Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
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Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
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Expert Reviews 2 of 2
By Bob Golfen
August 5, 2005
Mercedes-Benz does not want you calling the R500 a minivan. Period.
R500 is a "Grand Sports Tourer," according to the German giant, and it represents a whole new breed of luxury craft designed to transport those of means in high style.
Fine. But despite not having sliding side doors, R500 has to be considered a minivan. Just like the similar Chrysler Pacifica from its fellow DaimlerChrysler brand and just like Cadillac SRX, another high-end vehicle with the same tall-wagon configuration.
So let's just call it what it is. R500 is a minivan for the wealthy.
There should be no shame in being a minivan, the most practical, efficient and versatile people hauler on the planet. But minivans smack of domesticity, a relinquishing of style and sassiness, a tacit admission that, no, I'm no longer on the prowl.
R500 suffers from none of those perceived flaws. It comes across more like an executive jet or a private yacht, an opulent symbol of success, but family-style. Sure, there are more expensive vehicles, especially among the Benzes, but R500 manages to combine practicality and excess under one glorious roof.
You can get a base model R-Class for about $48,000, the V-6-powered R350. But then, you're not playing with the big dogs. The test R500, with its sparkling V-8 engine and superb drivability, came loaded up with a slew of options and crossed over into exclusive $70,000 territory, putting it among top-drawer sedans and SUVs.
Here's one minivan that won't fade into traffic. And it should get plenty of attention for the kids when they're dropped off for soccer practice.
Expert Reviews 2 of 2
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