According to Mercedes, the R-Class is no less than “a wholly new motoring experience”.

In this business we are used to car manufacturers making lofty and usually unsustainable claims for their products, of which this must surely be one of the boldest yet. Question is, can the R-Class match the hype?

Associate editor
The R-class sounds like a jack of all trades; it's certainly the master of none

The concept is simple enough. Based on the same platform as the Mercedes ML and GL 4x4s the R-class aims to package the space of an MPV, the all-wheel-drive reassurance of a 4x4, the practicality of an estate and the class of a saloon all under the same extremely long roof.

If ever there was a Jack-of-all-trades charter, this sounds like it, but in the event, this is not how it transpires.