The R-Class never has been a strong seller, and without a major styling change for 2010, it's likely to remain the invisible cousin to the crisp, good-looking Benz ML-Class and GL-Class SUVs.
The R-Class gets sidelined from most shopping lists, we think, because of its inflated proportions. We don't find anything wrong with the details of the R-Class, but it tries to impose a sport-ute personality on a minivan-sized body and misses the mark. As long as an S-Class and as tall as some SUVs, the R-Class just can't hide its bulk behind the mom-jeans effect of a low, aerodynamic nose. Also, it looks vaguely like many vehicles, and none of the comparisons would be taken as compliments in Stuttgart. At first glance, you might mistake it for its old corporate cousin, the Chrysler Pacifica.
Inside, the R-Class is plainer than you might expect, and it reads more "utility" than "luxury." Wide bands of wood trim dress up the gray plastics well enough, and gauges have cut-tube styling that's trendy and handsome. It's the big stack of controls between front passengers and the chrome trim on the steering wheel that dial back the luxe look the most. You'd find the same shapes in minivans of a lesser price point.
Car and Driver: "sensuous curves"
Cars.com: "rounded and squat at the rear, the R-Class flaunts a relatively long profile"
Edmunds: interior is "both posh and functional"