Mercedes-benz R-class: Made Even Better

By: Dwyane Thomas

The new Mercedes-Benz R-Class is not only offering new interior features but is sporting a makeover look that is distinguished by its highly distinctive body styling package at the front and rear, 18-inch light-alloy wheels, and circular fog lamps offered for all V6 versions. The R 500 4MATIC which is considered to be the range's crÃ?me de la crÃ?me is fitted with 19-inch wheels. There are also three brand new paint colors that customers may choose from like the calcite white, sanidine beige or periclase green.

The engine lineup is enhanced by the new V6 petrol powerplant in the R 280, which is commended for its impressive power delivery and moderate fuel-consumption figures. This particular engine produces 170 kW/231 hp enabling the R-Class to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds and consuming only a mere 10.9 liters of premium unleaded per 100 km (NEDC-combined figure). The R 280 CDI 4MATIC fitted with the latest-generation common-rail diesel engine that delivers 140 kW/190 hp was also made more fuel efficient. It can reach a peak torque of 440 Nm. The V6 powerplant delivers smooth performance and yet consumes only 9.3 liters of diesel per 100 km.

The R 500 4MATIC model is equipped with a new engine in the form of a 5.5 liter V8 that revs up 285 kW/388 hp with a peak torque of 530 Nm which guarantees an impressive performance figure. The flagship V8 engine produces 82 hp more than the previous model plus fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 7 percent (all NEDC-combined figures). All the R-Class models are given the innovative 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with Direct Select lever on the steering column.

Mercedes-Benz is also offering three new entry level R-Class models and these are the R 280 CDI, the R 280, and the R 350. These three new entry level R-Class are equipped with V6 engine with rear wheel drive and a choice of a short or long wheelbase. These three also records an even lower fuel consumption figures. At present the most fuel-efficient R-Class is the R 280 CDI which used up 8.9 liters of diesel per 100 km (NEDC combined). It is equipped with quality Mercedes-Benz auto parts such as the designed to provide added performance while boosting fuel efficiency.

Mercedes-Benz has also made sure that all of its five-seater and 4+2 seater R-Class models are equipped with steel suspension while air suspension with level control is available as an option for the rear axle. Similarly, all the 5+2 seater variants together with the flagship R 500 4MATIC model are equipped with air suspension with level control fitted as a standard feature at the rear. The AIRMATIC air suspension with the Adaptive Damping System (ADS) is offered as an option for all versions.

All R-Class models are to feature new items of standard equipment that makes driving or traveling even more comfortable. Take for instance the Thermatic automatic climate control which is equipped with a combination filter to further reduce the pollutants in the air inside the vehicle while the spacious glove compartment now incorporates an AUX-IN connection for external audio or entertainment devices.

Aside from the extensive standard equipment package, the R-Class offers a number of assistance systems that represent the pinnacle in handling comfort and safety and back up the claim to leadership in this particular market segment. These systems referred to are the Distronic proximity control, Linguatronic voice-operated control and a reversing camera for safe, easy parking, and maneuvering especially when visibility is poor.

The driver needs only to choose the reverse gear or "R" which appears in the COMAND APS display. Passengers at the back may also choose their own programme of onboard entertainment courtesy of the rear-seat entertainment system. There are also comfort-enhancing options offered such as the auxiliary heater with remote control and an electrically heated steering wheel ideal for cold weather.

The result of the scientific studies conducted by DaimlerChrysler research department verifies the level of comfort provided by the R-Class. The said comfort level has major effect on the drive-fitness safety. According to the study, driver stress is measured basing on the heart rate and was found out to be much lower in the R-Class as compared to other vehicles. The new R-Class range is now available in various authorized Mercedes Benz outlets and deliveries will start in autumn this year. The prices start at â‚? 46,707.50 inclusive of VAT (R 280 short-wheelbase) ---good news since it's below the previous entry-level price of $50,337. The long wheelbase models have prices that start at â‚? 48,492.50 inclusive of VAT (R 280 long-wheelbase) compared to the previous entry-level price of â‚? 54,621.

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