What Went Wrong: 2006-2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class
Billed as some kind of more imaginative crossover-type vehicle, the R-Class was one of two new three-row Benzes to arrive around that time. The other was the GL-Class, which is now in its second generation and a successful crossover for the brand. The R-Class, on the other hand, has floundered for the most part, especially in the US market. Its only real sort of competitor at all was sort of the Lincoln MKT, as both were proportionally long tall wagon-y luxury crossovers; the MKT too has failed to find success among US consumers. Mercedes initially offered the R-Class to American buyers with a V-6, a V-6, and even the they-actually-made-it R63 AMG. The diesel V-6 also was made available, and an update for the 2011 model year also failed to interest buyers. Of course by then it was probably already too late, at least for this generation.
This edition of Why It Failed is also an easier one IMO, mostly an issue with styling. It didn't help that Mercedes essentially had the R-Class wind up competing with the brand's own GL-Class, which actually looked like an SUV. The rest of the package was quite nice, and that interior must make it one of the finest ways of transporting a family for long distances. With one of the V-8 options, it was quite the (luxury) minivan (without sliding doors). But there aren't too many people that wanted such a thing. They wanted SUVs, crossovers or not. This was too minivan-ish. Given the track record of this and the MKT, even the Flex, I see little point in Mercedes pursuing this segment in the future. Once this generation is done, I say put it to rest.
What say you?