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STYLING | 7 out of 10
major portions of the interior, such as the dashboard and consoles, continue unchanged from the 2010 model
the designers' goal was to downplay the minivan aspect
From the side, the new nose does wonders for the overall profile of the vehicle.
swaps round headlamps for more expressively shaped alternatives
Kelley Blue Book
Brawnier looking than its predecessor
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is amorphous--somewhere between a wagon, a minivan, and a crossover or SUV. And while that could be a positive in other segments of the market, the R-Class lands in a price class shoppers by image-conscious families--who might not know what to think of it.
Last year, Mercedes-Benz gave the R-Class a slightly more upright front end, with a higher, arrow-edged hoodline and a higher, more prominent grille that's now a lot closer in appearance to those used in the M-Class and GL-Class utes. It's flanked with flowing headlamps that, to this reviewer's eyes, look like they have eyelids and are a little more organic, while the rear fascia has been changed and tail lamps are lifted slightly.
Inside it's much better, with a familiar collection of big, clear gauges and wood trim that's clearly related to, but not identical to, the setups in the GL and ML utes. The dash is probably the most SUV-like feature of the R-Class, aside from its all-wheel-drive hardware. The optional Panorama sunroof remains a nice touch that lends a light, airy feel, and the cabin in general impresses as smartly dressed.
The R-Class is dressed to impress inside, but on the outside it might be too close to the dreaded mom-mobile.