The vito is supposed to leave the slipstream of the T5. for years, VW sold five or six times as many vans and station wagons in the mid-size class as the brand with the star. But now the swabians want to attack and even export the new vito to north and latin america for the first time.
For this purpose, mercedes has significantly expanded the model range: two wheelbases, three lengths, four weight classes, and in addition to front-wheel drive, rear-wheel and all-wheel drive versions – mercedes deliberately wants to offer a broad range of options for the new van family.
Crosswind assist as standard
Until now, the vito has always been somewhat overshadowed by its predecessor mercedes sprinter so it will now benefit from its bigger brother and get most of the driver aids installed there along the way. A crosswind assistant, for example, is standard on board, as is the drowsiness warning system, which is intended to encourage the driver to take a break with a steaming cup of coffee in the display. In addition, buyers can equip their vito with up to eight airbags, automatic parking system upgrade to radar-based distance warning, lane departure warning and blind spot warning if the budget allows it. "We make no compromises when it comes to safety", says production manager frank klein.
The mercedes thus works its way up to a good passenger car level, which is only logical in view of the wide range of models available. Finally, the vito is offered not only as a panel van, but also as a station wagon. To make it as suitable as possible for all applications of commercial buyers, it is offered in three versions. The low-maintenance and spartan base equipment is suitable for hard work, for example on construction sites. The tourer select is the counterpart. With sliding single seats, carpeted floor and automatic air conditioning, mercedes sees it as a hotel shuttle bus or cab. Or as a low-cost alternative for those who want the more expensive V-Class not wanting to afford.
Driving and suspension comfort at the highest level
Even if the vito doesn’t quite match the ride and suspension comfort of the V-class, which has a more complex chassis, the way the mercedes handles potholes and transverse grooves is a whole new level of quality for vans. Not only are the rumbling axles of its predecessor now a thing of the past, but the new model also has much softer springs. In conjunction with the comfortable, multi-adjustable seats, this creates a high level of well-being on board. The audibly better sound insulation also contributes to this. Mercedes even claims that the new Vito is 50 percent quieter inside than its predecessor.
The many storage compartments and stowage areas distributed throughout the cabin are evidence of the efforts made to make the driver’s life as comfortable as possible. The partition wall, for example, is slightly bulged toward the cargo area so that the driver can push the seat back further. The engineers have provided a DIN slot in the center console for the tachograph, and USB and aux connections for the smartphone are located right next to the cell phone shelf. The fact that mercedes forgot a coat hook is a minor detail. The only thing that doesn’t quite fit the bill is the becker navigation system with its pixelated display, which is awkward to operate and announces much too late.
Engines are prepared for euro 6
With the model change, mercedes is introducing engines that are supposed to work much more economically than before. In any case, standard fuel consumption has fallen by an average of 20 percent, while mercedes has extended the service intervals from 30 to 30 kilograms.000 to 40.000 kilometers extended. euro 5b+ is still standard, but all units are already prepared for euro 6.
The new entry-level engine for the front-wheel drive models is the 1.6-liter diesel from Renault with 88 or 114 hp. Less displacement means less weight. Since the front-wheel drive has also been slimmed down, the unladen weight of the medium-length van has fallen to 1.761 kilo. So the driver can drive up to 1.289 kilo load.
The engine has been retuned for use in the vito. It’s not dynamic, but it runs smoothly and quietly. This makes it suitable for short- and medium-haul trips as well as for cost-conscious fleet operators. Because with the small four-cylinder, the entry price into the vito world drops to 17.990 euro. However, only the unlimited and somewhat slimmed-down special model worker is available for this purpose. It is the first choice for those who do not want gimmicks. Because assistance systems, special paintwork and many other extras are only available for the somewhat better equipped standard transporter, which is available as a 109 CDI at 23.800 euros. The tourer is available from 25.310 euros.
In the 190-hp vito, the automatic transmission is standard
The familiar four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 2.2 liters remains in the range and is recommended for heavy loads or driving with a trailer. It, too, comes with a six-speed transmission, but it shifts more precisely and more easily than the 1.6-liter engine. the vito is even more comfortable to drive, especially with a trailer, with the inconspicuous seven-speed automatic transmission. For the version with 136 or 163 hp it costs 2.100 euros, while it comes as standard with the 190 hp vito 119 bluetec.
What there is not vito? Engines with six cylinders. Four pots must suffice in the future. Customers will also wait in vain for versions with a high roof or a chassis-only model. mercedes refers interested parties to the sprinter.
Daimler has done a lot to broaden the range of its mid-size van and make it more appealing to cost-conscious fleet operators. The technical basis is right. But the competition never sleeps. VW has already announced the T6 for 2015. Only then does it become clear who will lead the way.