Mercedes-Benz R-Class

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Throughout its growth, Mercedes’ three.Zero-litre V6 diesel coated 100,000 miles at a mean velocity of 139.7mph over 30 days
Mercedes-Benz’s huge R-Class will waft effortlessly all day lengthy, cosseting as much as seven in its spacious, comfy and high-class cabin

Considered one of Mercedes’ barmier concepts, the R63 L AMG was a 510bhp, four-wheel drive MPV, property and saloon rolled into one with a high velocity electronically restricted to 155mph and a Zero-62mph dash time of four.6sec. It value £74,115 and slurped unleaded on the charge of 17mpg. 

They hardly ever come up on the market within the UK (few discovered properties right here), however look throughout the pond to the US, the supersized R-Class’s pure residence, and there are loads at round $40,000 (£31,000) plus, in the event you fancy importing one, transport and taxes on high. 

Not that you just want, or ought to, go to that bother as a result of you might simply discover its saner different, the R500, buried deep within the UK’s gross sales adverts, as we now have. The 2006-registered automotive has completed 105,000 miles and is up for £4490. Its 5.Zero-litre V8 produces 302bhp, cracks Zero-62mph in 7.0sec and ‘sips’ gas on the charge of 20mpg. 

However why prattle on about these completely irrelevant variations? As a result of as an unsexy beast, the R-Class may use a bit of pleasure. It’s only a monster property, in any case. Or is it? 

Actually, it’s additionally a correctly spacious six-seat people-carrier (there have been 5 and seven-seat configurations, too) with particular person seats for all. 4-wheel drive and air suspension had been optionally available and a seven-speed computerized gearbox was commonplace. 

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It was launched in 2006 in commonplace and long-wheelbase (virtually a foot longer) types, with energy from a few petrol engines, together with the aforementioned 5.Zero-litre V8, and, extra pertinently, a three.Zero-litre V6 diesel producing 221bhp and badged 320 CDI. This engine dominates the classifieds however, just like the diesel motors that adopted it, it has its issues, as we define beneath. 

The R63 adopted after which got here the 187bhp R280 CDI, a extra frugal model of the 320 CDI. In 2009, the 280 was renamed the 300 CDI (rear-wheel drive solely) after which, with the facelift in 2010, the 320 morphed into the 265bhp 350 CDI 4Matic (four-wheel drive). It could actually do Zero-62mph in 7.6sec – not far off the R500 and swifter via the gears with it. The petrol engines, in the meantime, went the best way of all issues. 

The facelift introduced a refreshed nostril, BlueEfficiency engine applied sciences (you have to keep watch over the AdBlue tank) and additional package. On the similar time, the mannequin turned a seven-seater solely. 

All through the R-Class’s life, the usual specification was beneficiant (brake help, local weather and cruise management, and computerized headlights and windscreen wipers). SE trim introduced powered leather-based seats and Sport laid it on with 19in alloy wheels, Alcantara sports activities seats and bits of aluminium right here and there. Immediately, it’s the trim to have. 

There’s no escaping the truth that a used R-Class seems like a little bit of a dinosaur, in additional methods than one, however that’s why it’s additionally such nice worth. Discover a facelifted, 2009-reg 350 CDI 4Matic with full service historical past and 90,000 miles for round £7000 and also you’ll have a household taxi like no different.

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Learn how to get one in your storage

An skilled’s view 

Martin Lalor, director, RPL Automotive: “We’ve got round 12 R-Class automobiles via the workshop every year so it’s not that widespread. Nonetheless, the three.Zero-litre V6 diesel engine, codenamed OM642 and used within the 280, 320 and 350 CDIs and plenty of different Mercedes fashions, has plenty of well-known issues [see below]. On all Mercedes of its technology, we’re changing extra metal brake strains as rust takes a maintain. These points apart, we’ve discovered the R-Class to be dependable. It’s huge, however not rather more so than an ML and much more usable. The long-wheelbase model is a real seven-seater.” 

Purchaser beware… 

■ Engine: On the three.Zero-litre V6 diesels, the electrical motor driving the inlet port swirl flaps can provide bother. The engine warning gentle and limp residence mode often is the first you’ll know of it. The oil cooler sits in the midst of the engine and its gaskets go onerous, inflicting oil leaks between it and the block (costly to repair). Prolonged engine cranking on start-up could also be drained glow plugs. Search for heavy carbon deposits across the injectors (referred to as ‘Black Demise’). Hear for timing chain rattles from chilly. The R350 petrol can undergo failed balancer shaft sprockets at round 60okay miles. 

■ Transmission: The seven-speed computerized gearbox requires common fluid modifications to remain candy. A drained ’field will usually stick in second or shift sluggishly. 

■ Brakes and suspension: Damaged springs and, if fitted, leaking air suspension bellows are widespread. (The automotive will sit awkwardly.) Hear for knocking from the entrance, suggesting worn anti-roll bar hyperlinks. Test the metal brake strains for rust, discs for heavy lipping and pads for thickness. 

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■ Electrics: Count on some electrical points, not least with the radio and instrument cluster.

■ Physique: Test for effervescent across the rear wheel arches and for heavy corrosion of the rear subframes.

■ Inside: Make sure the air-con system works and the seats recline and fold. 

Additionally price realizing 

V6 diesel engines from 2010 have reformulated seals within the oil cooler designed to handle an oil leak downside. It was the topic of a technical service bulletin so examine if the older mannequin you have an interest in has had the work completed. 

How a lot to spend 

£1000-£2499: Early 320 CDIs with round 150okay miles. 

£2500-£4999: Extra of the above however tidier. 

£5000-£7999: The primary 280 CDIs, together with a 2009 Sport with 92okay miles for £5995, plus a 2006 long-wheelbase 320 CDI SE L with 64okay miles for £6150. Some petrols. 

£8000-£9999: Features a 2010-reg R350 CDI with 100okay miles for £8000. 

£10,000 -£11,999: Extra 2010/11-reg 350 CDI L fashions with cheap mileages. 

£12,000-£14,999: Principally 2011/12-reg 350 CDI Ls with round 70okay miles. 

£15,000-£18,995: Late ’n’ low 350 CDI Ls.

One we discovered 

Mercedes-Benz R320 CDI SPORT, 2007/57-reg, 88,000 miles, £4995: One-owner automotive with full service historical past. MOT’ed in January 2019 however wouldn’t damage to have that completed once more, if solely to examine the emissions. A safer guess than the 72k-mile 2006 one-owner 320 CDI we noticed for £3500 however with part-history

Learn extra

Mercedes-Benz R-Class 2006-2012 overview

High 10 finest seven-seat MPVs 2019​

New 2019 Mercedes-Benz V-Class MPV features extra energy​


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