2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

  • 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 Wagon

    R350 Wagon

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.5L V6
    • MSRP
  • 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R500 Wagon

    R500 Wagon

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      5.0L V8
    • MSRP
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  • Review

2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Review

Blends minivan, SUV, and sedan features into one luxurious tourer.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Technically classified as a wagon, the all-new 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is an impressive crossbreed of a minivan, sport sedan, and luxury SUV. All the best features of these vehicles combined in to what Mercedes-Benz christens a premium sports tourer. This upscale wagon finds inspiration in the conceptual Vision GST (short for ""Grand Sports Tourer""), which debuted in 2002 at the North American International Auto Show.

This six-passenger wagon comes in two trim packages: the base R350 and the performance-minded R500. A wealth of luxury features come standard in both trims, with an admirable collection of high-tech safety, comfort, and performance additions also available. With plenty of space, comfort, and quality all around, the 2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class makes an excellent choice for any discerning family, as well as buyers in search of a truly one-of-a-kind yet reasonable automobile.

The Range

Body styles: four-door wagon
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6 (R350), 5.0-liter V-8 (R500)
Transmissions: seven-speed automatic transmission
Models: R350, R500

What's New

The whole R-Class family newly joins the Mercedes-Benz team in 2006. This luxury wagon—or sports tourer, as Mercedes labels it—combines all the best equipment and features of the company’s sedan, SUV, and minivan designs, mixing them together into one impressive package of luxury, technology, and performance. Each of the R-Class’s trim levels boasts a powerful engine—a V-6 in the R350 and a V-8 in the R500. Both engines pair with Mercedes’ brand-new seven-speed automatic transmission, while the cabin features a host of high-tech creature comforts. Any class of driver, from soccer moms to speedsters, will find something to admire in the all-new R-Class.


The R-Class features a modest, yet unique, wagon-style body, with its rear liftgate and longish frame. Although the R-Class’s styling does nothing to downplay its large size, the lighter paint colors help create a softer profile.

The R350 sits on 17-inch alloy wheels, with standard exterior equipment including automatic headlights; power-adjustable, heated mirrors; tinted privacy glass; and rain-sensing interval wipers. The more athletic R500 rides on 18-inch wheels, while maintaining all the same exterior features as the R350. The list of optional exterior inclusions for both trim levels ranges from HID headlights to electrochromic mirrors.


The 2006 R-Class’s cabin offers as many plush accessories for the driver as it does for the passengers. This luxury wagon seats six, and even the rearmost seats offer a decent amount of room for most adults. Super-long rear doors allow for easier access to the rear seats. Both the second- and third-row seats also fold all the way down, allowing for up to 85 cubic feet of cargo space.

The R-Class provides an impressive mix of standard cabin features. The R350 includes leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats, and maple wood trimming. Additional offerings in the R500 extend to heated front seats, driver’s seat memory, burl walnut trim, TeleAid, and a six-CD changer mounted in the glove box. The full collection of optional accessories includes heated rear seats, satellite radio, a rear-seat entertainment system, a navigation system, Airmatic air suspension, and Keyless Go.

Performance & Handling

Both 2006 R-Class models come equipped with muscular, updated engines. The R350’s V-6 rates at 263 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the R500’s V-8 pulls in 302 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes’ brand-new, seven-speed automatic transmission distributes power to the R-Class’s all-wheel-drive system in both models.

The R-Class’s sturdy handling primarily results from the seven-speed transmission. Yet while this system provides quick and seamless upshifting during acceleration, it’s a bit slow when shifting back down. Overall, the R-Class proves a treat to drive and just as enjoyable to ride in.


Standard safety equipment in the R-Class includes stability and traction control, a tire-pressure monitoring system, side curtain airbags in all three rows, and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with emergency brake assist. The 2006 R-Class also provides front-passenger detection for airbag deployment, along with a rollover sensor that will activate the side curtain airbags and tighten the seat belts. Optional safety features for both R models include second-row side airbags and electronic parking aid.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mercedes-Benz R350: 15/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Reliable performance
  • Luxurious interior
  • Unique style

You Won't Like

  • Long rear doors can be cumbersome
  • High price point

Sum Up

Blends minivan, SUV, and sedan features into one luxurious tourer.

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