The Mercedes R class, known internally as the W251, seemed to defy labels, but what it really had was an identity crisis. As a result, customers weren’t sure how it would fit into their lives. It could haul a lot of people, but if it was full of people there wasn’t any luggage space behind the third row. Technically, it was offered for the 2013 model year in the United States, but only 30 were sold that year, nationwide… thirty. Today, they’re relatively rare on the secondary market. To find one with under 50,000 original miles, like the example we’re featuring here, is very unusual.
When the Mercedes R Class was introduced for the 2006 model year nobody was sure what to make of it. It was initially billed as a ‘Grand Sports Tourer’ by Mercedes. The automotive press called it a wagon, others called it a cross over, it was even described as an SUV in Mercedes 2008 dealer brochures (Read the Mercedes-Market feature article on the R Class, it’s development and changes through the years here).
This 2010 R 350 4matic is advertised on Craigslist in Naples, Florida with just 45,500 original miles on its odometer. While it’s listed in the ‘For Sale by Owner’ category, it appears to be fitted with a dealer plate on the back. It’s Capri Blue Metallic with Almond Mocha leather. Leather is extremely rare in the R class, as almost all were built with the standard MB Tex interior, just like ML and GL class vehicles of the period. As a result, this car is also equipped with heated and ventilated seats, the latter of which was only available with the leather seat option.
It is described by the seller as being equipped with ‘Every option available’ however, it does not have every available option. Looking at the photos carefully, we can see that it is equipped with the P1 Package, Panorama sunroof, AMG Sport wheels and a rear entertainment system among other options. The ‘infotainment’ system was upgraded across most Mercedes models in 2009, so this R class is equipped with that much improved system which incorporates a hard drive based navigation system with a built-in music register, standard satellite radio, Bluetooth and a host of other, convenient features. While it doesn’t have EVERY option, it is nicely equipped. KEYLESS GO and DISTRONIC cruise control are two options it does not have.
The asking price of $16,500 isn’t out of line based on what else I’ve seen on the market lately. You can perform a simple search on cars.com to see that there are a couple of R class examples with a bit more mileage for more money. If you’re looking for a reliable people mover that drives more like a car than an SUV, this is a great option.