This week alone I've spoken with three people interested in buying a new 2015 Toyota Highlander. I tell them these are hot sellers with little discounts and they really should consider a minivan like a Sienna. "No way, minivans are not cool!" Little do they know about the monster that is the R63.
The Mercedes Benz R-class was a bit of a failure in the US. The problem was no one really wanted to spend $60,000 on a minivan, even if it was a Mercedes. The slow sales were also compounded by the fact that the R-class lacked two major features that most minivan shoppers looked for, inexpensive running costs and sliding doors. Realizing what all of us already knew about crossover vs. wagon sales, Mercedes called it quits after selling less than 3,000 R-class units in 2010.
But for one magical year Mercedes let the lunatics at AMG cram a naturally aspirated 6.2 liter V8 under the hood. This motor sent 507 ponies to all four wheels giving this minivan an estimated 0-60 time in about 4.6 seconds. With only a few hundred examples made the R63 is one of the rarest cars you can buy, and may be one of the greatest sleepers ever. Because no one suspects a minivan.
There is a beautiful example with only 60k miles listed on the RareCarsForSale.blog in Orange County, CA. So you could drop $44,000 on a fully loaded Highlander or Sienna, or you can load the kiddies up and smoke the tires all the way to soccer practice.
If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at AutomatchConsulting@gmail.com and be sure to include your Kinja handle.