Mercedes Vito III or Mercedes V-Class or Mercedes Viano II. Just like Andrew Tate, this car has a dual personality and it’s currently developing the third one. Is it worth a lot of your money instead?
If you ask me, I’d say no. Just as the Polo 6R was the forgotten for a long time, the forgotten cousin of the VW group, a car totally uninteresting for the manufacturer, so the Mercedes Vito III is a car out there sitting in a corner, forgotten. Like the Vectra C, the Mercedes Vito III is a car designed 5 minutes in a coffee break, by people who couldn’t care less about cars. And after it was launched it didn’t get any love until 2020 when it got a couple of completely new electric motors.
What’s different about the V-Class and why it has more haters even than Crazy Loop?
First of all, it has dropped the VIP shuttle car idea and gone very much into the family car area, if you can consider a van a family car. I understand that there are cars such as the Dokker which are popular in this regard, but there you go by the principle of “I want to get as much as I can for my money”, but I’m not sure about a van when it comes to the price range of the V Class. Not to say that a Mercedes Vito III costs exactly 80 euros less than a C Class W205 estate, another family car.
I say they’ve dropped the VIP car status because they’ve dropped both the comically large engines like the 6.0 V12s from the previous generation and the air suspension. Thus the V-Class is much more reliable than its predecessor, but it’s also more anonymous and plain. In fact, they’ve completely ditched petrol engines. But at least it comes with a lot of technology and safety features, even in the “base” models. Basic in the sense that they start at 36.000 euro and usually stay in the 45-50.000 euro area. There’s nothing “basic” at that price. Just thousands of electronics, safety systems and storage compartments.
Mercedes Vito III Engines
- 1.6 dCi of 88 and 114 horsepower – I don’t know why they put the Renault 1.6 engine in the Vito / V-Class. And at 88 horsepower, it’s like making Tom Holland to carry Terry Crews on his back. In other words, pedestrians will knock into your window and tell you to move faster. But at least it’s reliable.
- 1.7 dCi with 114 and 136 horsepower – Can I copy-paste the above? Because the 1.7 dCi is the sequel to the 1.6 dCi, which came in 2020 to take its place. Because it was launched 5 minutes ago, it’s hard to talk about reliability issues, but so far so good.
- 2.0 cdi with 163, 190, and 239 horsepower – Launched with confetti, Roby Bubble, and Chippendale’s, this 2.0 diesel was officially declared in 2016 as the last Mohican. Yes, ladies, gentlemen and everything in between, this is the last diesel Mercedes has ever built. At least that’s what they promise us. It’s a reliable engine, but it’s more cramped than a student dorm room where oficially there are 5 of them and in reality there are 10, so it’s going to be a nightmare to work on it.
- 2.2 CDI of 136, 163 and 190 horsepower – End of the line for the famous 2.2 CDI which is retired by pollution regulations but also Mercedes policy for the future. The same Mercedes that thought to remove all petrol engines and leave only those sounding like gravel falling out of the wheelbarrow. Otherwise, you might have to replace an injector, maybe an EGR from time to time, but overall this engine has always proved its abilities.
204 horsepower electric motor – Unfortunately one came in 2020 and one is scheduled for 20-21 so it’s too early to talk about it. As if you want an electric van with 10 miles range. Why?
Mercedes Vito III General Issues
- Still a Mercedes so still rusting like it’s drinking water for the first time after years of hardcore Tesco raids from the bottom shelfs.
- All those electronic systems take your eyes and money, but being a Mercedes there are so many that you have to get used to the idea that they will never all work at the same time.
- For diesel engines, watch out for those marked BlueTec because they have AdBlue. If you don’t know what AdBlue is, it’s just the latest fashion in 2020, just like the particle filter was in 2010. You have to keep the tank constantly filled with AdBlue bought only from Mercedes dealerships, and take care of the AdBlue pump and hope that it won’t break down. Which it will.
- The 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox has sat for many years proudly and done it’s job. And in 2019 the new 9G-Tronic gearbox came, while we are protesting against 5G. In any case, caution and a grain of salt should be taken with this automatic gearbox, as the reliability records are not that impressive.
- Gone is the air suspension, suspension specifically designed for heavy cars or cars which regularly carry heavy loads, and welcome to conventional suspension. Considering that a Mercedes Vito III weighs almost as much as a Discovery III, expect major work on the suspension side sometime later in it’s life.
Mercedes Vito III Verdict
I am still stuck with the Vito III / V Class versus the C Class estate debate. It still seems to me like a car made without much thought put into it. “Sell it to the police, give it to the family man who is looking for luxury 8+1 van with windows, give it to Brabus to make it a VIP car, done, we’ve made our paycheck for the month”. I don’t know what to say or how to recommend it.
What engines do you recommend? Best would be to go with the old V220 CDI 2.2 diesel with 163 horsepower. There’s also the 190hp V250 CDI, but that has BlueTec and by default AdBlue. For 20 Nm of torque and 27 horses, you’re making your life too complicated.