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Mercedes Benz Vito

Broadcast dates : 20th March 2005
24th March 2005

Itís ironic that Mercedes-Benz, known for lavish luxury, should produce what is essentially a kombi for the 21st century. In many respects the Vito is the ultimate bare-bones people-mover.

The Vito is one of the most successful products in the Mercedes-Benz line-up, and this second-generation Vito is a package tailor-made for South Africa.

Providing accommodation for up to eight people and their luggage, it uses the refined 110 kiloWatt Mercedes turbodiesel engine, one of the better oil-burners in this market.

And the spec list makes good common sense. Thereís a clever mix of utility trim balanced by Mercedes-like luxury items, such as air-con, CD player, electric windows and driver and passenger airbags.

The latest Vito is one big chunk of metal, plastic and rubber. At first acquaintance, the driver is intimidated by its size, but itís in fact surprisingly nimble. No problem threading through narrow gaps, even though itís definitely not a sports machine.

Itís the height of the Vito rather than its five-metre length that makes it look so big. It would be worth checking that it fits in your garage before you rush out and buy one for the lady of the house, who will greatly appreciate the space and comfort.

David Ďs initial impression that this was a van in pinstripes began to give way to admiration for its performance. Yes, the engine does sound a bit agricultural. But with three-hundred-and-thirty Newton-metres of lugging ability backing up a hundred-and-ten kilowatts, the Vito is no sluggard.

Another pleasing aspect is the location of the gearshift high up on the dashboard. Being a diesel with a narrow powerband, David found himself getting lots of practice on the gear lever.

Happily for such a tall vehicle, it also has a full range of electronic driver aids, such as anti-lock brakes, traction control and corner skid control.

Itís not just a commuter-bus. The ease of the daily driving experience makes the Vito an excellent family vehicle, if you can live with the decidedly un-Ferrari-like image!

Mercedes-Benz Vito Crew Bus 115 CDi
  • Engine: Four-cylinder turbodiesel, 2 148 cc
  • Power: 110 kW @ 3 800 rpm
  • Torque: 330 Nm @ 1 800 rpm
  • Transmission: six-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 13,5 seconds
  • Top speed: 179 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 11,2 litres/100 km (Car Magazine tested figures)
  • Price: R299 250

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