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Mercedes-Benz Vito 2019 – new engines and tech revealed

  • Clean new 2.0-litre diesel with up to 190hp – but there’s a catch
  • Built-in sim card for emergency and breakdown assistance, plus Mercedes Pro Connect
  • New colours and alloy wheels, updated interior, nine-speed automatic

Mercedes-Benz has announced further upgrades to its Vito medium van for 2019, following on from the trim level announcement in January.

Though not as extensive as Volkswagen’s 2019 revisions to the Transporter or even Ford’s Transit Custom update, there is some good news here for potential Vito buyers – especially if you were considering the Vito Tourer passenger carrier.

As well as a raft of additional equipment options – including a built-in sim card for Mercedes Pro Connect – new colours and wheel choices, Vito Tourer owners and operators will also be able to benefit from a new 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine.

What’s the new engine for the 2019 Mercedes Vito?

The Vito Tourer – and at this stage it is only the Tourer; regular panel van versions miss out – becomes the first Mercedes light commercial vehicle to adopt the snappily named OM 654 engines.

2019 Mercedes Vito - new diesel engine, driving, front view, black

Available to order from March 2019, the point is that these are ultra-modern 2.0-litre, four-cylinder units developed first for the Mercedes passenger car range.

They are particularly clean engines in harmful emissions terms, and fuel economy is claimed to be as high as 49.5mpg – which would immediately elevate the Vito to fifth place in our list of the most fuel efficient medium vans, even with all the extra weight of the Tourer’s multi-seated interior.

There are three power outputs, each matching the old 2.1-litre diesel (OM 651, engine code fans) they replace:

  • 136hp / 330Nm
  • 163hp / 380Nm
  • 190hp / 420Nm

Each is available in rear-wheel drive configuration only (the Renault-sourced 1.6-litre engines continue on front-wheel drive Vitos), and at launch they will only be available with a new nine-speed automatic transmission, the 9G-Tronic.

>> Most economical medium vans

What’s the new 9G-Tronic gearbox like on the Mercedes Vito?

This is similar to the transmission already available on front-wheel drive Sprinters, and certain to be a vast improvement over the old 7G-Tronic that Vito automatics currently use.

2019 Mercedes Vito - rear view, black

Refinement, smoothness and fuel economy should all benefit with the 9G-Tronic auto, which has a choice of Manual, Comfort and Sport shift modes (M, C and S).

The new engines will be available with a manual gearbox at a lower cost, but not until autumn 2019.

What new equipment is available on the 2019 Mercedes Vito?

The major upgrade here is the addition of a communications module – which includes a permanently installed sim card.

This enables a number of new features, including an emergency call function, breakdown management, and a whole selection of connectivity functions under the umbrella of Mercedes Pro Connect.

>> What is Mercedes Pro Connect

There will be seven connectivity packages in all when the system launches in summer 2019, and both drivers and fleet managers will be able to access info about the vehicle via smartphone or PC.

2019 Mercedes Vito - front view, black

Among the various fleet-friendly capabilities this adds - including maintenance planning, driving style analysis and fleet communications – it also enables you to remotely check whether the doors and windows are shut, and even unlock the van from a distance if someone else needs to gain access.

Anything else new for the 2019 Mercedes Vito?

Mercedes is yet to release a picture of the interior, but the instrument cluster gets a makeover, and there’s a new Audio 40 infotainment system available as an option.

This uses a 7.0-inch touchscreen – hardly massive by modern standards; the T6.1 Transporter has a 9.2-inch equivalent – and at last adds not only DAB radio but also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

In addition to this there’s a new selection of colours and increased choice of alloy wheels in 17-inch, 18-inch and 19-inch sizes. Mercedes claims the personalisation available inside the Vito Tourer now matches passenger cars, which is a little odd as the firm already sells a full-on passenger car variant of this van called the V-Class.

As before, the Vito comes with Crosswind Assist and driver attention alert as standard, but you’ll have to pay extra if you want any further active safety equipment.

Also read:

>> 2019 Volkswagen Transporter T6.1 official revealed

>> 2019 Ford Transit Custom gets new engines, extra tech

>> Mercedes-Benz Vito full review