- No high roof
- Underpowered 1.6 litre engine
The Mercedes Vito takes on all comers
It’s only right that the Mercedes Vito has been designed to be a serious competitor in the market and the all-new creation is an impressive offering. The styling is new, the cabin has a car-like design and comfort levels and with its reduced price and lower running costs, it should appeal. It helps that it retains the performance and handling of its predecessor but it does lack a high roof choice. The van has been designed to take lots of punishment and be durable – Mercedes has a hard-earned reputation for delivering quality and that’s an obvious point for the Vito. Also, the entry level engine is distinctly underpowered when there’s a payload on board but for most owners looking for a sound workhorse for regular drops around town, the Vito offers a lot.
Reasons to buy
There are many reasons to buy the Mercedes Vito as it’s a stylish and well-made addition to any fleet or owner. The van has car-like handling, reasonable running costs and while there’s no high roof available, the body guises are excellent. There’s also a lot of refinement to enjoy and the engines are quiet. However, there are also a wide range of high spec models to choose from which in their Sport guises may not be functional for many firms but there is a growing market for them. For a van that is packed with kit and safety assistance, the Vito offers decent value for money. It might not have the same capabilities for carrying bigger loads as the Ford Transit Custom does, but it does offer comfort and refinement and, let’s face it because it is a major selling point, the Mercedes badge at the front.
If you like the Mercedes Vito then have a look at the VW Transporter, the Renault Trafic and the Ford Transit Custom.
Of the two engines, the 1.6 litre diesel unit has two power outputs of 88 PS and 114 PS; the smaller output is distinctly underpowered when the van is fully loaded, while the 114 PS output delivers reasonable performance, particularly around town. The alternative is to opt for the 2.1 litre diesel engine with outputs of 136 PS, 162PS and 190 PS though these are only available in the rear wheel drive models only. For those who need it, the seven-gear automatic transmission is one of the best around with a quick and smooth change that’s great to drive round town. The standard six-speed manual box is a capable performer. Mercedes says the Vito is cheap to run with the fuel economy of around 50 mpg and extended service intervals of two years or 25,000 miles.
The most capable Mercedes Vito has a 1,369 kg payload capability and the maximum cargo volumes for the van range from 5.5 m³ to 6.6 m³. The gross weights are 2.8 t, 3 t and 3.2 t which are the same as the previous model plus the light 2.5 tonne option. That is not quite as good as some competitors, but there is no high roof body style option, and maximum load lengths vary from 2,433 mm to 2,908 mm. Even the crew van offers plenty of space and comfort. There’s also the Vito Tourer which has eight seats and an upmarket version, the Vito Tourer Select.
Technology & Safety
As potential owners should expect, the Mercedes Vito comes with lots of equipment and safety features on board. Along with hill start assist, the van also has cross wind assistance, an anti-rollover system and load adaptive control. Should potential owners opt to have a trailer coupling fitted then Mercedes will add the trailer stability control as a standard feature. In many ways, the Vito sets the standard for the segment when it comes to equipment and safety systems and options include LED indicators and low beam LED headlights. There’s also the option for parking assist which will automatically steer when parking the van. The Vito also has all-round disc brakes fitted and many find the attention assist system helpful which monitors the driver for tiredness.
Out on the road, the Mercedes Vito is a smooth and refined performer with the engines producing power when necessary; the noise insulation also creates a comfortable and refined cabin. The basic 1.6 litre diesel unit will struggle with a full load but when empty, or not carrying its maximum cargo, it’s a nice performer in town. There’s also good body control, the steering gives good feedback and for long journeys there’s little to fault the Vito. Potential owners should appreciate that the 1.6 litre diesel engine is powering the front wheel drive models while the 2.1 litre turbodiesel unit powers the rear-wheel drive vans. Both are great fun to drive and the rear wheel drive models are easy to live with.
There are three body lengths for the Mercedes Vito which are around 140 mm longer than the outgoing model. Also, depending on the configuration chosen, the maximum gross vehicle weight for the Vito ranges from 2,500 kg to 3,200 kg. Body variants, along with the panel van, include the eight-seater Tourer and a crew cab. The cabin has a simple design, uncluttered is probably the best description, and the seats are comfortable, particularly for long journeys. There’s also plenty of storage room for laptops, coffee cups and notepads.