The new V-Class requires a certain financial willingness on the part of the customer. A price list at the level of the E-Class underscores where M ercedes would like to see the large-capacity van positioned.
But there is still the colleague from the commercial vehicle department: the Vito, too which craftsmen and transport companies should also be happy, sets significantly lower hurdles in terms of purchase costs. So the idea is to look around in its configurator instead of saving on the V-Class.
Mercedes Vito Tourer as a bus alternative
The solution in this case is Vito Tourer: this is the name of the fully glazed station wagon variant, which can be ordered with several rows of seats. Mercedes offers three equipment lines: the Vito Tourer as Base, Pro or Select.
In the case of the Vito Tourer Base, it is actually the commercial vehicle variant that you will primarily see in construction site feeder traffic. In the case of the Vito Tourer we drive in the medium Pro version, however, it may be questioned how many vans and how many cars are actually in it. With side panels and pillars neatly clad in the interior, robust flooring and comfortable fabric seats, it is a long way from the Tourer Base, which shines with lots of bare metal and few airbags.
The Vito Tourer Pro can optionally be further embellished, for example with a painted bumper and extended comfort features. In fact, it is primarily the dashboard that shows a real difference to the expensive V-Class - simpler plastic, a rather outdated Becker navigation system (which also costs a confident 612 euros surcharge) and no trace of the one in the High-tech multimedia electronics available in the V-Class.
You can live with that, especially since the ride comfort of the Vito Tourer is in no way inferior to the V-Class. At most, it makes a slightly higher driving noise in the interior because additional carpets insulate the V-Class.
All-wheel-drive only with full equipment
The thing with the price is relativized at least a little at the moment if you want to equip the Mercedes Vito Tourer with the superior drive concept. The pure oneMercedes states that the all-wheel drive surcharge for the Vito Tourer is 3,927 euros, which would be justifiable for the plus in traction and driving safety. However, the engine and transmission also have to go all out, the Vito only gets all-wheel drive in the top 119 BlueTec version, with the 190 PS diesel and seven-speed automatic. The weaker variants Vito Tourer 114 CDI (136 PS) and 116 CDI (163 PS) should, however, promises Mercedes, also be available with all-wheel drive in a few months.
The absolute requirement for the seven-speed automatic is against it due to the structure of the newly developed all-wheel drive. Here the extremely compact transfer case is flanged directly to the automatic transmission and shares the lubricating oil supply with it. The new all-wheel drive system permanently distributes the power at a ratio of 45:55 between the front and rear axles, and an automatic multi-plate lock is also integrated, which ensures that the opposite counterpart continues to receive sufficient torque in the event of a loss of traction on one axle. Also new and also very compact is the all-wheel front axle specially developed for the V-Class and Vito, which contributes to the weight savings of the all-wheel drive compared to its predecessor. At just 50 kilos, Mercedes put the additional weight of the entire all-wheel drive compared to the model with rear-wheel drive. Mercedes indicates the fuel consumption advantage compared to the previous Vito 4x4 with a remarkable 20 percent, but official data are not yet available.
199 km /h - the Mercedes Vito 4x4 driver will be delighted
Garage owners will be delighted, but off-road fans will not be so happy: with the new front axle, the previous slight lifting of the all-wheel-drive Vito is no longer necessary The 4x4 Transporter is nine centimeters lower than the previous model. The bad road advantage of the Mercedes Vito 4x4 is therefore limited to traction, under the car when there are deep holes or large boulders in the driveway, it rumbles just as quickly as with the standard Vito.
The Vito 4x4 has handling pretty much everything van-like filed. The new electro-mechanical steering with variable support is just as easy to handle when driving fast as it is when gliding comfortably through towns or when maneuvering lightly. The chassis is more tightly tuned, which reliably prevents truck-like staggering, but on the other hand lacks a certain sovereignty on rough bumps on unpaved roads. With the 190 hp and smooth seven-speed automatic transmission of the top model, you don't have to let anything go wrong, the Vito 119 CDI 4x4 can be moved really quickly - for such a voluminous panel van. The promises 199 km /h top speed and 9.5 seconds for zero hundredManufacturer, the bus driver is happy.
Successful all-wheel drive in the Vito
On our first test drive with the Vito 119 CDI 4x4 in northern Sweden, however, the focus was less on highway bolts, instead we were on the road on behalf of traction. A mission that the Vito 4x4 fulfills at a high level. The interplay of all-wheel drive, electronic driving aids, homogeneous power delivery and finely tuned automatic transmission can simply be described as successful. The Vito 4x4 can be driven with stoic calm over snow-covered and icy stretches, remains neutral and safe for what feels like an eternity, before the ESP uses increased control impulses to alert you to take it a little less quickly. Then, however, you are already traveling at a speed that usually has no place in winter road traffic.
At another point, the traction electronics can show what it is made of. An icy mountain path, type of neglected alpine path, with a notable gradient. Where earlier generations of electronically controlled all-wheel drive vehicles with hectic staccato braking routed power sometimes to this bike, sometimes to that, the new all-wheel-drive Vito simply drives up. Hardly anything can be felt of the busy work of the multi-plate lock and the braking work of the electronic traction control. Only when the driver and front passenger get out and stretch out a hair's length in front of the Vito does it become clear how smooth it actually was.
The Mercedes Vito 4x4 is the V-Class for the clever!
Another innovation includes the downhill control called DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) by Mercedes. Because we have to go back down the icy path. In addition to the previous control of the hill descent aid via the cruise control lever, the DSR now also processes signals from the brake and accelerator pedals: If it becomes too fast, the brake is used to regulate the speed, which is then maintained. It also works the other way around - if the regulated descent causes boredom, simply accelerate a little and the speed reached in the DSR remains set from now on. This works much more intuitively than before, up to a speed of 45 km /h and is therefore also helpful on the road.
Of course, all of these experiences also apply to the new V-Class, which has the same technology Is provided. Which brings us to a surprisingly simple answer to the question asked at the beginning: is the Vito the V-Class for clever people? Answer: Absolutely, as long as you can do without noble seat covers and entertainment on the level of Mercedes cars. And as long as you make friends with plastic in the fittings area, which is not cheap, but is quite useful. The fact that the van version of a large station wagon always looks like work trousers and sounds like cement mixer isat least over with the new Vito. With the Mercedes Vito Tourer Pro you can also drive up to the opera without being shown the delivery entrance.
Let's save the exhausted 'no one needs more XYZ' phrase. The fact is: for cool calculators, pragmatists and cash payers, the Vito is actually the better V-Class. However, if you want to look at fine carpeting every day as a reward for prices at Mercedes level (even the Vito is anything but cheap in pretty) and be entertained by your car, the V-Class is better off. What both have in common in the 4x4 version is the considerable traction strength and driving safety, which even puts some four-wheel drive vehicles in the shade.