty safe cars but never knew that the reason for not having sliding doors was for safety reason. Pretty good info.
 

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2006 R3504M, 2007 E3504M
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412 Posts
An other example is that they never did recessed door handles. The traditional protuding handle allows rescuers to attach a hook to the handle to help pull open a crashed door.
 

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2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I've been surfing the forum but didn't realize there were more replies to my thread- Thanks guys!

No question comparing the R to any minivan is a stretch, but it is what I am facing right now. What vehicles are available that seat 6-7? Once you remove the big sport-utes (Suburban, Escalade, Excursion... wretched excess in my mind) there are not many left. The strengths of the minivan are utility & price; things the R can't match. The strengths of the R are numerous- quality, handling, ride, performance, etc... things the minivan can't touch.

I believe that I will end up with a R500. I am an obsessed gearhead and cannot get over what a great value the R is right now (after the 1st-hit depreciation). I have already spent hours searching for 20" wheels that will fit and researching the ways to lower it, lol.

Here is a short vid I did for a Chrysler contest (I came in 2nd :() that shows some of the mods I did on my SRT8. You might get a smile out of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0XY6F9xn-w&feature=channel_page
 

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We traded in our T&C in for the R500 back in 2006. I missed the space, the sliding door, and the low service cost of the T&C. Btw, I think I knew you from the other forums too...



I've been surfing the forum but didn't realize there were more replies to my thread- Thanks guys!

No question comparing the R to any minivan is a stretch, but it is what I am facing right now. What vehicles are available that seat 6-7? Once you remove the big sport-utes (Suburban, Escalade, Excursion... wretched excess in my mind) there are not many left. The strengths of the minivan are utility & price; things the R can't match. The strengths of the R are numerous- quality, handling, ride, performance, etc... things the minivan can't touch.

I believe that I will end up with a R500. I am an obsessed gearhead and cannot get over what a great value the R is right now (after the 1st-hit depreciation). I have already spent hours searching for 20" wheels that will fit and researching the ways to lower it, lol.

Here is a short vid I did for a Chrysler contest (I came in 2nd :() that shows some of the mods I did on my SRT8. You might get a smile out of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0XY6F9xn-w&feature=channel_page
 

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2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8
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Discussion Starter #13
We traded in our T&C in for the R500 back in 2006. I missed the space, the sliding door, and the low service cost of the T&C. Btw, I think I knew you from the other forums too...

HA Haaa!! Yeah, I think so!

I certainly know I've seen your SRT8 before (rare color, and even more rare with the scissor doors). I recognize your avatar too-
Which forum? 3CF, the"Z" or LXF? I am mostly on the "Z".

Our Town & Country has been a phenomenal vehicle. It does everything. I have built three additions on my house and many other projects with most of the materials hauled in the T&C... most with the doors closed.

If Chrysler made an SRT version, AWD, ~300hp V6, better brakes, suspension, etc. I would be all over it. I swear there is a niche there that everyone is missing. True, there are a LOT of people who are stuck against the "image" of a minivan, but that just means Chrysler should do something to change the image. The old Chrysler could have done it quite well.

Now about the styling of the current T&C... yeeeccch.
 

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I used to log on to both 3CF and "Z" but haven't really done that for the past few months.

I was planning to buy the CSRT8 to replace the minivan as the family car. But my wife didn't like the CSRT8 and didn't want another minivan. So we ended up getting the R for her and I got the CSRT8 a month later.

Make sure you get one with the HID/ Xenon. MB will blame everything on your aftermarket HID to avoid any warranty work.


HA Haaa!! Yeah, I think so!

I certainly know I've seen your SRT8 before (rare color, and even more rare with the scissor doors). I recognize your avatar too-
Which forum? 3CF, the"Z" or LXF? I am mostly on the "Z".

Our Town & Country has been a phenomenal vehicle. It does everything. I have built three additions on my house and many other projects with most of the materials hauled in the T&C... most with the doors closed.

If Chrysler made an SRT version, AWD, ~300hp V6, better brakes, suspension, etc. I would be all over it. I swear there is a niche there that everyone is missing. True, there are a LOT of people who are stuck against the "image" of a minivan, but that just means Chrysler should do something to change the image. The old Chrysler could have done it quite well.

Now about the styling of the current T&C... yeeeccch.
 

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2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8
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Discussion Starter #15
I used to log on to both 3CF and "Z" but haven't really done that for the past few months.

I was planning to buy the CSRT8 to replace the minivan as the family car. But my wife didn't like the CSRT8 and didn't want another minivan. So we ended up getting the R for her and I got the CSRT8 a month later.

Make sure you get one with the HID/ Xenon. MB will blame everything on your aftermarket HID to avoid any warranty work.
Oh, yeah.... THSRT8. Same name, only different :D Now I get it, lol.

The Cherokee SRT8 is bad ass but way too small. My 300 is larger inside.
I drag raced one a bunch of times at the SRT Experience Day Chrysler puts on for all SRT buyers (did you go?) and they are like untouchable off the line.

If you haven't gone- you HAVE to go. A whole day at the track and Chrysler provides a whole fleet of SRT vehicles, including Vipers, to drag race, track & autocross. It's free for all who buy an SRT.

And I didn't spin the Viper (in the minority :p)
 

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I guess it depends on what you really want vs. really need. For us we drive diesel and wanted something considerably more comfortable than what is now my computer car the VW. I didn't need something to haul materials in as this is what my Cummins is for but after taking it for a 500 mile round trip last weekend the R320 simply can not be beat. I'm sure the R500 would be a great unit as well but both the R350 and 500 will have premium unleaded fuel costs and burn it like it was going out of style. The R320 doesn't burn huge amounts but does use more than the VW - but hey look at the size comparision there.

I don't agree with what was said about the R not being here. I think they will be here a while but just not a hot seller compared to other models because people don't know what they are. Again, personally, it works for us and we are glad we bought it.
 

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2006 R350, 1993 Cadillac STS, Airbus A300
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Last year I finally parked the Plymouth Grand Voyager with 250k miles on it and got a 2006 R350.
No comparing these two vehicles. For years it was me, the wife, three kids, and lots of junk to haul on long trips....a large mini-van was the only option for us. Now that the oldest is off at college we were able to consider a smaller vehicle.
The Benz is a driving machine, while the mini-van is a people/cargo hauler. The Benz is far superior in every aspect except cargo room. With all six seats occupied, the Benz only has enough cargo room for a couple of bags of groceries. Small concession to pay for all the extra driving enjoyment.
 

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Oh, yeah.... THSRT8. Same name, only different :D Now I get it, lol.

The Cherokee SRT8 is bad ass but way too small. My 300 is larger inside.
I drag raced one a bunch of times at the SRT Experience Day Chrysler puts on for all SRT buyers (did you go?) and they are like untouchable off the line.

If you haven't gone- you HAVE to go. A whole day at the track and Chrysler provides a whole fleet of SRT vehicles, including Vipers, to drag race, track & autocross. It's free for all who buy an SRT.

And I didn't spin the Viper (in the minority :p)
I never considered the GCSRT8 as the interior is much tigher as you mentioned and we already have a "SUV", RX330 at the time. I did almost buy the MSRT8 but was turned off by the cheap looking interior.

I wanted to go to the SRT experince but "family reason" prevented me from going.

Have you found the R500 yet? What's the market price? I can sell you mine at a good price :)
 

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2006 Chrysler 300C SRT8
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Discussion Starter #19
I never considered the GCSRT8 as the interior is much tigher as you mentioned and we already have a "SUV", RX330 at the time. I did almost buy the MSRT8 but was turned off by the cheap looking interior.

I wanted to go to the SRT experince but "family reason" prevented me from going.

Have you found the R500 yet? What's the market price? I can sell you mine at a good price :)
Haven't bought one yet... but my goal is to find a 2007 R500 with all options, 17,000 miles for $30k. Gotta start somewhere :D

Here is a quickie estimate from Edmonds:
2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R500 4dr Wagon AWD
....................................Trade-In.... Private Party... Dealer Retail
National Base Price ...........$25,274 ......$27,408 ........$29,018
Optional Equipment............ $3,192 ........$3,487 ..........$4,121
harman/kardon Audio............ $531 ...........$580............ $686
Front & Rear Side Airbags ......$138 ...........$151 ............$178
Front & Rear Parking Sensors ..$269 ..........$294 .............$347
Extended Sunroof .................$650 ..........$710 .............$839
Power Glass Sunroof .............$472 ...........$516 ............$610
Power Activated Hatch ..........$186 ...........$203 ...........$240
Leather & Wood Trim .............$190 ..........$207 ............$245
Navigation System ................$650 ..........$710 ............$839
Power Rear Quarter Windows ..$106 ..........$116 ............$137
Mileage Adjustment
17,000 miles ......................$1,252 .......$1,252 ..........$1,252

Total ..............................$29,824 ......$32,263 ........$34,514
 

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Mercedes G55, Mercedes R500
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Thanks lippens!
Yeah- I hear you on the quality point, although both the T&C and my SRT8 have been great as far as repair is concerned. The brakes, power & suspension on the T&C is aimed at the soccer mom (of course) and really suck. I wish Chrysler made an SRT version of the Caravan or T&C, but they must figure there is no market. Most people who would want something like that wouldn't be caught dead driving a minivan because of image. I felt the same way before I rode along with a friend who had one and couldn't believe how versitile it was.

I think I am going to have to test drive the R-Class to see if it will fit. I have been spoiled by the size & usefullness of the T&C. But of course, the quality handling, ride, etc. of the Mercedes will pull me over as well.

One concern is whether Chrysler will even be here in a year. Mercedes will definitely be with us for a while, but the R-class won't.

I am a mod freak, and if we get the Mercedes I will certainly be more likely lowering it & adding 22" alloys, etc. than the minivan, lol.

Decisions... decisions....

If you are really a "mod freak" you can get the R63 or you can get an R500 and put a Carlsson or kleemann supercharger on it. You'd be running 5.0 or just under it 0-60. Make sure you kids are at school on time.

There is no comparison. Get the R-class. Chrysler has piss poor quality and will be in Chapter 7 liquidation within a couple months.
 
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