2011 Mercedes-Benz R Class vs. Its Competition

2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is rather oddly positioned between wagons, minivans, and SUVs, and has relatively few direct competitors.

The Lincoln MKT is probably its most direct rival, with three rows of almost equally roomy seating, along with an easy-to-fold seat design—plus plenty of luxury equipment.

The MKT's EcoBoost V-6 powertrain is both more responsive and more economical than that of the R350, but the R350 BlueTEC diesel model is an even better pick for those hauling a heavy load on the highway.

For a little less money, the Buick Enclave is an alternative, but the Enclave's V-6 engine feels short of breath compared to these other rivals.

Its third row is also a little harder to get in and out of.

Audi's Q7 is a third alternative; it will get a new supercharged V-6 this fall instead of the available V-8, but we haven't driven it yet.

In previous model years, the Q7 has wowed us with its interior, though its third row is a bit cramped.

The Q7 also offers a clean-diesel engine option.

2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class2011 Mercedes-Benz R ClassBrowse Used Listings2011 Audi Q72011 Audi Q7Browse Used Listings2011 Buick Enclave2011 Buick EnclaveBrowse Used Listings2010 Lincoln MKT 4-door Wagon 3.7L FWD Angular Front Exterior View2011 Lincoln MKTBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.2
If you can look beyond the ambiguous shape of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class, you'll find it a near-perfect vehicle for the family road trip—especially with the strong, economical BlueTEC diesel engine.
8.6
With a diesel option and a softer silhouette, the 2011 Audi Q7 does its part to tame the SUV bad-boy image.
8.2
The 2011 Buick Enclave no longer feels fresh, but it's still one of the most luxurious, passenger-friendly, and uniquely American family crossover wagons.
9.0
The swinging style sets an audacious mood—and the 2011 Lincoln MKT backs it up with turbo V-6 thrust.
MSRP From   
$50,240$46,250$35,865$44,300
Gas Mileage   
15 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy
Engine   
Gas V6Gas Supercharged V6Gas V6Gas V6
EPA Class   
4WD Sport Utility Vehicle4WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle - 2WD
Style Name   
4MATIC 4-Door R350quattro 4-Door 3.0T Premium PlusFWD 4-Door CX4-Door Wagon 3.7L FWD
Drivetrain   
All-Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
6777
Passenger Doors   
N/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style   
4 Door4 Door SUVSport Utility VehicleStation Wagon
Transmission   
AutomaticAutomatic w/manual shiftAutomaticAutomatic