Digestible Collectible: 2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG
As boring as they are to drive, I still think minivans are marvelous. With much more space than a comparably-sized CUV, I can easily take my Town & Country just as far offroad as most folks ever consider treading with their RX350.
Still, the big box on wheels isn’t the most luxurious commuter. Even considering the leather seating, three-zone climate control and built-in video entertainment on my T&C, a well-equipped Sonata can feel much more plush than my van. For example, Mercedes-Benz products generally have nailed the opulent feel missing from my Chrysler.
So, what if M-B built a minivan? After all, they owned Chrysler for a time.
Sure, the marketing materials never referred to this R-Class as a minivan; it was a “tall wagon” or, shudder, crossover. I call it a van regardless. And this 2007 Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG is perhaps the only minivan to evoke the term “badass.” Five-hundred horses to all four wheels will do that, though the weight and high center of mass likely make handling tricky at best.
If I squint a bit, the R-Class reminds me of another minivan: the first-generation Honda Odyssey. Seating for six and swing-out doors rather than sliders are shared features not found on most traditional vans. I owned two of these first-gen Odysseys, one for only six weeks before a texting schoolteacher succeeded in adjusting the taillight location for me, conveniently right in front of my home:
I’m still bitter six years later, but that’s another story for another time.
Mercedes is offering the Metris now. From what I can tell, that’s more of a cargo van with some seats than a truly lux people carrier.
I don’t know that I’d spend $25,000 for a van with 150,000 miles on the odometer. With 50k, maybe. Heck, these are still built today in Indiana for the Chinese market, though probably not with the big AMG mill. I wonder if they’d sneak one out the back door.
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