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Mercedes-Benz Viano 2.2 CDi Ambiante

Broadcast date : 13th August 2006

Mercedes-Benz has proven once again that when it comes to offering a vehicle for every possible niche in the new-vehicle market, the Stuttgart company is right up there with the best of them.

Take this new offering, which is easy enough on the eye if you like massive chunks of metal, have a family of five children and like to travel in style with an impressive degree of fuel economy.

To be sure, itís nowhere near as stylish as a CLS, as quick as an SL65, or as luxurious as an S500. But it does have the all-important Merc badge, even though your neighbors may wonder if youíve gone into the furniture transportation business.

Itíll be interesting to see if the Viano will gain instant acceptance like the more basic Vito has done here.

No-one can accuse the Viano of not being fully-specced. It comes with Mercís high-quality SOUND twenty system, while COMAND navigation is available as an option.

Air-con is quite naturally standard, and the Ambiente model has individual seats for the front and middle passengers while a three-person bench seat is fitted at the rear.

Unlike the five-seater Crew Cab, the Viano Ambiente comes fully carpeted, with leather upholstery standard on all the pews.

Weighing 29 kilograms, the middle seats are removable and can be mounted in various ways depending on passenger needs.

The stepped rail mounting system allows easy and varied adjustment, including a "package" position to increase space without removing them.

To further increase passenger comfort, the Viano comes standard with self-levelling rear-suspension, and even weight-distribution. But is the ride car-like?

And thanks to typical Mercedes steering geometry, the Viano is very easy to manoeuvre.

And it happily comes with all the typical Merc sedan safety electronics, such as ESP and Brake Assist. Other safety items include a comprehensive airbag system with thorax side-bags and window-bags.

The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout gives the Viano impressive straight-line stability at high speeds, something that this 110 kilowatt machine is capable of.

Mercedes-Benz claim a top speed of over 170 km/h and a 0-100 in the 11 second region, which is more than adequate for a large people-mover.

Its power delivery is smooth and effortless in diesel form, considering that unladen it tips the scales at over 2000 kilograms.

The Vito in basic van and five-seater crew-cab configuration has been a major sales success for DaimlerChrysler South Africa.

But will status-conscious customers spend an extra R100 000 over the cost of a crew-cab for two extra seats, carpeting, leather, and a range of bells and whistles?

Mercedes-Benz Viano Ambiente
  • Engine: Four-cylinder turbodiesel, 2148 cc
  • Power: 110 kW @ 3 800 rpm
  • Torque: 330 Nm @ 1 800 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 11,1 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 174 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 10,5 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R433 200
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