There’s nothing wrong with minivans but most guys tend to avoid them and seem to be embarrassed driving around in them. I’ve driven my share of Dodge Caravans but I never had access to the more “fancy” ones such as the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, and Nissan Quest. And these days, those Japanese minivans are pretty damn fancy and once loaded up, can end up costing you an arm and a leg. But we go from fancy to classy with the all-new Mercedes-Benz V-Class which replaces the Mercedes Viano.
I think some of the guys that were unsure about driving around in a minivan might have seconds thoughts after experiencing the Mercedes-Benz V-Class. The V-Class is perfect for being used as a luxurious VIP shuttle or cruising around town with your family….in style. With such a luxurious interior, I would actually have a difficult time allowing messy little kids into the vehicle. It almost seems like a waste when you know it’s going to be destroyed.
On the outside, the V-Class has been redesigned to look more modern. I don’t think it looks any better than the Japanese vans but having that three-pointed star badge on it does add additional appeal to it. But when you move into the interior, this is where the Mercedes-Benz V-Class will outshine every other van on the market. Consumers who drive other Mercedes-Benz models will feel right at home when hopping into the V-Class driver or front passenger seat. But these very same owners will get a huge surprise when they get into the rear passenger seats. The all-new V-Class can carry up to eight rear passengers in total without sacrificing space, comfort, style and still managing to use quality finishing touches which are to be expected from Mercedes-Benz. The standard seating will be a two-plus-two-plus-two layout allowing for occupants. Another popular seating arrangement to be expected is the two-plus-three-plus-three which allows seating for eight. And my favorite option is the luxury-sleeper option, in which the rearmost seat folds to form a bed making it the perfect road trip vehicle. No other vehicle in this segment can offer such luxury as the V-Class.
Like most Mercedes products, there are so many options available that it might get a bit overwhelming. The Mercedes-Benz V-Class will be available in two available equipment lines, the V-Class and V-Class Avantgarde. Consumers will also be able to select from an Exterior Sports package as well as an Interior Design package for each of the lines. After that , there there are two wheelbases to choose from and three different body lengths. And last but not least, the V-Class will be powered by a 2.1-liter turbocharged diesel with three different outputs.
The entry-level model will be the V200 CDI producing a 134 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque, the V220 CDI will produce 163 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, and the V250 BlueTec will produce 187 horsepower and 324 lb-ft of torque while 354 lb-ft in overboost mode. The V200 and V220 will come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox in Europe while the V250 will receive a standard seven-speed automatic transmission with an optional Agility Select function which alters the mapping of the engine,throttle, and gearbox providing the driver with four different driving modes: economy, comfort, manual, and sport. The V-Class is not meant to be a performance vehicle but it pulls off the 0-100 km/h between 9.1 seconds and 13.8 seconds depending on the model. The gas mileage will vary between a combined economy of 38.5mg (US) and 41.9mpg (US) according the the European test cycle.
The Mercedes-Benz V-Class hosts a number of safety and driver-assistant systems borrowed from the E-Class and S-Class. A few of the standard features include the Crosswind Assist which stabilizes the vehicle in strong gusts of crosswind and the fatigue-detecting Attention Assist which warns the driver of inattention and fatigue. Other available safety systems include Blind Spot Assist, Active Parking Assist, Distronic Plus cruise control, Collision Prevention Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Pre-Safe Adaptive Highbeam Assist, and LED Intelligent Light System. Of course, all these extras just mentioned are optional and available for purchase.
The vehicle is expected to go on sale in Europe this spring and a decision has not been made on whether to bring the vehicle to the North American shores.