The Mercedes-Benz R-Class was created for buyers seeking the driving characteristics of a good luxury sedan with more space and functionality. Mercedes calls the R a grand sport tourer, but in essence it's a luxurious minivan. The R-Class has four conventional swing-out doors and a top-hinged, one-piece tailgate, like a station wagon. It has full-time electronically controlled all-wheel drive like many upscale SUVs, and it has three rows of seats, like the typical minivan. The R-Class is also quite large, though a good-looking wedge shape and sweeping lines help disguise its considerable size. This grand sport tourer is longer than many full-sized, truck-based SUVs. Its doors are among the longest on any vehicle, and they open to expose a spacious interior that comfortably accommodates six adults in nice, supportive seats. Whatever the R-Class is, we like it. Each of the four models accelerate, corner and ride like big luxury sedans, with the all-weather security of standard all-wheel drive and impressive flexibility for people and cargo hauling. All offer the passenger-friendly accoutrements of a mainstream minivan, including an abundance of cup holders and interior lighting and an optional DVD entertainment system. And all come loaded with passive safety features designed to protect occupants in the event of an accident. Model Lineup What's New for 2007: Two new, very different models. The R320 CDI ($44,000) is equipped identically to the base R350, except that it's powered by a high-tech, 3.2-liter diesel V6 with 216 horsepower and a substantial improvement in mileage. The R63 AMG ($87,400) is a hot rod for large families. It's equipped with a 503-hp, 6.2-liter V8 hand built by a single technician at Mercedes' AMG racing subsidiary, other mechanical enhancements and a long list of ultra-luxury features. The retail price of existing R-Class models was reduced nearly $5,000. So the 2007 Mercedes-Benz R-Class is now available in four models. Each is distinguished primarily by its engine, and all are equipped with a seven-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive and load-leveling rear suspension. The R350 ($43,000) is powered by 268-hp, 3.5-liter gasoline V6. Standard equipment includes leather seating, birds-eye maple trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, folding second- and third-row bucket seats, rain-sensing wipers, multi-function control buttons on the steering wheel, an eight-speaker stereo with AM/FM/WB/CD, an integrated garage door opener and lots of cup holders.