Ask The Best And Brightest: Does This Car Have A Chance In The US Market?
September 13th, 2010 12:02 PM Share
Over the last 24 months, the Mercedes R-Class has motivated a mere 6,469 Americans to plunk down $50k+ for a Mercedes-badged non-minivan. Now that it’s received a much-needed facelift that removes most of the slug-inspired design cues, will it sell any better? From the ash heap of history, the Chrysler Pacifica has recorded a “no” vote. What say you?
Published September 13th, 2010 12:01 PM
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5 of 42 comments
1. Over the weekend, both the GF and car friend both talked about the R class. GF liked it b/c it says benz but hates it for being a minivan. car friend said reliability was terrible. In any case, people are talking? 2. Is it a Pacifica? 3. I always thought MB bought Chrysler to sell more mini-vans in Europe. The number in Madrid staggers me.
Well, if there is a market for it anywhere it's going to be the US. These things aren't sold at all in Europe (I believe we get a slightly shorter version which is still humongous, but essentially the same car). Things that it doesn't have going for it in every market: It's one of these Mercs that suffered from Merc cutting costs too much, instead trying to max out the value of that star on the grill. You can see this again by looking at the refresh, which still incorporates the old dash/command system and doesn't include a refreshed one with the newer NAV unit. It's also huge, not very goodlooking (looks kinda like a Sprinter from the front), not that practical and generally, people just rather have an M or GL for the same kind of money. In Europe there's another couple of things like taxes and subsequent price that make the product unloved, also relatively speaking since people are willing to spend a lot of cash on their SUVs but not on a van. Also...People are less christian so they don't have more than 3 children tops and usually less. In the Netherlands we have only 1,3 child on average, so if you're spending R-Class money you could also have a C63 AMG. I've seen 2 with Dutch plates in the wild that I can remember, and I would remember.
As an owner of a 2007 Silver R320 CDI I can tell you these cars while practical are simply not reliable. I serviced the vehicle at every maintenance rec and still after only 3yrs 70K miles the car needed 12K worth of repairs from speed sensor in transmission failing ($3400) to failed parking sensors ($900). I loved the vehicle hated the reliable (or lack thereof). Rather than spend 12K in repairs on a vehicle that only had trade in value of 18K I decided to get a landcruiser. Never again will I purchase another Mercedes and I have had all of them from E320 to S500. The quality and reliability is simply not there.
This thing is not selling despite having a lot of air cover in the form of high prices on the wagon (which I much prefer). I think they should ditch this, and sell lower priced wagons without all the extra stuff, like 4matic.