Launched at the end of 2003, the all-new, second generation Vito is a very different beast to its predecessor. Apart from a redesigned exterior and cab, it is rear-wheel drive, there are three lengths available, as well as a high roof option, and a six-speed gearbox is standard.
The three common rail turbodiesel engines are developments of the 2,148cc units from the previous model with power options rising to 88hp, 109hp and 150hp. These are impressive engines with peak torque rated at 220Nm, 270Nm and 330Nm respectively. A 3.0-litre, 204hp V6 diesel option joined the line-up in 2007. It boasts torque of 441Nm. The six-speed gearbox remains dash-mounted and has a slick, precise action.
The ride is well controlled, the handling neutral and the standard fitment of ABS (along with assorted traction control/anti-slip systems) make it safe in most road conditions.
Just like on Mercedes cars, the parking brake is foot-operated (the pedal is to the left of the clutch) and this is something which drivers will either love or hate. We fall in the latter category. The driver’s seat is alterable for height and combined with rake and reach adjustment for the steering wheel means that the driving position is excellent. A driver’s airbag is standard.
Specification is high with remote central locking, electric windows and a radio/CD player. The load area, with its two sliding side doors, has a wooden floor lining and partial protection for the sides and rear door interior, and load capacities range from 4.7m3 to 6.5m3. Payloads span 863kg to 1,100kg.
Thanks to service ASSYST, maintenance intervals can be as long as 25,000 miles depending on usage.
This is an excellent van with a great engine line-up and a host of built-in safety features as standard, including the impressive ESP system.