Luxury van-ing from Mercedes-Benz, the V-Class

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Launched back in the 1990s, the V-Class – also known then as the Vito – was renamed Viano, with the introduction of the second generation. This new model broadened its appeal from the functional Vito van, which still runs parallel to the luxury transporter that we know as the V-Class. Now in its third generation, as of 2014 and with a recent 2019 facelift, Mercedes-Benz is aiming at families, leisure adventurers and business customers for the V-Class to be their vehicle of choice for both work and leisure needs.


The 2019 facelift refreshed the already dominant model, adding focal points that included a restyled and striking front-end design, a sporty and streamlined cockpit as well as a new range of alloy wheels and interior trim options. With the introduction of the V300d to this already successful model range, Mercedes-Benz hopes to take the MPV segment to even greater heights.


The local flagship that I reviewed - the V300d is equipped with the 4-cylinder 2.1-litre turbo diesel motor that boasts 176kW of power complimented by 500Nm of torque, making it the new top performer in the segment. In the acceleration phase, the V300d can deliver an additional 30Nm of torque in addition to the 500Nm. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in a claimed 7.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 220 km/h.  Surprisingly quick for it size and weight (2.1 tons), unfortunately this does come at the expense of fuel consumption. I recorded a consumption ranging between 13 to 14-l per 100km, which is on the higher end. The 300d is mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox that works seamlessly with the vehicle adding to the overall refinement of the vehicle.


The V300d comes standard in a luxurious 7-seat configuration, but this can be customised to a 6 or 8-seater, depending on the customer’s needs. Leather seats can be changed from the standard Black Leather to Tartufo Brown Leather, or Silk Beige Leather at no extra cost. The interior seating is  marvellous, practical and sumptuous, similar in a way to Business Class aeroplane seating. There are several adjustments and configurations that include swivel and tilt. Included is a working desk set-up that can collapse into an arm rest and drink holder. Not forgetting the option for heating and cooling through the seats perforated leather.


For the driver, there are Intelligent LED lights which offer impressive with their practical application in real driving by adjusting the headlamp range when oncoming traffic is detected. The Adaptive Highbeam Assist system continuously adapts based on the road condition. The V-Class comes packed with every little thing you can imagine: an EASY-PACK Tailgate that electrically closes the rear door, a split window in the tailgate with a raised parcel shelf, 19" (inch) Alloy Wheels, either AMG or black AMG, or 10 spoke light alloy are standard and tyre pressure monitoring system.


The V300d models also feature the Mercedes-Benz User Experience or MBUX and replaces the previous COMAND Online system. This feature will also now be available across the full V-Class model range.


The system includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Smartphone integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Mercedes-Benz hard-disk navigation. Unfortunately, the instrument binnacle has not been updated with a full digital display and there is still a need to insert and turn the car’s key to start the motor.


The standard Burmester sound system also comes standard on all V 300 d models. The 16-speaker surround sound system brings impressive sound to every seat in the V-Class thanks to the multichannel surround sound technology. The integrated voice amplification system also ensures that the driver and front passenger can converse comfortably with rear passengers, regardless of the distance between them. I can attest, the sound system is bangin’!


Being a Mercedes, safety is always a priority. All safety aspects synonymous with the brand and that customers have grown accustomed to, have been carried over to the V300d variants. Safety highlights include the Driver Assist package that features PRE-SAFE, Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist and Active Brake Assist.

In addition to the Driver and Co-Driver airbags, Thorax Airbags for driver and co-driver and the front window airbags from A-B pillar come standard, and additional Window airbags that extend from the A-D pillar can be ordered as an option. Child locks on the rear doors ensure that the little ones do not open the Electric rear sliding doors while on the move.


The V-Class Avantgarde and Exclusive models are the ultimate in premium bus transportation when an SUV just does not offer enough space, but be warned – it is pricey with pricing starting at R1 440 203 for the 300d. As a caveat, the V-Class does rattle with so many body panels but it also grabs many admiring glades although not related both or neither could be a pain point for the owner.


The competition

KIA Grand Sedona, Toyota Quantum VX and Volkswagen Caravelle

The pricing

V200d                            R977 913

V220d                            R1 022 382

V250d                            R1 099 606

V220d Avantgarde           R1 335 144

V250d Avantgarde           R1 382 928

V300d Avantgarde           R1 440 203

V300d Exclusive              R1 645 880


Service and warranty

The V-Class range is sold with a 5 year/100 000km maintenance plan.


My choice

V220d Avantgarde           R1 335 144


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