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Mercedes plots the possible future of the minivan

If the 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is the new shape of the modern minivan, then bring them on!

If the 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is the new shape of the modern minivan, then bring them on!


It has to be one of the classiest looking people movers on the planet, yet for some reason the R-Class really hasn’t caught on with the public since its introduction in 2006.


Sure, the price tag north of $50K is a roadblock for many, but I really don’t understand why anyone shopping the premium crossover market wouldn’t take a look at the R-Class because it offers great versatility, solid performance and a handsome face.


Mercedes-Benz set out to redesign the vehicle for 2011. The new model has significant changes to the front end, but it basically stays true to its roots as one of the vehicles that invented the crossover craze.


The R-Class now has a more macho look up front and more of a road presence, something the previous generation may have lacked.


Mercedes-Benz has nine different variations of the R-Class worldwide, but in Canada only two models are available —the R350 4MATIC and R350 BlueTEC 4MATIC.


On the open road, the R-Class is a treat to drive. As Mercedes-Benz senior product manager for the R-Class Markus Rubenbauer puts it, “This car turns travel into a pleasant experience.”


Up to seven passengers can enjoy that "pleasant experience." An attractive two-tone interior treatment is new for this year along with new gauges. Lots of aluminum, chrome and wood trim accents give it a rich, luxurious look and feel. So while the R-Class is a big and heavy vehicle, it has a great deal of versatility with the variety of seating configurations and cargo capacity.


To me, it is one of the best looking and luxurious SUVs (or crossovers) on the market and deserves a look for anyone shopping the premium luxury market.

 
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