Mercedes-Benz R-Class

BASE PRICE RANGE: $48,600-$50,100*

WHAT'S NEW: Limited changes. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the R320 BlueTEC is now the R350. Besides a new name, the BlueTEC gains, as standard, chrome trim, blue-tinted glass, and darkened tail lenses. The R350 4Matic gets 19-in. wheels, privacy glass, and the darker tail lenses. As with other M-Bs, all models get a new leather steering wheel.

BEST BUY: While the R350 BlueTEC costs some $1500 more, its better fuel economy and greater low-end grunt make it the perfect team hauler.

SUM UP: FOR THE MINIVAN PHOBIC.

RATING: **1/2



2010 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Base engine 3.5L/268-hp DOHC V-6
Optional engine 3.0L/210-hp t-diesel DOHC V-6
Drivetrain Front engine, AWD, 7A
0-60 mph 8.0-8.6 sec
Seats/foldaway 6-7/none
EPA city/hwy fuel econ 15-18/19-24 mpg
Basic warranty 4 yrs/50,000 miles
Safety ABS: S; Trac: S; Stab: S; Airbags: 8
Estimated *