MercedesBenz Viano (2005) motoring com au

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Mercedes-Benz Viano 3.2 Long

Mercedes-Benz Viano (2005-) 2005)

Sophisticated drivetrains

Not so

Low speed ride harshness

ambience and finish

Van styling

OVERVIEW

As the company launches no than four wagon based on this new Vito, rear drive strategy to make sense for a whole new of commercial and family owners.

on the same long Vito as the high roof van but without the roofline, the new wagons come as a grade Vito wagon or Viano wagon. The company a point in distinguishing these vehicles from its front Chrysler Voyager people which is more car-like in its

Mercedes-Benz takes some in claiming that the new Vito start with an optimum weight distribution. Because of long wheelbases and short this is maintained when the is fully loaded. It also that traction remains the even increases, the more you the new Vito especially going up hills. The more you loaded the old drive models, the more was reduced. This has big implications for who have people carrying and a need to tow as well.

Independent suspension allows the Vito to the truck-like feel of a van this

Mercedes-Benz then exploited the drive to radically reduce the circle despite a significant in size. Given the Vito 4993mm long body and width, the turning circle is at only 11.8 metres. In the Vito’s rear drive allows operators to tow a luggage or specialist equipment such as a or sports gear up to 2000 kg compromising traction in steep or conditions.

So why the sudden interest in the market? Mercedes-Benz sees a market for just 400 per annum of wagons with sales shared between the Vito and versions but this is all about a foothold in a market on the rise. entering this market in M-B has watched sales leap 1000 to 4000.

As Australians age and tourism grows, the need for commercial multi-passenger wagons increase dramatically as boutique personalized accommodation, tourist entertainment or conference centres and venues provide their own for guests and their luggage. petrol prices will this shift.

Already cites the example of a corporate that uses a Viano as a office to transport its executives as a during site inspections so can discuss the findings along the Decentralisation of government welfare is also generating a growing for this type of vehicle. An Toyota HiAce van with crash protection is no longer under occupational health and It’s significant that has also massively lifted its in this area over the 12 months.

Because the latest Mercedes-Benz feature the very latest in technology, none of this have happened if Australia clean-up its poor quality in the lead-up to Euro III emissions for 2006. It’s no secret the efficient new generation direct diesels can cause their grief if they are fed poor fuel. Mercedes-Benz is counting on fuel quality to leave of their in-service problems Australia will be seeing more of these efficient new models when they no have to be downgraded for local

Mercedes-Benz is also banking on its and safety DNA backed by proven and transmissions from its prestige cars to give the new Vito/Viano range an edge in this Styling features the almost ice hockey stick styling around the rear pillars defines just about wagon import on the Aussie in 2005. Will it date model that features it in years time?

The local arm is hoping for some conquest from larger family who would normally purchase a 4WD but now need six or seven adult-size in a rugged getaway package.

It is context that the packaging of the new starts to make real The new range comes from in Spain, built in a 1950s DKW that Mercedes-Benz and VW once under the old Auto-Union venture later evolved into hence the front drive of previous models. After took it over in 1976, it was upgraded recently by Daimler-Chrysler for the to the rear-drive Vito.

FEATURES

The packaging approach between the and Viano versions of the wagon a clear line in expected

The Vito wagon seats in 2-3-3 configuration using anchorages so that it can converted to a van in an instant. A front bench is to lift seat capacity to but you lose the walk-through facility. space is quite generous each seat is a full individual seat with a restraint and generous leg room to equal accommodation regardless of

Although the cloth trim and ambience are biased towards and heavy usage, it still has an air of about it. There are wide-opening doors on each side and side glass that from the top for extra ventilation. is a basic single CD player, air-conditioning front and rear, electric windows, remote locking, luxury roof full cabin lining, driver and front passenger backrest pockets, overhead lights, front and rear cup and hose-out plastic lined backed by foam insulation. and rear fog lights, headlight adjustment, tachometer and heated mirrors are also included. is a word that comes to but with a soft touch.

Outside appearance for the Vito is also fairly basic rugged grey plastic and side strips, steel and full wheelcovers. Mercedes-Benz paint them for you and add alloys but at you get the choice of rugged simplicity. In the colours, the grey plastic can a welcome break to all the paint and can quite smart but the optional are essential to move it away a plumber’s van.

The Vito and share the same Diesel but the makes do with a 3.2lt V6 while the Viano gains a V6 which it needs for the extra

By comparison, the Viano goes the Vito’s neat bank uniform to a party dress. It in two levels: Trend and Ambiente.

The Viano seating is for seven but you can boost this to eight or six lavish lounges (2-2-2) the centre two can be swiveled around style. The standard seating easier rear access but makes little sense there is room to spare for a seat centre row. The also has different sliding anchorages that provide flexibility in load carrying and arrangements.

The Viano Trend 16 inch alloys that go up to 17 if you order the 3.5 Trend petrol it has a 3.7-litre engine but M-B often an anomaly between engine and model name), tinted colour-coordinated body protection, rails, chrome grille and electric mirrors with turning indicators.

Inside, is cruise control with speed limiter, door panel trim, front lights and multiple interior in overhead grab handles, steering wheel controls, rear side windows, climate control, trip velour trim, “silverstone” trim, front centre and carpet.

The Ambiente adds alloys across the board, CD, courtesy lights in all doors, walnut wood effect leather covered steering and auto selector lever, trim, front seat pockets and rear air suspension. It brings extra airbags.

the best efforts to hide the origins in the Viano, the gaps in the and some textures give the away but it is not a bad attempt.

The Diesel 115 CDI Wagon costs $54,990, the petrol version costs The Viano CDI Trend costs and the petrol version $67,890. All with five speed The Ambiente package adds which is reasonable as it would most of that just to seven seats in leather. It that the top model won’t you much change out of $80,000 is right up there for van-based There is also a huge of extras including extra airbags, front and rear additional sliding windows in side door and foldaway

COMFORT

There are two simple describing the comfort in the Vito/Viano: and lots of it, and relative silence. The are classic German, large, flat and firm and perfectly for big Aussies when the benchmark is a metre male. This is not cramped people mover but coach level accommodation. is also reasonable luggage so that it doesn’t have to be on top of the passengers and in-cabin storage its clever compartments and cubby is outstanding.

Flush glass, roof and floor pan, body fittings and a low Cd of 0.33 all to a welcome lack of drumming and too often typical of this of vehicle.

The driving position, panel and auto selector are not at all but show more thought most when they are to bring car-like convenience the expanse of such a large The driver has a commanding view of the and each passenger enjoys a view thanks to a huge area but the vertical sides that radiant heat the sun is minimised. The opening rear windows are particularly useful an independent air flow without increasing wind noise. The or climate control systems front and rear outlets.

The rear suspension also a controlled ride and more handling than most of this type and it is especially with the Ambiente’s air suspension. The is typically German firm at low which means that it is no carpet but the upside is that is no sway at speed and the vehicle reassuringly stable. There is no the bump stops or crashing if large bumps or dips are and no fore and aft pitching which is for such a long vehicle.

an early morning start, I to sit in the third row to test if there was any car pitching over the rear but because the third row is inside the the ride was at least as good as the row. With a cool of air streaming over my face the side windows and legs stretched, I slept soundly and had to be for my turn at the wheel. That simply wouldn’t happen for a adult in the third row of a LandCruiser or

SAFETY

Mercedes-Benz made a of emphasizing that it has applied the comprehensive safety approach to the wagons as it does for its passenger The extended nose and front with wheels and suspension mounted forward of the driver to outstanding front crash The company claims that the space between passengers in with 3 point inertia belts for each seat are critical to high safety The Ambiente goes further front side airbags.

Seat mountings are anchored to the and cross members which are welded to the floor plate. All the side walls, rear roof frame and side cells are joined to create an strong passenger compartment by the nose which is filled two deformation boxes and the front module. It’s a clever

Primary safety is taken of with ESP (Electronic Stability ABS, ASR (Acceleration Slip EBD (Electronic Brake Force BAS (Brake Assist), quality large 300 mm ventilated front and 296 mm rear disc brakes and the weight distribution. The low centre of and wide track are not always in this type of vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz Viano 3.2 Long

The switch to rear drive the Vito/Viano twins to be offered a range of proven large car engines and transmissions.

The diesel in Vito and Viano is the latest CDI cylinder in-line unit of capacity with turbocharger and rail direct injection. It 330Nm of torque from as as 1800 rpm and a power output of which is outstanding for this Fuel economy of 8.8lt/100 km is exceptional.

The Vito’s 3.2lt V6 engine is the multi-valve unit 140kW and 270Nm of torque 2750rpm seen in various E and passenger cars. It charts a line between smooth and economy and will run on basic ULP but Premium.

This engine is for the Viano to 3.7-litres as for the S-class and 170kW and 345Nm from Fuel consumption jumps to litres per 100 km but it will top 191km/h and from zero to 100km/h in 8.2 It has power to spare for this of vehicle.

The standard auto is the proven five-speed auto fifth gear as an overdrive It also features the passenger car manual shift override allows the driver to manually ratios by moving the lever There is a ratio for virtually situation, important given the and load capacity of these

A manual on some models may be on special order. There is an all wheel drive version due which is under consideration for It could be the perfect vehicle for resorts or sand tours.

M-B Vito wagon sales to 85 per cent diesel/15 per cent whereas the Viano is expected to an even split between and petrol. Once buyers to the Viano, it is expected that more than half choose the better equipped hence the higher expected of the more powerful petrol than for the Vito.

COMPETITORS

When the Vito/Viano twins on paper to offer little than a well-equipped and more people mover such as a Tarago or a Chrysler Voyager both start at around the mark, the intended usage to be carefully identified.

The Tarago has solid resale, low running and is roomy given how compact it is. It is drive which limits and slippery hill work but it a huge range of applications. The Voyager is more of the same it comes with V6 grunt and space in the long wheelbase Owners are very happy both.

At a more practical the new range of Toyota HiAce buses offer outstanding carrying capacity and round agility for less money. are also some great new Transit 12 seat buses powerful and efficient diesels and a of six-speed manual or five-speed for under $50,000.

Volkswagen closest in defining the middle between the bus-like 12 seaters and the movers while offering a of a frugal diesel or powerful V6 except its Caravelle range is drive. It doesn’t yet have the of the Vito/Viano range when it more commercial but the latest range is a class act.

M-B the big four wheel drives and crossovers right down to the as potential rivals. I am not so sure the recreational crossover dream is so satisfied in a vehicle that life as a commercial van.

As for claim that it has the same values as other Mercedes-Benz it doesn’t. While it’s at the front, its deep high at the rear say commercial not private. On basis, you would choose the every day.

Yet it does outstanding dual purpose when it can be used as dirt or work transport then to carry a sports team or group in relative safety. For a family who want to tow a trailer of camping gear, bikes, or even a large pop top with lower fuel costs a big 4WD, the Vito/Viano starts to real sense. It offers a rugged image than the gown and fluffy slipper of your average people and the three pointed star you won’t be accused of slumming it. town though, it would be a hassle to park and garaging it be a problem.

M-B is hoping that Australians have already in one overseas and understand what it If you had to be taken to the airport in a hurry or a longer tour in a more environment, there is not much that does it any better offering the three pointed feel good factor. It also make a great for a social group travelling the country.

ON THE ROAD

This is the bottom Where the Japanese and Korean movers feel like have been built to a (all that is except the rear drive previous which Toyota couldn’t to build anymore), the Vito/Viano quite substantial if slightly They are not ponderous but five of length and almost two metres of and height is a lot of vehicle. All weigh in at 2000 kg which is reassuring there wouldn’t be enough protection if they weighed less.

They create the on the open road that you pretty well keep overland to Europe, that feel keeps coming up and over. Once you come to with its size, you can drive it even through the twisty at speeds that won’t up other drivers. The launch was drizzly and very slippery but not did the Vito/Viano put a foot wrong. All were impressive. The Vito smaller V6 seemed smoother the Viano’s bigger version seemed harsher than I it in the passenger car range. The diesel was the performer. It was quiet and as refined as the engines yet was very lively and unstoppable.

The auto was what you expect of Mercedes-Benz — it did the job without any quirks or irritations to the driver.

Vision and driving were outstanding but it took a to work out how to get the best out of the heating and system. In fact, the whole in a number of systems was different from other vehicles my colleagues and myself found constantly going back to the to figure something out.

the Vito and Viano wagons time to fully appreciate they can offer. Their and quiet cruising and splendid of the road are instantly apparent but it some distance to appreciate how much is gained in stability and by trading off a slight loss of quality.

Published. Monday, 1 2005

Mercedes-Benz Viano 3.2 Long
Mercedes-Benz Viano 3.2 Long
Mercedes-Benz Viano 3.2 Long
Mercedes-Benz Viano 3.2 Long
Mercedes-Benz Viano 3.2 Long


Mercedes-Benz Viano 3.2 Long

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