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.
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."