Mercedes R350 Reliability – is it a reliable old car?

Mercedes-Benz may be popular for its sedans, coupes, and SUVs, but they also offer minivans. Even though Mercedes has discontinued most of its minivans, some have left a long-lasting mark.

The Mercedes R350 is not a reliable old car. Despite being spacious, elegant, and with high-tech features, unfortunately, the Mercedes-Benz R350 is just not that dependable. The cost of maintaining this car when it runs out of warranty and puts on more miles is costly.

The Mercedes-Benz R350 minivan is one of the best family cars ever made by Mercedes. Having a passenger capacity of seven, this minivan is very spacious with excellent handling. It’s also luxurious with an all-wheel-drive system for cruising on different terrains without any issue. 

Although it’s not the most reliable vehicle, it’s still possible to fine a model in excellent condition. A good old Mercedes-Benz R350 will cost you between $11,000 and $49,000. The price will vary according to the model and state the car is in.

Features of the Mercedes-Benz R350


The Mercedes-Benz R350 may not feature the most exciting Mercedes design, but it still looks exceptional. Its unique design makes people confuse it for a station wagon, crossover, and minivan. Even though it’s not exactly the same as a typical minivan, this car is more of a minivan than a station wagon.

But unlike a minivan, it doesn’t feature a sliding door. It comes with wide-swinging conventional rear doors, which can be a problem in a compact parking space. The R350 is roomy with a seating capacity of six or seven, depending on the model that you get.

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What’s more, it boasts of high-end features such as rain-sensing wipers, a power-drive seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, 19-inch wheels, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a power liftgate, and adaptive xenon HID headlights. These and many other features make driving this vehicle fun and comfortable.

Another unique feature of this minivan is the panoramic sunroof. It allows your kids to enjoy the view as you head for a picnic. Nonetheless, you will not get all the outstanding Mercedes features on this vehicle. For instance, it has beautiful MB-Tex premium vinyl seats, instead of leather seats. 


The Mercedes R350 is bigger than the Mercedes station wagons, and also performs at a higher level. Fitted with a turbocharged, 3.5-liter V6 engine, this vehicle delivers up to 302 horsepower. It also comes with a 7-speed automatic transmission, which is exceptional for its type. 

The R350 has a slightly poor acceleration of zero to 60 mph in around 8 seconds. This ranks lower than most Mercedes models. However, it is quite fuel efficient, with a fuel economy of 16 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

People who live in harsh environments will love the all-wheel-drive system as the car will smoothly cruise on ice, snow, and even muddy areas. And with a navigation system, you will never get lost even when in the remotest of areas.

Despite being heavy, this minivan offers quality and a comfortable ride, even at high speed. The noise level of the engine is also low, which is typical of Mercedes-Benz car models. Nevertheless, the driver may have challenges when it comes to maneuvering the vehicle in tight corners and parking lots.

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As with all Mercedes vehicles, the R350 performs well when it comes to safety. This minivan has a variety of standard safety features such as traction, antilock brake controls, stability control, front-seat side airbags, active front head restraints, and full-length side curtain airbags.

Additionally, it has the unique PRE-Safe technology that readies seatbelts and can lock windows and the sunroof if it detects danger ahead. Other top-notch safety features are Mercedes embrace emergency communications system and blind-spot warning system. However, these two are optional.


One of the most challenging parts about owning the Mercedes R350 is its reliability. Since no new models are being made, the old R350 models are all there is to choose from. Unfortunately, they are not very reliable. Many previous owners have complained a lot about the cost of maintaining the R350.

The first thing that will cost you is the oil change. After around every 5,000 miles, you will be required to change oil, which is not cheap. Also, the oil filters have to be changed more regularly to allow the minivan to function effortlessly.

Other Mercedes-Benz R350 parts that will require maintenance or repair are the air compressor, serpentine belt, pulley, air springs, intake manifold, and tensioners. If you’re not careful enough, you may end up spending more money on maintenance than what you bought the minivan for.

More about the R350

Why did Mercedes stop the production of R350?

Mercedes stopped the production of the Mercedes-Benz R350 because of poor sales. The first R350 was produced in 2006 and the final one in 2012. Most of the models did not perform well, which lead to Mercedes ceasing the production of this excellent family vehicle.

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Is Mercedes-Benz R350 a fantastic car?

No, it’s not. When you consider the cost of maintenance, you will probably regret buying this minivan. The vehicle has many issues that start to show up as early as 80,000 miles. But if you’re a family person and have a desire for a spacious and luxurious vehicle, the R350 may be a decent option for you. 

Which old Mercedes-Benz is reliable?

If you’re looking for a reliable second-hand Mercedes car, you should consider getting an E-Class. The Mercedes E-Class has some of the most reliable vehicles on the market. For instance, the Mercedes-Benz 1995 W124 E-Class is one of the most reliable old Mercedes-Benz models on the market.

What are the Mercedes R350’s common problems?

The Mercedes R350 may be a nice minivan for a family of seven, but this car comes with a lot of problems. Some of the usual problems that you should expect to encounter with this minivan are transmission issues, suspension problems, manifold mixer-flap problem, and serpentine belt issues. 

Family-friendly, but expensive to maintain

The Mercedes-Benz R350 minivan is a quality family vehicle. With a capacity of seven people and a large cargo room, this is an excellent car for picnics and off-road activities. However, this minivan is costly to maintain after it hits 80,000 miles.

Overall, it’s a decent Mercedes minivan with great handling capabilities. The seats are comfortable, and it features most high-tech Mercedes features found in high-end models like the S-Class. Unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz ceased producing this minivan with the final model being made in 2012.

Edwin Odipo

Why do you love writing about cars? Cars make our lives easy. You can visit your distant friend, relative or even rush to the grocery store a few miles from your home with a lot of ease. Imagine how life was before the invention of cars?? To me, cars are a blessing that made life more convenient.

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