A van for all seasons Telegraph

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Mercedes-Benz Vaneo 1.9

Family saloon, recreational and estate in one? The Vaneo is all and more, says Tony

12:02AM GMT 02 Feb 2002

In some the Vaneo first-drive experience untypically Mercedes-Benz. One has come to smooth, unruffled efficiency Stuttgart’s legendary motor On the rare occasions when go wrong, Mercedes’ people how to gloss over them a dignified reserve.

It’s not things went really when we went to test the new Vaneo. There were some embarrassing mistakes and in the official performance figures have only just resolved.

As its name suggests, the is a van-like, five-door MPV. It is in the company’s van-building plant and has all of useful gadgets and activity-based There was obviously fresh, enthusiasm among the young showing off the Vaneo’s novel

Prices have yet to be announced, but the range is aimed at the sector by Vauxhall’s Zafira, Renault’s and Fiat’s Multipla. It is bigger and expensive than some MPVs, such as Renault’s and Fiat’s Doblo, but is smaller and than the Ford Galaxy/VW Undeniably versatile, the Vaneo is a to use. Even to the keenest of car the defection to van-driving is fun, sneaking uninvited and undetected some secret society. car drivers, when they get an experience, are surprised to discover how the modern van has become. They are these days, at least unladen, and offer a commanding of the road.

Driving the new Mercedes-Benz Vaneo, you hardly go undetected because it so different and comes in every colour (including proper van And you will get the authentic van-driving albeit dressed up in a cleverly series of packages to suit the dynamic lifestyles.

The old three-box now being almost extinct, new Vaneo is yet another distinct on the theme of personal transport. To overall market share, aims to make cars for purpose and everybody seems to that mini-MPV sales continue to grow faster any other European private car segment.

The Vaneo is a most interesting to this thinking, but it already has its and more will surely The idea of the multifunctional mini-MPV is to a family saloon, recreational and spacious utility estate into one. Based on

A-class transmission technology, but with a range of slightly engines, the Vaneo has front-wheel-drive and can up to five adults and two children, the opional third row of seats Any combination of the passenger seats can be easily, leaving a maximum volume of 3,000 litres, nothing but the driver’s seat and a flat floor.

The Vaneo is and high-sided, with a high thanks to its sandwich construction. very thick floor gives great strength to the structure, which proved and rattle-free on our test drive. It has front doors plus van-style sliding doors on side. At the rear, between light panels, there is a door that hinges

Three separate equipment are based on surveys of potential The base model Trend comes with most of the and special gadgets expected of a car. The Family package heavy-duty, stain-resistant fabric coverings, with two integral booster-cushions built into the row of seating. Practical stowage are housed under the rear and small fold-out tables are into the front seat (The seats fold to as tables when necessary.)

In the optional third row of seats can two children weighing 12-36kg. the luxury trim, includes central locking, a leather-trimmed wheel, some walnut and alloy wheels.

Special accessory packages are for active types, including cyclists, skiers, parenting dog owners and gardeners. With the pack, for example, two pedal can be secured to the floor inside the once their front have been removed. An pull-out rear floor allows up to 120kg of awkward to be loaded more easily.

the Vaneo is aimed at active and comes with everything you expect of a car these days, you complain if it is, well, somewhat to drive. It is safe and stable on the but, if you push it hard on corners, it tends to lift an wheel just enough to you to back off a bit and give it a chance. The does many things but it must be said that mini-MPVs, such as the Fiat and Vauxhall Zafira, are more fun to Performance of all engines is adequate, if not More impressive is the optional ACS manual) gearchange that extremely well and is a great in city traffic.

Mercedes-Benz Vaneo 1.9

Sourced in Germany, the combined consumption figures provided do not us enough to make adequate with rival vehicles. I whether the Vaneo will be a bit thirsty, but it’s too soon to

Mercedes-Benz Vaneo

Price/availability: about £14,500 to £18,000. On in May.

Engines/transmissions: 1,598cc, petrol: 82bhp at 5,000rpm, ft of torque at 2,500rpm. 1,598cc, petrol: 102bhp at 5,250rpm, ft at 4,000rpm. 1,898cc, four-cylinder 125bhp at 5,500rpm, 133lb ft at 1,689cc, four-cylinder turbodiesel: at 4,200rpm, 133lb ft at 1,600-3,200rpm. manual gearbox. Automatic system (ACS) available the range. Five-speed automatic an all bar entry level models. drive.

Performance: (provisional manual and ACS models; auto in brackets) 1.6 82bhp: top speed 0-62mph in 15.8sec, EC Urban consumption 27.3mpg, CO2 emissions

1.6 102bhp: 104mph (101)/13.5sec (25.6)/192g/km (199).

1.9: (109)/10.8sec (11.1)/26.5mpg (29.7)/197g/km

1.7 turbodiesel: 99mph (97)/14.0sec (33.8)/157g/km (174).

Worth Renault Scenic, from Vauxhall Zafira, from Fiat Multipla, from

Mercedes-Benz Vaneo 1.9
Mercedes-Benz Vaneo 1.9
Mercedes-Benz Vaneo 1.9
Mercedes-Benz Vaneo 1.9

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