The What Van? Road Test: Mercedes-Benz Vito (2020)

Date: Monday, September 20, 2021


Rear 3:4


Mercedes provides a three-year/unlimited mileage warranty plus MobiloVan, its free 24/7 roadside assistance scheme. 

Service intervals are set at a maximum two years/24,000 miles, with the ASSYST service indicator telling you when the next visit to the workshop is due.

Fuel economy? We returned a, fairly steady, 40mpg; slightly better than the officially-quoted 38.2mpg. A stop-and-start system helps keep consumption down.

As part of the Vito deal, you are covered by Pro Connect free-of-charge for the first three years. The Three Pointed Star’s own connectivity and telematics package, it does everything from sending an alert to your smartphone if it looks as though somebody is trying to steal your vehicle, to enabling your smartphone to lock and unlock the van’s doors remotely – certainly making the most
of technological innovation. Hopefully, thieves will be frustrated by the standard deadlocks and scared away by the standard Thatcham Category one alarm. It monitors both the cab interior and the load area.

Our Vito was finished in attractive-looking metallic silver paint – an option – and it seemed a pity that there were no side rubbing strips to protect it against minor damage. It’s good to see a spare wheel provided, though.

Mercedes-Benz Vito 114CDI L2 FWD

Price (ex VAT) £24,745

Price range (ex VAT) £22,845-£43,180

Gross payload 791kg

Load length 2,461mm

Load width (min/max) 1270mm/1685mm

Load bay height 1,391mm

Load volume 6.0m3

Loading height 558mm

Rear door aperture 1333mm x 1270mm

Side door aperture 990mm x 1346mm

Gross vehicle weight 2,800kg

Braked trailer towing weight 2,000kg

Engine size/power 1749cc/136hp @ 3800rpm

Torque 330Nm @ 1750-2500rpm

Gearbox 6sp

Fuel economy 38.2mpg (WLTP)

CO2 174g/km

Warranty 3yrs/unltd mileage

Service intervals 2yrs/24,000 mls

Insurance group 38E

Price as tested £27,440


Plus Package £1,700

Metallic paint £565

Audio 40 £385

Velour floor mats £45


Citroen Dispatch

Price (ex VAT) £22,995-£41,380

Load volume 4.6-6.1m3

Gross payload 1000-1446 kg

Engines 100hp 1.5 diesel, 120hp, 145hp, 180 hp 2.0 diesel, 100kW battery-electric

Verdict: Citroen is catering for the slow but steady swing in favour of zero emissions with an electric version of Dispatch with a claimed range of up to 211 miles depending on which battery pack you choose. Dispatch is also marketed through Peugeot outlets as the Expert and by Vauxhall dealers as the Vivaro, and they too are produced in battery-electric guise. Toyota’s Proace shares the same platform and overall design, and an electric variant is now on sale.   

Ford Transit Custom

Price (ex VAT) £23,595-£53,025

Load volume 6.0-8.3m3

Gross payload 686-1459kg

Engines 105hp, 130hp, 170hp, 185hp 2.0 diesel, 92.9kW PHEV

Verdict: Transit Custom is one of Ford’s most significant UK van market success stories and it is not hard to see why. Its ride, handling and overall performance are all to a praiseworthy standard, and the mHEV mild hybrid and PHEV plug-in hybrid derivatives are likely to tempt businesees that want to cut exhaust emissions, but continue to suffer from range anxiety. Ford dealers are ubiquitous, and residual values are invariably strong. Check out the new refrigerated Customs and the fancily-styled MS-RT models.

VW Transporter

Price (ex VAT) £23,715-£50,055

Load volume 5.8-9.3m3

Gross payload 688-1278kg

Engines 90hp, 110hp, 150hp, 204hp 2.0 diesel, 83kW battery-electric

Verdict: Opt for a Transporter and you can look forward to a nice fat cheque when you come to sell it second-hand thanks to high levels of quality and durability. Only Mercedes-Benz matches VW’s robust build standards and - as with Vito - safety levels are high. To these plus-points can be added a slick gear-change and strong engines; and if you are worried about the environment then you can always opt for a battery-electric model.

The Final Verdict

Design 5/10 – Why on earth is Mercedes sticking with that weird parking brake arrangement? 

Cabin 7/10 – Easy to achieve a comfortable driving position, but the centre is constricted

Ride 6/10 – Suspension struggles at times, and may need retuning to cope with surfaces

Refinement 7/10 – Rock-solid build quality means no squeaks or rattles, but in-cab noise is high

Load area 8/10 – Access from both sides plus the rear is to be applauded 

Handling/performance 8/10 – Former is top-notch while the latter means you won’t be hanging about

Engine/transmission 6/10 – No quarrels at all with the former, but the latter could stand to be a lot smoother

Standard equipment 8/10 – Progressive trim gets you plenty of goodies, you pay extra for air con

Operating costs 9/10 – Generous warranty and roadside rescue package plus long service intervals 

What Van? subjective rating 7/10 – Certainly worth a look but unlikely to eclipse Ford’s all-conquering Transit Custom

Overall Rating = 71/100







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