Plush new van-derived V-class MPV to replace Viano in Mercedes' line-up and aims to appeal to R-class buyers
30 January 2014

The Mercedes-Benz V-class has been revealed, and will go on sale in the UK in March next year. The eight-seater replaces the Viano in Mercedes' line-up, and marks the return of the V-class name for the first time since the original was introduced in 1996.

Read the Mercedes-Benz V-class review 

The company is hoping the V-class will appeal to current R-class owners seeking the everyday versatility, seating capacity and outright space of an MPV. Sales of the R-class were discontinued in Europe in 2013 following disappointing sales.

Conceived and developed in a joint engineering program with the third-generation Vito van, the new V-class will be produced at Mercedes-Benz’s Vitoria factory in Spain. 

The V-class has been given a much more individual character than its predecessor, with more contemporary exterior styling touches that visually link it with other Mercedes-Benz passenger car models. A luxurious cabin is also offered, complete with a high quality dashboard and and offered with the latest version of Mercedes' Comand infotainment system.

The design of the dashboard and choice of materials used up front is particularly noteworthy, in a class not renowned for style or quality. Continuing the look first established on the latest S-class, it can be dressed up with matt-finish wooden trims and Nappa leather upholstery, giving the V-class an upmarket feel. Among the standard safety kit are six airbags. The steering wheel is taken from the C-class. 

“It was a case of coming up with something completely new rather than upgrading a functional interior," said Kai Sieber, design boss for Mercedes-Benz vans. "We wanted to give our MPV real passenger car character and appeal."

UK buyers can choose between two body sizes, with either a single kerb-side rear sliding door or two rear sliding doors. The new Mercedes-Benz MPV measures 5170mm in long form and 5370mm in extra-long form. With a nominal height of 1880mm, Mercedes-Benz claims it can be driven into multi-storey car parks, car washes and standard-sized garages. 

Mercedes' versatile new luxury MPV will be sold with a standard 2+2+2 seating layout, providing individual seating for up to six occupants. A 2+3+3 arrangement boosts total seating capacity to eight. Buyers can also specify what Mercedes-Benz describes as a luxury sleeper option, in which the rear-most seat folds to form a bed. The front seats are electrically adjustable and can be ordered with a swivel function providing 50 degrees of outward travel and 180 degrees of inward travel.

Two engines will be offered at launch in the UK - the latest 161bhp/280lb ft 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel and a 188bhp/325lb ft 2.1-litre BlueTec hybrid. Both promise much improved fuel economy over the ageing, outgoing engine line-up, addressing one of the main critcisms of today’s Viano.

The V220CDi is rated at 49.6mpg - an improvement of 15mpg over the old Viano - and a reasonable 149g/km of CO2 when mated to the standard six-speed manual transmission. The V250 BlueTec Hybrid is rated at an impressive 46mpg and 157g/km of CO2 when equipped with a standard seven-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes-Benz puts the 0-62mph times between 9.1sec and 13.8sec.

The front-wheel drive platform for the V-class is derived from the current Viano. Around 20 per cent of the pressings are carried over and 10 per cent of the minor components, but all the visual panels are new.

The new suspension system features MacPherson struts up front and trailing arms at the rear. The steering is an electro mechanical system and shares its concept with the C-class, albeit with different parts. The electrical system is taken from new C class, but all the software and sensors have been reprogrammed for the different driving cycle.

Mercedes has provided the new V-class with many of its latest safety and driver assistant systems, although the majority are set to come as options on models destined for the UK. Among the standard equipment is so-called Crosswind Assist and fatigue detecting Attention Assist. Optional systems include park assist, blind spot assist and collision prevention.

Official pricing for the V-class has yet to be announced.

Additional reporting by Julian Rendell

Join the debate

Comments
13

289

30 January 2014

....Its a bloody delivery van!
No amount of raiding the parts bin can take away from the fact that this mildly updated Viano (sorry V-Class) is perfect for an airport shuttle but no way a replacement for the R-Class, ugly though that was. It doesn't even have 4 wheel drive!
I feel sorry for children of parents who buy this clunker..."Dad can you park around the corner please" social suicide at the school gates!
Of course, surfer dudes will have wet dreams about it.

TS7

30 January 2014

... for the V63 AMG version.

31 January 2014

...but still it got a phenomenal interior ! There no hidding it's van routes.. But I do think of someone has a large family with lots of stuff what better way to transport them! Although if they are claiming this will replace those wanting an R class.. I think it's a Shame I quiet liked the concept of the R class ...

anyway this is another product that shoes Merc is getting back to it's best for interior quality and design.. The exterior design language is getting cleaner too... The s class is great, the new c class looks class leading potentially ... Can't wait for the new AMG GT... Hope it really is a true 911 rival

31 January 2014

It's a van.

In my opinion MB nearly nailed it with the R-Class, except it was poorly put together, looked horrible (although the revised look was much, much better) and was outsized for Europe.

I'm still waiting for a premium MPV (for my family of five I need three seats on the second row) with sporty looks, a la S-Max.

Or, I suppose I could just by an S-Max - especially the new model with its "premium" grade. Hmmmmm....

31 January 2014

Really isnt a replacement for a big flashy estate 4wd thing is it. Its a van! the only other 8 seater thats widely available in the same ball park is the Hyundai I800.

It a van, a very expensive van and I cant see people jumping out of their VW transporters etc for this let alone R Class owners. Most R class owners most likely just go for a GL if sticking with the brand.

Noticed it doesnt mention cost. A replacement for the R means ruddy expensive then.

31 January 2014
Darren Moss wrote:

The front-wheel drive platform for the V-class is derived from the current Viano.

Current Viano is RWD.

31 January 2014
nomidi wrote:
Darren Moss wrote:

The front-wheel drive platform for the V-class is derived from the current Viano.

Current Viano is RWD.

Exactly! So is the new one front wheel drive or rear wheel drive, I wonder? Rear, I pressume.

I like it. But then I do drive a Transporter!

31 January 2014

I own a Viano and love it. This misses my mark by a mile. The engines are woeful. I drive the 3.0cdi and a wheezy 2.1 is just hopeless. It should be 4wd and they should also offer the extra long. I dont think this will sell at all well. I am going to try to buy the old one before it stops production

Missed opportunity

31 January 2014

by the way. Who on earth are the so called R class owners?! They didn't sell any!!! there are way more Vianos and they have ignored that audience. I move tandems and lots of stuff and the viano is great for that

31 January 2014

Add a pop-up roof, a bed, a kitchen sink and you've got a hell of a posh VW California. Travelodge v Premier Inn ;)

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