Vehicle Overview
For 2009, the R350 and diesel R320 continue on with some changes, most notably the addition of Mercedes' Pre-Safe automated collision-mitigation system. This safety system quickly and automatically prepares the vehicle for a crash by tightening the seatbelts and performing other actions. The R320's old CDI engine is replaced by a new Bluetec turbo-diesel V-6, a clean-burning diesel engine, which produces 210 horsepower and 398 pounds-feet of torque. Both models seat six people standard, and have an optional seventh seat. The Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX are among the R-Class' competitors.

What's new for 2009
For 2009, the Mercedes-Benz R-Class gets a Bluetec turbo-diesel V-6, standard collision-mitigation system and standard sunroof.

Rounded and squat at the rear, the unibody R-Class wagon flaunts a relatively lengthy profile; at 203 inches, it's about an inch longer than Mercedes' flagship S-Class sedan. The R-Class is 8 inches longer than the Cadillac SRX and 16 inches longer than the Lexus RX. As for height, the R-Class stands about 2.5 inches lower than the Cadillac and about half an inch below the RX's roofline. All R-Class models have 18-inch wheels. Dealer-installed roof rails and a new Class II trailer hitch are available.
  • Standard 18-inch wheels
  • Power liftgate
  • Standard privacy glass

The R-Class provides space for up to seven occupants courtesy of three rows of seats. The seats have leather inserts.

A conventional glass panel sunroof is now standard, and a double-sized panoramic unit with a 5-foot-7-inch glass panel is optional. When the panoramic sunroof opens, half of the panel moves atop the other so headroom isn't affected. Powered roller blinds cover the roof to protect occupants from the sun.
  • Available new multimedia head unit with advanced audio and video features
  • Optional iPod/MP3 media interface
  • Optional hard drive for the navigation system
  • Optional rear-seat entertainment system
  • Available HD radio and Sirius Real-Time Traffic
  • Brown bird's-eye maple wood trim for doors, dashboard and center console

Under the Hood
The R-Class' fully independent suspension uses double wishbones up front and a four-link setup in back. A load-leveling rear air suspension is standard.
  • R350's 3.5-liter V-6 develops 268 hp and 258 pounds-feet of torque
  • R320's Bluetec turbo-diesel V-6 produces 210 hp and 398 pounds-feet of torque
  • Seven-speed automatic transmission can skip as many as three gear ratios during downshifts to get the transmission in the proper gear
  • R350 now available with rear- or all-wheel drive
  • Three driver-selectable operating suspension modes: Normal, Comfort and Sport

  • Collision-mitigation system now standard
  • Side curtain airbags for all three rows of seat
  • Door-mounted side-impact airbags for front occupants
  • Rollover sensor can activate seat belt pretensioners and side curtain airbags
  • Antilock brakes and an electronic stability system are standard