2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 4Matic 3.5L Gasoline from North America


Find a good example and keep it


Keep in mind these are First World problems and gripes from an atypical car owner with an extensive set of mechanic tools and experience with do-it-yourself car repairs and maintenance. Also, some purists will get offended, but I am using non-OEM, mid-level parts from online vendors.

Purchased the car from a local used car dealership for $13,XXX with worn brakes, spongy brake pedal, bad tires, almost expired Mercedes Service A maintenance, broken driver side window controls, broken sunroof controls, cracked interior (faux) wood trims.

Having never owned a M-B vehicle, the stereotypical fear was that it would cost a fortune to get this car up to safe operating standards for my wife and kids. However, the most expensive items to replace have been tires.

Tires +/- $800 for gigantic 19 inch wheels.

Oil change was +/- $80 with Mobil 1 0W-40 and filter.

Cabin filters +/- $15.

Brakes & rotors +/- $250.

Sunroof switch +/- $10.

Engine air filters +/- $15.

Driver window switches +/- $20.

M-B OEM spark plugs +/- $25.

Power brake bleeder +/- $40.

DOT4 brake fluid +/- $20.

General Comments:

Here is context:

Family of six, children ages 4 to 13, who already owns a late model Toyota Sienna AWD. Needed another vehicle that was not a minivan that could hold all of us for trips around town. Took a chance on this Mercedes because of the unbelievable prices of used cars in this economy. This is only an initial impression review with about 2,000 miles as the third owner, just in case you are weighing your options.

This vehicle, from 2011, was so ahead of its time in design that it looks very modern on today's SUV saturated roads. More of a wagon shape, not tall and boxy like the GL or M class. All four doors open to a tremendous angle for entering and exiting the vehicle. Makes loading kids quite easy. However, this is definitely an "in town" car because there is limited trunk space. With third row up, it cannot hold enough gear or luggage for even a short vacation. Does not come as standard with roof racks or hitch, making extra storage an expensive option. Double sunroof is great and gives the car a very open feeling inside.

As some have mentioned, the 3.5 gasoline engine is adequate, but could use another 50 horsepower with the weight of the vehicle and fully loaded with passengers. There is a noticeable increase in performance between Eco and Sport mode and paddle shifters. Eating premium gas, I have observed about 17.5 mpg around town and 24 mpg on the highway at 80 mph.

Kids have no complaints about the comfort of the leather seats, even in the third row. Second row captain chairs have enough leg room for average size adults and can be moved forward-backward. Driver's seat, in my opinion, is more comfortable and padded than the Sienna's. Has enough cup holders and storage for random iPads, phones, and puke bags (ask any parent).

Ride quality is fantastic with air shocks in the rear and a vehicle that weighs more than 5,000 lbs. The car has a solid feel, does not get blown around on the highway, road noise is kept to a minimum, and the windshield provides a commanding view with few blind spots from A pillars. As mentioned above, car came with terribly worn brakes. Had to pressure bleed the brakes twice before a firm brake pedal was felt. Now, the brakes are progressive and I can control brake pressure as needed.

Small Complaints:

1. What the heck is with the layout of German control stalks? They put the cruise control lever directly where all Japanese and American cars place the turn signal lever. For the first 200 miles you will activate the cruise control when trying to turn right.

2. Similar complaint about the gear shift stalk. Lift up for Reverse, down for Drive, and press button for Park. Not intuitive at all. Takes time getting used to it.

3. Stereo and navigation controls are garbage. No touch screen means you are pressing 3-5 buttons for each option. It is really not safe at all to try to access when driving. Bluetooth set-up requires owner's manual and patience.

4. Much of the interior trim and "touch" items feel cheap. Air vents and cup holders are cheap plastic, and the aforementioned driver window controls feel flimsy and easy to break. Not what I was expecting from "luxury" brand.

5. My wife, who is 5'3", complains that she cannot estimate the front of the vehicle when parking. Makes it difficult to judge where the bumper ends. The car has a parking sensor alarm, but does have a long hood.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th October, 2021

16th Oct 2021, 21:02

Well written review thank you :)

31st Oct 2021, 02:36

Nicely detailed review - good info for potential M-B owners :)

2006 Mercedes-Benz R-Class R350 3.5 from North America


Air pumps were replaced in the first week I got it under warranty.

Front left axle was replaced at the same time under warranty.

Wheel alignment at the same time for free.

Checked noises when making a turn and got no result.

Check engine light was on the third week because of air pumps, relay and fuse, fixed under warranty.

General Comments:

This car was a certified pre-owned and feels not like. Runs pretty well since all the above repairs were done.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th March, 2010

9th Jun 2014, 19:44

Hello, "certified" doesn't mean anything. It's a word car dealers use to make customers think the vehicle has something special, or is more trouble free than others. In fact, all used cars are the same, with ones that have been well maintained, while others not. Dealers call all their used vehicles 'certified'.