• (4.8) 15 reviews
  • MSRP: $5,193–$15,269
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 17-21
  • Engine: 215-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 (diesel)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 6-7
2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

What We Don't Like

  • Headrests impede visibility
  • Some windshield reflection
  • Slight road/driveline noise at times

Notable Features

  • Rear- or all-wheel drive
  • Diesel R320 CDI
  • Seats up to seven
  • Standard 18-inch wheels
  • Side-impact and side curtain airbags
  • Six-passenger seating

2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Reviews

Vehicle Overview
For 2008, the R-Class lineup has two fewer models than it did in 2007, as the R63 AMG and R500 models have been discontinued. The gasoline R350 and diesel R320 CDI continue on. Both offer seating for up to seven. The Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX are among the R-Class' competitors. Introduced for the 2006 model year, Mercedes says the R-Class "grand sports tourer" is the company's first model to blend the merits of a sport utility vehicle, sports sedan and luxury wagon.

The R-Class evolved from the Grand Sports Tourer concept of 2000. Marketers promote the R-Class for its style, sophistication and luxury.


Exterior
Front and rear design cues are modeled after Mercedes-Benz coupes and sedans. Rounded and squat at the rear, the R-Class flaunts a relatively long profile, and all R-Class models have 18-inch wheels.

The unibody R-Class wagon is about an inch longer than Mercedes' flagship S-Class sedan. Two distinct sunroofs are optional: a conventional glass panel or a double-sized panoramic unit with a 5-foot, 7-inch glass panel. When opening the panoramic sunroof, half of the panel moves atop the other so headroom isn't affected. Powered roller blinds in this roof protect occupants from the sun.

Privacy glass is standard, and a single-lift tailgate is installed. The R-Class' fully independent suspension uses double wishbones up front and a four-link setup at the rear. A load-leveling rear air suspension is standard, and the driver can select from three operating modes: Normal, Comfort or Sport. Dealer-installed roof rails are available.


Interior
The R-Class provides space for up to seven occupants courtesy of three pairs of seats. Space between the first and second row measures 34 inches, with 30 inches between the second and third row. An optional second-row console contains additional cupholders, and bottle holders are located in each door pocket. The seats have leather inserts, and brown bird's-eye maple wood trims the doors, dashboard and center console.

The four-spoke multifunction steering wheel features brushed-aluminum accents, and a new electronic gear selector is mounted on the steering column. The upper section of the two-tone dashboard arches over the instrument cluster, which holds two cylindrical binnacles for the speedometer and tachometer.

Weather-band reception is included in the standard radio, which has a single-CD slot and controls for optional satellite radio. An auxiliary plug in the glove box connects to MP3 players. Optional flat-screen monitors built into the back of the front head restraints can provide entertainment for rear passengers.


Under the Hood
A 3.5-liter V-6 in the R350 develops 268 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. The R320 CDI produces 221 hp and 398 pounds-feet of torque.

All the engines team with a seven-speed automatic. The transmission is able to skip as many as three gear ratios during downshifts to get the transmission in the proper gear. The R350 is now available with rear- as well as all-wheel-drive models.


Safety
Side curtain airbags protect occupants in all three rows of seats, and door-mounted side-impact airbags for front occupants are standard. A rollover sensor can activate seat belt pretensioners and the side curtain airbags. Antilock brakes and an Electronic Stability Program are standard, and a tire pressure monitoring system is installed.

Driving Impressions
The refined, versatile, luxurious R-Class yields a lush ride even when surfaces get rough. Few drivers could ask for a more satisfying luxury tourer for long hauls.

Handling is no less impressive. Steering feels just right for this new class of car, and it requires moderate effort with utterly satisfying response. The R350, with its V-6 engine, can scamper up grades almost as assertively, issuing only a little more engine noise.

Just a touch of driveline and road sound is evident, but the engine is nearly silent unless pushed hard. A nest of headrests impairs the rearward view, which is otherwise OK and helped by ample mirrors. The seats offer magisterial comfort and support, are wholly adjustable to suit one's physique, and remain appealing even after hours of driving. Reflections are evident in the steep windshield, but they're not too distracting. Cylindrical gauges are big and easy to read.


Consumer Reviews

4.8

Average based on 15 reviews

Write a Review

This is the most versatile car/SUV for the $$

by Heritage from Wichita, KS on September 4, 2017

This car has tons of room. All rear seats can be folded flat for hauling big items. The AWD is a bonus! Very easy to get around

Read All Consumer Reviews

3 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class trim comparison will help you decide.

2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Recalls

There are currently 3 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

48mo/50,000mi

Powertrain

48mo/50,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

unlimitedmo/unlimited

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years