What should I be paying?
We drove the most powerful ‘119’ engine Vito for a week, and gave up trying to get it to do less than 40 miles to the gallon. Yep, despite having the aerodynamic properties of a coffee table falling down a liftshaft, the Vito is a frugal beast. Mercedes claims 44.8mpg, we damn near matched that with the gearbox left in its ‘Comfort’ setting.
There’s also an ‘Eco’ mode which would presumably reduce trips to the pumps to an annual ritual. Don’t plump for the smaller 1.6-litre models in the hope these are dramatically more economical – because of their lower torque, Mercedes actually claims lower economy of around 43mpg for those.
Still, with the standard 57-litre tank brimmed, you’re good for a 500-mile range. If your job entails longer distances, it’s worth considering the long-range fuel tank, which ups capacity by 13 litres of diesel. There aren’t any petrol or hybrid options, but at the other end of the endurance scale, Mercedes is rolling out an all-electric eVito with a 92-mile claimed range.
Now, that sounds pathetic. But if you’re a city-based business doing lots of short hops every day but never leaving the town, a smooth, quiet, emission tax-dodging e-van would be a treat, and even a real-world 70 miles of range should be sufficient for door-to-door calls. Plus, think of the torque. Oh, and the eVito qualifies for the UK government EV grant, which could knock off up to £8k from the sticker price, bringing it down to around £31k. Nice.
Buy a Benz van and you’re automatically a member of the MobiloVan service, which offers free 24/7 roadside assistance, so long as your van is regularly serviced at a Mercedes approved dealer. Handy peace of mind, that. Meanwhile, though AdBlue will be required to clean up the emissions, the Vito’s 24-litre tank won’t run dry without the dashboard screen alerting you when it’s time to top up. Speaking of tech, packs from the Merc car range have been transplanted over to the Vito, so there’s optional self-parking and lane-keep assist on the menu.
Trim-wise, the sweet spot, as is often the case, is the mid-range Progressive model, which adds cruise control, an upgraded infotainment system, fog lights and colour coded bumpers. New tech packages have been introduced, including a mobile app that can help out if you’re a touch forgetful.
Mercedes says “specific vehicle functions can be controlled remotely from a distance. Even if your vehicle is out of sight, it is still possible to check whether doors are locked or electric windows are closed. It also facilitates vehicle access by multiple users without a key". Clever stuff. Even the outgoing S-Class can't do that.