As with the S-Class, the 7G-TRONIC gearshift is stalk mounted on the steering column and the DIRECT SELECT buttons are on the underside of the steering wheel rim.
As with the S-Class, the 7G-TRONIC gearshift is stalk mounted on the steering column and the DIRECT SELECT buttons are on the underside of the steering wheel rim. There are also stalks for the optional electronic steering wheel adjustment, cruise control and the multifunctional stalk for indicators, washers and full/high beam. The steering wheel is multifunctional too, in that it houses controls for the audio system, optional hands-free phone kit controls and various instrument display functions.
As there is no gear selector on the central transmission tunnel, the area is given over to three separate, storage compartments, each has a Burr Walnut trimmed lid (SE), while the central armrest with dual storage areas, is similar to that between the second row of seats.
The fascia in the test car featured the screen for the £1,760, Cockpit Management and Navigation Display, or COMAND system. This comes with a single CD and radio system but a 6-disc CD changer will add a further £360. Where fitted, it cleverly drops down from the roof of the glovebox to be fed, which means it doesn’t take up any usable space. Personally, I found the Satellite Navigation to be overly complicated and the functionality of the COMAND system was not as good as the similar system in the S-Class.Engine options include a 3.5-litre V6 in the R350, a 5.0-litre V8 in the R500 and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel unit in the R320 CDI. Diesel generally means masses of torque and frugality and the R320 is no exception. Despite producing 224hp and 510Nm of delicious torque from as low as 1,600rpm, the fuel consumption figures are 23.2mpg, 37.2mpg and 30.4mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined respectively. Bear in mind that the R-Class has the 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and the figures make more sense. Better still, just sit back and enjoy the 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds and, where legal, the top speed of 134mph.
Mercedes Benz R-Class Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mercedes Benz R320 L CDI SE|
|Body Type||Crossover Vehicle|
|Colour||Cubanite Silver Metallic|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||134 mph|
|Transmission||7G-Tronic 7-Speed Automatic Transmission|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||37.2 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty MobiloLife is Mercedes Benz's guarantee to keep you mobile for up to 30 years. Renewed after each service performed by a Mercedes Benz authorised dealer and remains valid until the next service is due|
|Price (when tested on the 19/08/06)||£42,970|