- Front and rear wheel drive offered for first time in segment
- Order books open March 2015, deliveries expected in May
- Maximum payload capacity for new Vito is 1,289kg
According to Mercedes boss, Dieter Zetsche, a good job is best done properly, so Mercedes-Benz is claiming its new Vito is a professional van for professional people, and it has the options to suit each and every one.
It’s not just important for small businesses though, as the German firm occupies a 20 percent share of the large van segment in Europe, and since its introduction the Vito has sold over 1.2 million examples. Basically this new Vito has to be a success.
Parkers was there for the global reveal, which offers the broadest range of options yet. There’s a choice of two wheelbases, three lengths, three weight variants and two diesel engines in five power ratings, meaning there’s a perfect Vito for everyone.
Buyers also have a choice between a panel van, the Vito Crew and the Vito Tourer – plus there’s now a choice of front- or rear-wheel drive, the first time such a choice has been offered in a van of this size. Front-wheel drive is matched exclusively to the 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, to further improve on economy and efficiency.
Even with this compact engine the medium-length Vito offers a maximum payload of 1,289kg. Should you require more the rear-wheel drive Vito manages 1,369kg, and even the 161bhp Vito 116 CDI, with its 2.1-litre engine and rear-wheel drive, can nudge 50mpg.
As before there’s a choice of manual (six-speed) and automatic gearboxes, the Vito offering the venerable and smooth shifting 7G-Tronic automatic as an option across the range. And whatever model you choose the firm is dedicated to keeping you on the road as long as possible; service intervals are a useful 25,000 miles apart.
All models are slightly longer than before, due to increased pedestrian crash regulations, though none are taller than 1,910mm so can fit into standard multi storey car parks and car washes.
Your safety has been taken care of too, thanks to all-round disc brakes and adaptive ESP, while Tourer models can be specified with up to eight airbags. Attention Assist, to stop you falling asleep behind the wheel (the van monitors your responses and warns you to take a break if necessary) and Crosswind Assist are fitted as standard along with Active Parking Assist to help you get into tight spaces easier.
In Europe prices start at only €18,000, though exact prices and specifications are yet to be confirmed for the UK market, where Vito sales will begin in Spring 2015.
Check back closer to then for the full Parkers Mercedes-Benz Vito review.