2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class

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16 CITY / 21 HWY
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What Changed for 2008:
  • R350 available with two- or all-wheel drive (2WD or AWD)

  • Seven-passenger seating with 3-occupant second row

  • R500 and R63 AMG models discontinued, but AMG body styling and 18-inch wheels are standard on all models
The R-Class is Mercedes-Benz' crossover utility vehicle, combining AWD and 3-row capabilities of a traditional SUV with the dynamic capabilities and styling of a sleek and modern station wagon. The R-Class launched as a new model in 2006. It is built in Alabama alongside the Mercedes M-Class and GL-Class.

The 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty with 24-hour roadside assistance.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is available in three versions for the 2008 model year: R320 CDI, R350 and R350 4Matic. The R320 has a diesel engine and the R350 4Matic has AWD. The R-Class comes with three rows of seats. It launched with three 2-place rows but for 2008 has added an optional 3-across second row to provide seating for 7 people.

Standard equipment includes body trim from AMG, Mercedes' in-house, high-performance tuning shop; fog lamps; 8-speaker audio system with auxiliary input jack and a 6.5-inch color display screen; leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel; cruise control; power windows; HomeLink garage door opener; variable-focus halogen headlamps; 8-way power front seats; Bird's-eye maple wood trim with aluminum accents; retractable luggage cover; rain-sensing intermittent windshield wipers; rear windshield wiper; and heated exterior mirrors.

Various options packages are available, including those providing leather; bi-Xenon lighting; 19-inch wheels; cold-weather package; 3-zone climate controls; large power moonroof; power rear liftgate; and entertainment and information systems including satellite radio, DVD-based navigation, and a rearview camera.

While the various R-Class models may be very similar in design, they are very different in their powertrain engineering. The R320 CDI carries a diesel-fueled 3.0-liter V-6 engine that provides 215 hp and 398 lb.-ft. of torque, with torque at its peak level all the way from 1600 to 2400 rpm. The engine burns the new \"clean\" or low-sulfur diesel fuel. It is linked to a 7-speed automatic transmission and employs Mercedes' 4Matic permanent AWD system. The R320 CDI is EPA-rated at 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway. The R350 3.5-liter V-6 engine is rated at 268 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque, again linked to the 7-speed automatic transmission but with its power going only to the rear wheels. The R350 4Matic features AWD. R-Class vehicles have load-leveling rear air suspension and ride on 18-inch wheels.

All 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class vehicles employ Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as well as 4-wheel traction control and anti-lock brakes. They also are equipped with Hill Start Assist to make sure they don't roll back while starting on steep uphill grades. Tire-pressure-monitoring technology also is standard equipment. R-Class vehicles are also equipped with front air bags for the driver and passenger, side-impact air bags for the second and third rows, and window curtain air bags that span all three rows. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has crash tested the 2008 Mercedes-Benz R-Class.

Launched 70 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz 260D was the world's first production diesel car, according to the company. During the 1980s, as many as 80 percent of all Mercedes vehicles sold in the United States carried diesel powertrains. With the introduction in the U.S. late in 2006 of low-sulfur diesel, diesel engines are making a comeback. The new fuel contains less than 15 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur (compared to 500 ppm formerly). This new fuel allows the use of advanced emission control technologies including filters that trap particulate matter. The engine in the R320 CDI is based on the first common-rail direct-injection diesel engine, which Mercedes pioneered in 1997.

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