Reviews seen at TheCarConnection.com indicate respect, if not admiration, for 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class performance.
Edmunds reports that Mercedes-Benz R-Class buyers have a choice between "a pair of eminently capable but relatively uninspiring power plants," which according to Cars.com are "a 3.5-liter V-6 in the R350 [that] develops 268 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque," and the turbodiesel R320 CDI, which "produces 221 hp and 398 pounds-feet of torque." In the opinion of ConsumerGuide, the latter Mercedes-Benz 2008 engine "suffers brief turbo lag, then accelerates quickly."
Cars.com states that both Mercedes-Benz R-Class engines "team with a seven-speed automatic," which "is able to skip as many as three gear ratios during downshifts to get the transmission in the proper gear." Kelley Blue Book remarks that it delivers "seamless shifts, always finding just the right gear when needed," but ConsumerGuide testers find that "the transmission in one test model periodically suffered jerky gear changes at low speed."
ConsumerGuide also determines that "an R350 averaged 17.6 mpg, [and] requires premium-grade gas." This mileage figure is slightly below EPA estimates, which are 15 mpg city and 19 mpg highway for the 2008 R350 4Matic and 18/24 mpg for the R320 CDI.
Car and Driver reports that the 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class offers "competent handling that no one could call sporty"; they say it "feels remarkably agile, [and] the AMG-tuned suspension is firm without being too harsh," noting that the "steering has a heft to it that serves as a reminder of the mass being hustled around." Cars.com claims that Mercedes-Benz 2008 "steering feels just right for this new class of car, and it requires moderate effort with utterly satisfying response," and ConsumerGuide attests it "acts more like a station wagon than an SUV," adding that "the steering is impressively linear and accurate, though some drivers may prefer a weightier feel." For those concerned with braking power, Kelley Blue Book proclaims that stopping the Mercedes-Benz R-Class "is...no problem with its 13.8-inch front brake rotors and standard ABS and Brake Assist features."