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2010 Mercedes-Benz R-Class Overview
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The Mercedes-Benz R-Class crossover vehicle receives several updates for 2010, starting with a change in nomenclature. Mercedes renamed the previous year's R320 BlueTec trim, calling it the R350 BlueTec for 2010. The rechristened trim has the same exterior design, diesel engine, and basic equipment as the previous year's version, although Mercedes added a few new standard features, including chrome exterior trim, blue-tinted glass, and darkened taillights. The all-wheel-drive 2010 R350 4MATIC trim also receives a number of new features, such as larger 19-inch wheels and privacy glass, as well as darkened taillights. In addition, both trims now come equipped with a new fine-grain premium leather steering wheel. Mercedes also makes the Pre-Safe occupant-protection safety system a standard feature on both R-Class trims and adds Palladium Silver and Steel Grey as new exterior colors for 2010.
Available in all 50 states, the R350 BlueTec delivers both high performance and good fuel efficiency, thanks to its turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 clean-diesel BlueTec engine, which runs on ultra-low-sulfur diesel or B5 biodiesel fuel. The engine generates 210 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, and mates to a seven-speed automatic transmission with driver-adaptive programming and the Touch Shift manual-shift feature. Equipped with its diesel powerplant, the rear-wheel-drive R350 BlueTec accelerates from 0-60 mph in 8.6 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy numbers for the diesel engine at 18/24 mpg.
A 3.5-liter V6 gas engine, generating 268 hp and 258 lb-ft, powers the R350 4MATIC. The engine links to the same seven-speed automatic transmission and posts fuel economy numbers of 15/29 mpg. In addition, the R350 4MATIC comes equipped with Mercedes's 4MATIC full-time four-wheel-drive system, which works in conjunction with the vehicle's four-wheel electronic traction system to monitor each wheel and shift power to the wheel or wheels with the best traction when it detects slippage.
The R-Class seats six passengers in three rows, although owners can add an optional second-row middle seat to accommodate seven passengers. With the second- and third-row seats folded down, the R-Class's cargo space expands to 85 cubic feet with an 8-foot-long loading floor.
The cabin of the R-Class has an upscale feel, thanks to such standard features as Burl Walnut wood trim, eight-way power-adjustable front seats with four-way lumbar support for the driver, a fully retractable power sunroof with tilt-open capability, and an eight-speaker AM/FM audio system with a CD player, speed-sensitive volume, and an MP3 input jack. MB-Tex leatherette upholstery, aluminum interior trim, cruise control, Bluetooth, a trip computer, and automatic climate control with rear vents also come standard. Owners can add such options as heated front seats, a power liftgate, a rearview camera, and a navigation system with a 40-gigabyte hard drive and Zagat restaurant reviews.
Eight airbags, including full-length window curtain airbags, help keep passengers safe. The new Pre-Safe system, which comes standard, tightens the front airbags and adjusts the front passenger's seat and front head restraints for optimal positioning if it detects an impending collision. Other standard safety equipment includes electronic stability control and antilock brakes with brake assist. The R-Class rides on 19-inch wheels with all-season tires.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.