dates : 20th March 2005
24th March 2005
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
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
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
Mercedes-Benz Vito Crew Bus 115 CDi
Four-cylinder turbodiesel, 2 148 cc
- Power: 110 kW
@ 3 800 rpm
- Torque: 330
Nm @ 1 800 rpm
six-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive
- 0-100 km/h:
- Top speed:
- Fuel consumption:
11,2 litres/100 km (Car Magazine tested figures)
- Price: R299
Car Torque is