Long after most luxury buyers stopped considering Mercedes-Benz's R-Class, the German automaker has refreshed the people-mover for the 2011 model year.
The 2011 R350 possesses styling the original car should have had when it debuted. Sales for the vehicle this year are about half what they were at this time in 2009, leading us to believe the design redo should help move some sheetmetal off dealer lots.
While the original Mercedes-Benz R-Class isn't quite as awkward as the 2009 Acura TL, both luxury vehicles likely suffer from the same problem: How will buyers ever appreciate the car's quality if they can't support the styling?
We're not sure what effect the original Mercedes' headlights have on aerodynamics, but the 2011 R-Class' headlights are a change for the better. The new units are larger and flatter, even bearing a resemblance to those on the GMC Acadia.
Move to the front grille with the three-pointed star and there's no mistaking the R-Class for anything other than a Mercedes-Benz. Below the headlights, trendy LED daytime running lights make an appearance, while the turn signal indicators integrated into the side mirror are more artfully designed for the 2011 model.
Redesigned taillights and long reflectors make an impression in the rear. Rectangular exhaust pipes also make an appearance, replacing the oval-shaped units on the old model.
The interior receives fewer changes, though we're seeing new wood trim on the steering wheel. The exterior is what this Refreshing or Revolting is about, and we want to know: Do you think Mercedes improved the R-Class with the 2011 model?