- 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
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.
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 (114 CDI)
- 163hp / 380Nm (116 CDI)
- 190hp / 420Nm (119 CDI)
Each is available in rear-wheel drive configuration only, and at launch they will only be available with a new nine-speed automatic transmission, the 9G-Tronic.
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.
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.
Any updates to the 2.1-litre engines?
Following on from this initial announcement, in May 2019 Mercedes announced that the 2.1-litre engines now meet Euro 6C emissions requirements.
This is is slightly confusing, as the van will need to meet Euro 6D Temp by September 2019 - suggesting that this is merely a temporary measure before the entire Vito range gets the new 2.0-litre engine.
There is no official confirmation of this plan, however.
What's happening with front-wheel drive Vitos?
As you may have noticed if you've tried to order one, the front-wheel drive (FWD) 109 CDI and 111 CDI Vito models aren't currently available.
This is probably because they use 1.6-litre engines from Renault, and the French manufacturer has recently confirmed that these are to be replaced by new 2.0-litre motors in its own Trafic medium van range.
Mercedes has confirmed FWD Vitos will return in September 2019, when they will presumably meet the new Euro 6D Temp emissions regs.
No word on what the engine will be (we suspect it will be the new Renault motor), but we do know the returning Vito FWD will only come badged 110 CDI, suggesting only a single power output option in place of the two choices previously available.
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.
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.
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.
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.