Mercedes-Benz has unveiled its new V-Class people carrier – and it’s more than just a van with windows.
Replacing the Mercedes-Benz Viano, the V-Class is an eight-seater MPV packed with tech and offering levels of comfort that position it alongside passenger cars such as the new S-Class.
It’s more practical than an S-Class, though, with a choice of long or extra long wheelbase and a range of seating configurations. A shorter wheelbase will be available elsewhere in Europe.
Power comes from a choice of two diesel engines, already seen in the Mercedes line-up – including the 163hp V 220 CDI and the 190hp V 250 BlueTEC.
The 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel V 220 CDI produces an impressive 280lb ft of torque, while returning 49.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 149g/km.
The top-of-the-line BlueTEC engine replaces the 3.0-litre V6 of the Viano, and produces a whopping 324lb ft of torque, with a fuel economy figure of 46mpg and emits 157g/km CO2. That results in a year’s road tax of just £175 – not bad for such a chunky vehicle that can carry up to eight people.
Inside is where the new Mercedes-Benz V-Class really impresses. Not only is there four individual luxury seats as standard in the back, buyers can also opt for a folding table. There’s also the option of the Interior Design package with adds luxury Nappa leather seats and a leather-look dashboard with topstitching and wood-look trim, and even sporty aluminium pedals. Just what every chauffeur needs.
As one would expect from a luxury Mercedes-Benz, gadget lovers won’t be left feeling short-changed. There are no fewer than eleven driver assistance systems based on radar, camera and ultrasound sensors – ranging from the Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control system to active lane keeping assist.
Outside, the Mercedes-Benz has worked hard to lose the slightly commercial image of the V-Class. It’s even available with an Exterior Sports package which adds strips of chrome and 18-inch alloys (with 19-inchers available as an extra).
Access to the boot is via a huge rear tailgate, although it can be operated electronically and stopped in any position – making loading in tight spaces or with bags of shopping an easy task. The rear tailgate window opens too, so you don’t need to open the full tailgate if it’s loaded with gear.
Prices of the new V-Class aren’t confirmed, but we expect they will start at slightly more than the current £37,245 Viano. The first models will be arriving at Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the UK in March.