MERCEDES-BENZ V-CLASS AUSTRALIA
Mercedes-Benz has revealed its new V-Class people-mover this week, replacing the outgoing Viano line and previewing the successor to the current Vito van.
The carmaker is also hoping the new V will win over buyers of the retired R-Class wagon, which is unlikely to get a direct replacement.
And while the new family hauler retains the van-like shape needed to keep its workhorse sibling a competitive force, Mercedes has endowed the V-Class with an impressive boost in style and quality.
Externally, Merc’s broad new grille design is flanked by slender headlights that reach back toward the tall glasshouse.
There’s a sporting look to the front bumper, building a stylish image supported by lightly flared guards and a strong character line through the profile.
The rear is all business however, with a tall and independently-hinged viewing space, a straightforward bumper design and conventional tail-lights at the corners.
But the new V-Class lifts its game in the cabin, delivering a bold new dash design inspired by the brand’s latest models, including the flagship S-Class and the new C-Class midsizer.
Wood and aluminium highlights abound, and the usual range of cloth and leather trim options will be offered.
There’s room for up to eight people inside, depending on configuration and model grade.
The entry model will get four individual “luxury seats” in the rear, each with arm rests, while two- and three-passenger bench seats can also be optioned.
And while the V-Class revealed today is no commercial load-lugger, all of the rear seats can be removed to make room for oversized cargo if needed.
"Functionality is a must for an MPV. Comfort and style are the icing on the cake. The new V-Class combines both in a way no other vehicle in this segment can offer,” Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche said at the new range’s unveiling today.
The new V-Class will be offered with two wheelbase options - long and short - and three body lengths, measuring from 4895mm to 5370mm, will also be available.
Motivation will be provided by a 2.1 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine, available in three states of tune: the 100kW/330Nm V 200 CDI, the 120kW/380Nm V 220 CDI and a 140kW/440Nm V 250 BlueTEC at the top end.
Six-speed manual transmissions are standard with the V 200 and V 220 models, while the V 250 gets Merc’s 7G-tronic dual-clutch auto.
The mid- and top-spec engine options also boast ultra-low fuel consumption figures of just 5.7 and 6.0 l/100km.
Depending on the model, features will include a 360-degree camera, Distronic Plus proximity control and Collision Prevention Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring and adaptive high-beam lights.
The V-Class hits European showrooms in March, and an Australian debut has also been confirmed.
Speaking with TMR today, Mercedes-Benz Australia’s David McCarthy confirmed that local buyers can expect to see the V-Class here in 2015.
Although too early to discuss specifications and pricing, Mr McCarthy said that both the people-mover and commercial models will make it to Australia.
Mr McCarthy added that a new version of the Valente, a high-spec grade of the Viano offered exclusively to Australia as a replacement for the retired R-Class, will also be a priority.
“The Vito and Viano, and especially the Valente, have been very successful models for us, and we expect that trend to continue with the V-Class,” Mr McCarthy said.
As for the Vito-replacing van, Mr McCarthy said that while the small Renault-based Citan will not make it to Australia (a suitable specification could not be supplied), buyers will likely find an appropriate alternative in the short-wheelbase V-Class.
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