This is the new Mercedes-Benz Vito, a more streamlined and versatile take on the German manufacturer’s popular light commercial vehicle. It offers better mpg, increased dimensions and goes on sale in 2015, pricing information is yet to be confirmed. The Vito will go head to head with other mid-sized panel vans like Ford's Transit Custom, Vauxhall's Vivaro and the Volkswagen Transporter.
Available in three guises – panel van, Crew and Tourer (a 9-seater minibus) – each form boasts greater dimensions than the preceding model. At 140mm longer than previous models and measuring in at a max height of 1,910mm, it also boasts the highest upper payload in its class, with up to 1,369kg of cargo capacity.
As you can see, it’s far more robust looking, thanks to the pronounced grille and slightly flatter bonnet. Despite the changes, wind resistance has been kept down to a Cd of 0.32.
This helps boost fuel efficiency, contributing to claimed average economy improvements of 20 percent. There’s a choice of five diesel engines for the new Vito, which also becomes the first vehicle in its class offered in front- and rear-wheel drive.
For front-wheel drive variants – best suited to transporting low payloads – there’s 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit available with either 87bhp or 112bhp. Opting for rear-wheel drive gives you a choice of 134bhp or 160bhp 2.15-litre diesels, as well as a 187bhp BlueTEC.
A six-speed manual is fitted as standard, but there’s an optional 7G-Tronic Plus auto for the 114 CDI and 116 CDI that is included free of charge for 119 BlueTEC Vitos. For the very economically minded, there’s a BlueEfficiency package – standard on top-spec Tourers – that returns up to 49.6mpg when paired to the 116 CDI.
Safety comes in the form of revised brake discs and Adaptive ESP as standard, with up to eight airbags available in Tourer models. Attention Assist is thrown in free of charge, too, and assesses the driver’s condition. Crosswind Assist and tyre pressure monitoring is standard as well, and the new Vito can be specced with parking tech, a distance warning function, plus Blind Spot and Lane Keeping Assist.
From a convenience perspective, extra kit on offer includes the Intelligent Light System, which adds LED indicators, daytime running lights, low-beam headlights and main beams with cornering function. Whatever you opt for, Mercedes offers regular service intervals for every new Vito up to 25,000 miles or two years.
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