2010 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Is Versatility at Its Best

In addition to the new exterior, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz R-Class also impresses with interior features

by  Jim Davis  | 

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After a world premiere at the New York International Auto Show in March this year and the positive feedback received there, Mercedes-Benz is convinced that it is on the right track with the new-generation R-Class. A completely redesigned front section in particular enhances the overall look of this model, with styling cues taken from Mercedes-Benz saloon and SUV models. The interior of the “twenty-ten” model year R-Class complements this fresh exterior, combining as it does the good use of space found in the latest MPV models with the comfort, high-class appeal and prestige of classic Mercedes-Benz luxury-class saloons. At the same time this latest generation retains the interior versatility of its predecessor, whilst also benefiting from the robustness and all-wheel drive capability it draws from the Mercedes-Benz SUVs.

Engine line-up: economical drive systems

In addition to the modern petrol variants adopted from the preceding model, with their customary effortless power delivery and high drive comfort, the appeal of the R-Class is now also enhanced by a range of optimised diesel engines. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler AG Board of Management with responsibility for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: “We have reworked the R-Class completely, thereby adding to its appeal and enhancing its premium qualities, but without losing any of the advantages of this unique vehicle concept. On top of this, our BlueEFFICIENCY strategy makes the R-Class the most economical and environmentally friendly MPV in the premium segment”.

Despite delivering the same output and improved performance compared with the preceding model, the new R 300 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY consumes around 7 percent less fuel, at 7.6 l per 100 km*. The new R 350 CDI 4MATIC combines the high performance of a V8 model with the low fuel consumption of an economical V6 variant. It is happy with just 8.5 litres of diesel* per one hundred kilometres, thereby undercutting its predecessor by 0.8 litres – yet is able to offer significantly enhanced performance. While previously the maximum performance topped out at 165 kW (224 hp), the V6 diesel engine now boasts 195 kW (265 hp) as well as 620 Newton metres of torque. Making its debut here in the R-Class, it is a powerful package that enables this most dynamic of all the diesel-powered R-Class models to achieve effortlessly superior levels of performance. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 7.6 seconds, while the top speed is 235 km/h.

With the R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC, Mercedes-Benz is offering one of the cleanest diesel models in the world. The V6 engine achieves an output of 155 kW (211 hp) and torque of 540 Newton metres. Compared with its predecessor, this model also manages to achieve reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions while providing enhanced performance. Thanks to AdBlue© exhaust after-treatment, the compression-ignition engine consumes an average of 0.3 of a litre less, at 8.4 litres of diesel* per one hundred kilometres, generating in the process the same level of emissions as a comparable petrol engine. As a result, this model currently already meets the emission values planned for 2014 according to the EU6 standard. All other petrol and diesel versions of the R-Class meet the EU5 standard.

* combined NEDC consumption

Key technical data*:

Model Cyl. cc kW/hp at rpm Nm from rpm 0-100 km/h (s) Top speed (km/h) l/100 km NEDC combined CO2 g/km
R 300 CDI BE 1 V6 2987 140/190 3800 440 1400 9.5 215 7.6 – 7.8 199-206
R 350 CDI 4MATIC V6 2987 195/265 3800 620 1600 7.6 (7.7)3 235 (235) 3 8.5 (8.5) 4 223 (223) 3
R 350 BlueTEC 4MATIC 2 V6 2987 155/211 3400 540 1600 8.9 220 8.4 – 8.5 222-223
R 300 V6 2996 170/231 6000 300 2500 9.6 (9.7) 222 (222) 11.1 – 11.3 (11.1 – 11.4) 260-265 (260-267)
R 350 4MATIC V6 3498 200/272 6000 350 2400 8.3 (8.4) 230 (230) 11.6 – 11.9 (11.7 – 11.9) 271-279 (274-279)
R 500 4MATIC 2 V8 5461 285/388 6000 530 2800 6.3 2504 13.2 – 13.4 306-311

* Data for the international model range, which may vary from country to country.

  • CDI/BlueTEC = diesel models
  • 1 BE = BlueEFFICIENCY
  • 2 only available with long wheelbase
  • 3 figures in brackets apply to long wheelbase variant
  • 4 electronically limited

Geared up: 7G-TRONIC as standard in all models

All R-Class models are equipped with the latest-generation of the innovative 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. This seven-speed transmission now has new bearings and couplings, operates with different oil pressures and uses a new, low-friction oil. These measures reduce friction and churning losses, thereby improving efficiency. The new torque converter with slip-reduced lockup clutch likewise improves efficiency and aids fuel economy. In addition, standstill decoupling lowers fuel consumption. This technical feature reduces transmission input torque in “D” when the car is at rest, for example at traffic lights. This lowers the stress on the engine, making for lower fuel consumption, better vehicle acoustics and smoother idling. The slip-controlled clutch is engaged as soon as the driver releases the operating brake, ensuring no delay when the vehicle moves off.

Simply stunning: the design of the R-Class

The latest generation of the R-Class features a new, self-assured appearance. The overall impression is determined by an integrity of design that encapsulates the unique personality of this highly versatile vehicle. The focus of the designers was the completely revised front section which, by emphasising the width and making use of a horizontally structured bonnet, affords the entire vehicle a look which is as harmonious as it is powerfully dynamic. As well as the bonnet, the vehicle’s wings, radiator grille and surround, headlamps and bumpers with chrome underguard have all been completely redesigned. As an optional extra, a chrome insert with integrated LED daytime driving lights in conjunction with bi-xenon headlamps is available to enhance the look of the R-Class even further.

The side view features coupé-like lines – a pleasant contrast to conventional MPVs – and is characterised by the modified exterior mirror housings and the wheel design. Wheels are available in 5-spoke, 5-twin spoke or 10-spoke designs, and in sizes ranging from 43.2 to 53.3 centimetres (17 to 21 inches). The design idiom of the front is continued consistently through to the rear section which, with its new bumper covering, modified tail lamps and integrated tailpipe trim, has also been given an accentuated wide look. The 2010 model year R-Class looks particularly attractive in the new “diamond white” paint finish.

Wellness program: a relaxed environment for both longer journeys and everyday use

Particularly where seating variations are concerned, the interior of the new R-Class offers a great deal of scope: in its standard version this saloon designed for relaxed, safe touring has five seats, but four, six or seven-seater configurations are also possible. The front seats are partially electrically adjustable as standard, and on request the front occupants can also enjoy actively ventilated, heated multicontour seats with fully electric adjustments and a memory function. The R-Class also reveals another benefit in the form of its large, versatile luggage compartment: in the standard-wheelbase versions the luggage compartment holds up to 1950 litres, while the long-wheelbase version boasts 2385 litres. In all five-seat variants there is a separate stowage compartment beneath the load compartment floor, while the optional EASY PACK tailgate, which can be operated remotely by means of a switch or key, also makes access to the luggage compartment easier. As such the R-Class is the most variable and spacious vehicle in the entire Mercedes-Benz passenger car product range.

The bright, classic interior – which seems even more spacious when fitted with the optional panoramic glass sunroof – makes use of new materials and colour combinations to enhance the high-class appeal and quality of this luxury tourer. At the same time they underline the sense of wellbeing inside the vehicle which is so typical of a Mercedes-Benz. Available interior appointments include the upholstery combination of “Aspen” fabric and breathable, soft-touch ARTICO man-made leather.

Two-tone interior appointments are a new addition to the range: this is where the base colour almond beige can be combined with the contrasting shade of mocha brown. Alternatively, the base colour alpaca grey combined with contrasting dark basalt grey is also available. Both colour combinations are used on the dashboard, steering wheel, centre console, seats, door linings and floor coverings. When choosing ARTICO or leather appointments at the same time, the piping is finished in a contrasting colour. The AMG Interior Sports package includes single-tone black nappa leather appointments as standard. As alternatives to the aluminium trim with a dark longitudinal grain or the chrome trim in silver shadow, it is also possible to order luxurious wood trims in high-gloss brown eucalyptus, high-gloss brown burred walnut or high-gloss anthracite poplar.

Model range: the R-Class with a personal touch

The nine basic variants already provide plenty of opportunity to select an R‑Class to suit specific individual requirements. All models boast numerous features as standard which help to make travelling both on long journeys as well as on short urban trips even safer and more relaxed. These features include the unique anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE®, a complete restraint system with eight airbags, crash-active NECK-PRO head restraints, a tyre pressure loss warning system and adaptive brake lights. Safety is also enhanced thanks to high-performance telematic systems such as the Audio 20, Audio 50 APS or COMAND APS with an extremely user-friendly interface.

The THERMATIC automatic climate control system is fitted with a combination filter to further reduce pollutants which may be contained in the outside air entering the vehicle. As an optional extra, a THERMOTRONIC system providing separate rear air conditioning is available to meet all interior air conditioning requirements. The spacious glove compartment now comes with an AUX-IN connection for external audio or entertainment devices. Connection options can also be extended further with an optional Media Interface (UCI).

To complement the extensive standard equipment, the R-Class provides a variety of assistant systems which push ride comfort and safety to the highest level and underpin the vehicle’s leading position in this market segment. These include DISTRONIC proximity control, AIRMATIC air suspension with the Adaptive Damping System (ADS), or Blind Spot Assist, which can make changing lanes significantly safer. The modern LINGUATRONIC voice control system makes using the telematics systems even easier and more convenient, while a reversing camera provides for smooth, easy parking or manoeuvring in blind spots. As soon as the driver engages “R” gear, the image from the camera is shown on the high-resolution COMAND APS display. Rear passengers, meanwhile, can enjoy their own entertainment programme thanks to the rear seat entertainment system. Seat heating can also be ordered for the second row of seats to increase comfort even further in winter.

Valuation: surveys confirm high resale expectations

Experience shows that Mercedes-Benz models are among the most stable on the market in terms of value retention, and they therefore offer a significant financial advantage. This was confirmed once again last year by a neutral third-party when the German specialist magazine “Auto Bild” selected the “2010 Value Champions” in different vehicle categories based on surveys conducted by Saarbrücken-based market research institute Bähr & Fess Forecast. The “Value Champion” among MPVs, the R 300 CDI, emerged at the head of the field in this market segment, and according to the forecasts would retain a value of 47.5 percent after four years. The R‑Class already held this leading position in an expert analysis of residual values last year.

READ MORE: Autos, Mercedes-Benz, R-Class

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