The Vito has always been a popular model in the Mercedes line-up, especially with Taxi companies, airport shuttles and even hotel shuttles and it is easy to understand why. It’s a reliable, powerful and a capacious van that saw it became a favourite with many industries and even the private buyer. It was later that Mercedes launched the super luxurious Viano; however the car was flawed in that it was still just a really expensive Vito. Earlier this week Mercedes took the wraps off the much anticipated new V-class, and oh my goodness it’s a van you’d be proud to own.
The design of the new V-class is fantastic and is instantly recognizable as a being part of the new Mercedes family. The front is bolder and more elegant than the old Vito and it definitely comes across as upmarket. The new grille is more upright and proudly holds the three pointed star. For first time on a Mercedes MPV there are sharp edged all LED lights which are also a first for this segment. Also worth a mention are the new wing mirrors which are now smaller and more aerodynamic and look far better suited to a family MPV. The front has a much needed dose of drama which makes this a striking car. It’s amazing how some sculpturing along the side flanks of the car and the more prominent wheel arches have added so much to the design and made this look unlike anything in the segment. The rear of the V-class is all new and features LED infused tail lamps and a new lower framed rear window which will make for good all-round visibility. The design is certainly going to make the competition look bland and dated, looks like Mercedes has started a van revolution.
Striking new front end
More prominent wheel arches and all new rear
The interior is where the V-class puts all other MPV/Vans to shame, it simply looks incredible. Gone is the old plastic interior in favour of an elegant and exquisitely detailed cabin that anyone would be happy to pilot. The new V-class dashboard is similar to that seen in the new C-class saloon. It’s simple, uncluttered and elegant. The materials all look very upmarket and I especially like the sleek black infotainment controller which made its appearance on the new C-class. The new V-class also now is available with 3 different colours of ambient lighting which lifts the cabin at night which would make any 5-star hotel proud. The car is even available with electrically adjustable seats with memory function; this interior is more suited to an executive saloon rather than a van. Passengers in the rear will not be disappointed either. The V-class offers stretch out seating for up to eight or six depending on the variant. The rear seats can be rotated so that rear passengers face each other, cue the boardroom meetings.
Easily the best interior in any MPV available today
Busy class like rear space and various seating options
Powering the V-class is a range of new engine options all of which will be diesel at the initial launch. The entry level V200 CDI has Merc’s 2.1 litre 4 cylinder that produces 100kW and 330Nm. Next up is the V220 CDI which is the same engine but in this tune produces 120kW and 380Nm. Topping the range for now will be the V250 BlueTec which produces a powerful 140kW and impressive 440Nm, it’s a real pity Mercedes doesn’t use the 150kw/500Nm version of this engine. All models use Merc’s smooth 7G-Tronic Plus transmission system. Most impressively is how frugal the range is and another first is in this segment is the new start/stop function. Amazingly the new V-class now comes with Pre-Safe which anticipates an accident and readies the car for the impending collision, this will surely appeal to the family oriented buyer. Also making its debut in this segment is Merc’s clever Crosswind Assist, Attention Assist as well as a 360 degree camera, it is definitely the leader in terms of safety systems.
The new V-class is surely going to make the competition run to the drawing boards as there is no other car in the class that stands a chance against the new V-class. The new V-class is by far the best looking large MPV out there. It shames the competition in terms of its powerful yet frugal and refined engines that will make any journey a breeze. Safety and technology is really where the new V-class shines and can probably lay claim to the world’s safest MPV/Van. All this combined makes this the S-class of vans and the new segment leader. Where the S-class is the best car in the world, the new V-class is the best van in the world. I can’t wait to see the new V-class in the metal because the pictures just make it look so damn good. Mercedes is on a role and the V-class is just adding to that.
Please note that all images are taken from http://www.netcarshow.com