15k: V8 Streamliner: 2006 Mercedes-Benz R500 4Matic

In 2006 the juggernaut from Stuttgart invaded yet another market segment with an innovative automobile, this time a luxury minivan.  Pundits said it was a mistake and no one would buy one…and they were right.  Mercedes ended production in 2011 after a total of 50,000 were sold in the US market, about one-fifth of internal Benz projections.  There was even a sweet 502 horsepower R63 AMG version available in 2007 that was discontinued before the end of the year, but they only sold 84 in the USA and still sell for around $40k (or so we assume from the only two we could find nationwide anywhere here and here via autotrader.)  Sticking with our theme of cheap-speed, we think the R500 is a better deal today as it only gives up 200 horsepower and is about 1/3 the price.  Find this 2006 Mercedes-Benz R500 4Matic for sale in Staten Island, NY currently bidding for $11,600 reserve-not-met or buy-it-now $16,900 via ebay.

The Mercedes-Benz R-Class isn’t a minivan with sliding side doors, and Mercedes called it a Sports Cruiser and Family Tourer but it fits the minivan bill with 5, 6 or 7 passenger versions available.  This R500 was expensive when new with MSRP starting at $55k, and for that you got a big Mercedes version of a minivan.

The R500 is powered by a 5.0 liter dual-overhead-cam V8 that puts 302 horsepower and 339 ft-lbs of torque into a 7-speed 7G-Tronic automatic transmission and MBZ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.  The 4900 lb heavyweight is able to go from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds, not bad for a family hauler.

Not everything will be fun and games with the R500 as the maintenance bills can be more than the cost of a few semesters at your local private school.  The R500 will also be about as much fun in the turns as the Matterhorn at Disneyland, which if you’ve ridden recently is bumpy, rickety and not that much fun. 

See a better family hauler? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com