The What Van? Road Test: Mercedes-Benz Vito

Date: Monday, May 20, 2024

If you are self-employed or run a small business then every penny counts. So if you can acquire a vehicle that can double as a workhorse and transport for yourself and four or five family members, then that is what you will try to do.

The same sort of vehicle might well appeal to fleet operators who need to transport a gang of workers in comfort and safety along with their tools. Gone are the days – hopefully – when workers could be bundled into the back of a panel van and expected to travel squatting on sandbags, with no seats or seatbelts and zero attention paid to safety.

Hence the rise of the crew or kombi van; a van with front and rear seats that can accommodate half a dozen people or more, and a cargo area at the back usually separated from the cabin by a bulkhead. Most light commercial manufacturers have one or more in their arsenal, of different sizes and offering varying degrees of passenger and cargo space. 

A high level of specification is especially important for individuals who want to use a crew van as their personal as well as their work transport. That is something that has been clearly recognised by Mercedes-Benz with its introduction of the six-seater (three in the front, three in the back) rear-wheel-drive Vito 119 L2 Premium Night Edition. 

Based on the short-wheelbase (3,200mm) model, and powered by a beefy 2.0-litre diesel – a pleasant change from the multiple drawbacks of battery-electric traction – it boasts plenty of extra goodies with driver and passenger comfort and safety in mind.

Mercedes also offers crew vans on the longer (3,430mm) L3 wheelbase, in Pro or Select trim, and with the 163hp version of the 2.0-litre engine.


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