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Mercedes R Class

I’m about to buy a new R class. However, the dealer offers either the R350 full option with GPS and AWD 4 matic transmission or the R 300 with RWD but with no GPS or rear camera. I really want the R350 GPS but afraid of future maintenance cost of the AWD. Can anyone advise how reliable is the 4 matic compared to the RWD?


While I wouldn’t worry too much about the awd system, I would about resale value. MB no longer makes the R, 2012 was the last year. I hope you’re getting a BIG discount.

And to find out more about MB reliability, and its AWD system reliability, you might go buy the new Consumer Reports buyers guide. They might split out the AWD versions of other MB models separately from the RWD models.

Texases, thanks for the advice. Here in Saudi Arabia the car will be offered until 2015. The reason I want to buy it is for durability. S I plan to keep it for the coming 15-20 years. I will consider the Consumer Reports.

@Omori8796 Durability and reliability are two different things. If you buy Consumer Reports you will find that the Mercedes cars don’t age well. The bodies will likely hold up well, but the rest will be very expensive over the long haul. That’s why they have a poor resale value here.

The toughest car or SUV for Saudi would be a Toyota Land Cruiser or a 4Runner. I had a Land Cruiser in Algeria and it was very trustworthy in the desert. The 4Runner is almost standard equipment in Australia’s Outback. A very tough machine.

I second the Toyota and I would add Nissan AWD vehicles. If you want a luxury vehicle, then consider one of the Lexus models.

I worked at a Benz dealer for many years and the R class wasn’t considered one of the better models. It also was a rather poor seller.
I can tell you from personal experience that Benzes aren’t all that reliable either.

I agree with @Docknick. They plummet in value, at least compared to Hondas and Toyotas.

I will say that the R class was a nice ride.

Identifix says that there are moderate problems with the engine in 2006, 2007, and 2009 but no driveline problems to speak of. BTW, mpst of us live in Nrth America and we don’t get the same cars that you do. The R350 BlueTEC and R350 4MATIC are the only two models available here.

@jtsanders remember how I said I worked at the Benz dealer for several years?

I worked at the dealer during ALL of those years mentioned.

And there weren’t “moderate problems with the engine”

There were, however, SEVERE problems with the engine. You have no idea how many cylinder heads I replaced, just to name one problem.

Not to mention how many transmissions I repaired.

I can only hope that things have DRASTICALLY improved. I will assume/hope the current engine and transmission are not the same POS that I “fondly” remember working on.

@db4690, take it up with Identifix. I used their words. That’s the problem with words like minor, moderate, and severe. Everyone that uses them has their own meaning for them. I’m not disputing anything you say. I don’t have the experience to do so. And you may not have the data recorded in a way that allows you to say, for instance, that “10% of these ars have transmission problems”. But Identifix claims to. Here’s their web site:

Here’s the way that Edmunds presents it:

@jtsanders thanks for those links.

Perhaps I’m not seeing the “big picture”

But it seems like I worked on all 10% with the bad transmissions.