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.
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|2011 Mercedes-Benz R ClassBrowse Used Listings||2011 Audi Q7Browse Used Listings||2011 Buick EnclaveBrowse Used Listings||2011 Lincoln MKTBrowse Used Listings|
|15 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V6||Gas Supercharged V6||Gas V6||Gas V6|
|4WD Sport Utility Vehicle||4WD Sport Utility Vehicle||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle||Sport Utility Vehicle - 2WD|
|4MATIC 4-Door R 350||quattro 4-Door 3.0T Premium Plus||FWD 4-Door CX||4-Door Wagon 3.7L FWD|
|All-Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door||4 Door SUV||Sport Utility Vehicle||Station Wagon|
|Automatic||Automatic w/manual shift||Automatic||Automatic|