New Mercedes Vito loads up

4 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on New Mercedes Vito loads up
Mercedes Vito

New Mercedes Vito loads up

Chris Harris

2011 Mercedes-Benz Vito

Mercedes-Benz Vito

But like its predecessor, the four-star ANCAP crash-rated light commercial vehicle achieves a maximum five-star rating only when fitted with optional side and curtain airbags.

Priced between $37,990 and $58,990 (plus on-road and dealer costs), Mercedes has simplified the model line-up and reduced the entry price point of its cheapest van by $2000 to bring it within striking distance of its European archrival, Volkswagen’s vastly more popular Transporter (from $36,490). The cheaper and well-equipped Vito also intends to claw back sales from the fiercely competitive market segment dominated by the likes of Toyota’s HiAce and Hyundai’s iLoad.

Backing its best-in-class ANCAP score when equipped with side and curtain airbags, all Vitos are fitted with dual front airbags, anti-locking brakes, emergency brake lights and adaptive electronic stability control that automatically recalibrates for varying loads. The fitment of side and curtain airbags adds a further $2700.

Mercedes says that it does not fit curtain airbags as standard across the Vito range #8212; or its other commercial vehicles (except the Vito wagon) #8212; due to the varying interior configurations dictated by customer requirements. Curtain airbags can be specified for an additional $800, but must also be fitted with a $500 bulkhead (with a small sliding window) that acts as a partition between the cabin and cargo area. The bulkhead does not suit all customers, says Mercedes.

Curtain airbags in crew-cab models cost $1650 in conjunction with a ‘Comfort pack’ comprising upgraded interior trim, panelling and flooring. Meanwhile, side airbags ($700) can only be fitted in conjunction with ‘Comfort seats’ ($700) for a total cost of $1400.

On sale from February 14, there are now 13 Vito variants #8212; down from 20, with high-roof models discontinued from the line-up. The Vito is available with the choice of four revised turbo-diesel engines all compliant with the latest Euro 5 emissions regulations; three model variants offering different seating configurations and two wheelbase lengths for varying cargo capacities.

The rear-wheel-drive Vito range sits on a new chassis and suspension tuning configured for improved ride comfort and handling. The standard gross permissible vehicle weight is 2.94 tonnes and 3.05 tonnes for crew-cab variants and vans respectively. Depending on model, the van’s payload ranges a little over one tonne while the crew-cab offers just under.

Three of the four turbo diesel engine choices are a 2.2-litre four-cylinder unit in various states of tune (110, 113 and 116 CDI) while top-shelf Vitos are powered by a 3.0-litre V6 (122 CDI).

A new six-speed manual transmission features auto engine start/stop which cuts the engine when stationary to save fuel while a five-speed automatic is a $2500 option (standard on V6 variants).

Mercedes Vito

The 110 CDI entry-level van aims to lure buyers into showrooms with its attractive $37,990 sticker price. Tuned to produce 70kW of power and 250Nm of torque off idle, it uses 7.7 litres per 100 kilometres of fuel while emitting 203g/km of CO2.

The 110 CDI’s standard equipment includes the aforementioned safety features, dual sliding doors, power windows and mirrors, a single-CD, MP3-compatible sound system with a 13cm colour display, daytime running lights, a gear shift indicator and a height- and reach-adjustable steering wheel, to name a few. All models receive improved driver ergonomics and a more-durable seat trim.

Priced from $39,490 (plus costs), the $1500-more expensive 113 CDI van is likely to become the volume seller thanks to a more powerful and efficient engine and more standard equipment including the choice of transmissions, wheelbases and seating configurations.

Under the bonnet, the 100kW/310Nm 113 CDI uses 0.3L/100km less fuel (7.4L/100km) and emits less CO2 (195g/km) than the 110 CDI. It also adds cruise control with a speed-limiting function, Bluetooth connectivity, a multi-function steering wheel and a trip computer to its standard equipment list.

Longer overall and more spacious than its predecessor, the Vito’s cargo volume is a commodious 5.2 cubic metres for standard 3200mm-wheelbase models (cargo length: 2222mm), while long-wheelbase Vitos (priced from $42,990 for the 113 CDI LWB) offer a volume of 6.2 cubic metres or a cargo length of 2679mm from its 3430mm wheelbase. At an unchanged height of 1900mm, all Vitos fit under low-roof building entrances, such as underground car parks and inner-city office mail rooms.

The most powerful four-cylinder variant is the 116 CDI and is exclusive to the Vito van. Priced from $44,490, it offers an impressive 120kW and 360Nm of torque while matching the 113 CDI for efficiency and standard equipment.

At the top of the Vito tree is Australia’s most powerful van #8212; the V6-powered 122 CDI range, which is available as either a LWB van ($55,990) or crew-cab ($58,990) and solely mated to an automatic gearbox. Said to be the van of choice for rapid response teams such Police special operations units, the carryover 3.0-litre unit delivers a hefty 165kW (up 10 per cent) and an unchanged 440Nm of torque. Fuel use and CO2 emissions have also reduced by around five per cent to 8.6L/100km and 226g/km.

The V6 variants are also the most distinguishable with 17-inch alloy wheels (all other models get 16-inch steel items), bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and colour-coded bumpers. Inside, top-shelf Vitos are appointed with a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear lever.

Mercedes Vito
Mercedes Vito
Mercedes Vito
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