Driven: New Mercedes V-Class is smoother than ever
That trip would undoubtedly be in a Mercedes-Benz V-Class that has had a bit of a nip and tuck to freshen it up slightly although the engines stay as is.
With almost 210 000 units sold world wide since it was introduced, it seems there are plenty of people that enjoy that style and South Africans are no different.
The changes include a new front end courtesy of a new bumper and air intake design while the grille has two silver slats and a revised black mesh.
If the top end line is your choice then you get a diamond-pattern radiator grille with chrome pins.
Inside the V-Class now sports the Merc turbine air vents and an updated choice of upholstery. As part of the facelift there’s also the option of luxury seats with reclining and back massage functions as well as air conditioning.
Grip on the corners comes in the form of 17 or 18 inch alloys, while at the top end of the scale black 19 inch alloys round off the look.
All variants are powered by the rear wheels with same engine line-up as before. They have all proven their reliability and effectiveness in various Mercedes models starting with the V200d with 100kW and 330Nm of torque and the V220d pushing out 120kW and 380Nm of torque. The top of the range V250d delivers 140kW and 440Nm.
They are all connected to a seven speed gearbox that, during the launch in Cape Town last week, proved to be as smooth as ever.
The V220d and V250d are available in Avantgarde trim which includes Nappa leather, heated and cooled front seats with electric adjustments, Burmester sound system as well as electric sliding doors.
One of the advantages of being in the V-Class is that a road trip will always be something to look forward to. Opening the big split rear door allows you to pack your baggage in 542 litres of boot space.
On the launch we drove a variety of roads ranging from highway to some dirt using the Eco, Comfort, Sport and Manual modes but I reckon in town Normal would be the choice and on the open road Eco because in Sport the revs were a bit high for my comfort and in any case it’s a luxury tourer not a robot racer.
Around sharp curves over Bainskloof Pass and as a passenger in the back the V-Class cruised comfortably, again keeping in mind that it’s a tourer.
The infotainment system remains and is compatible with Bluetooth, a USB and believe it or not, a CD player. The system can be operated from the rotary panel on the centre console.
Overall the V-Class remains a complete package especially if you’re able to fork out a bit more for the Avantgarde models. It’s a big chunk of metal but easy enough to manoeuvre in and out of parking bays. That’s if you’re not going to be using it as a luxury VIP shuttle or part of your office fleet.
Pricing starts at R913 951 and tops out at R1 292 474 which Mercedes-Benz say is a three percent increase over the previous model.
Mercedes-Benz Vans SA is offering all V-Class facelift customers a complimentary top-up to a 6-year/100 000km maintenance plan. This is a limited special launch offer, enhancing the standard 5-year/100 000km maintenance plan.
V200d: R913 951
V220d: R955 518
V250d: R1 027 686
V220d Avantgarde: R1 247 819
V250d Avantgarde: R1 292 474