Review: Mercedes-Benz V-Class (2015)
Luxurious and comfortable cabin, easy and relaxed to drive, well-equipped as standard, five star Euro NCAP rating.
Expensive to buy, engines are gruff when pushed hard, rearranging the rear seats requires an extra pair of hands.
Recently Added To This Review
Recall Front seat wire fixing can loosen It has been determined that on V-Class and models with rotating front seats (SA codes SB5/SB6) the front seats can loosen the wire fixings under the seats when... Read more
Report of excessive tyre wear on V-Class Sport Read more
MB issued a voluntary recall to apply software upgrades to diesel engines in a bid to cut nitrogen oxide emissions on three million vehicles. All Euro 5 and Euro 6 standard diesel engines registered... Read more
Mercedes-Benz V-Class (2015): At A Glance
It might look like the latest Vito, but step inside the Mercedes-Benz V-Class – which replaces the Viano - and it becomes clear this is more than just a van fitted with seats. The cabin in the V-Class has more in common with the an upmarket saloon than a van, with plush materials, a high-quality dashboard and excellent refinement even at motorway speeds.
There are seven seats as standard or eight if you opt for the Extra Long variant. The rear seats can be slid back and forth or turned around, so passengers can face one another or the direction of travel. The layout can be adjusted to maximise load space or passenger space, depending on how the V-Class is being used.
Electric sliding rear doors are standard and make for easy passenger access, plus there is an electric tailgate. This can be configured to stop at a pre-set height, which is useful in multi-storey car parks. Usefully, the glass section can be opened separately for loading small items in really tight spaces.
Comfort levels are very good both in the front and rear, thanks to standard leather upholstery and - in Extra Long variants -rear climate control. The front seats are heated as standard and there is a good standard equipment, including an infotainment system lifted from the C-Class. This comes with navigation as standard, as well as Bluetooth connectivity.
Most V-Class models will be powered by the 220 BlueTec diesel engine, which produces 163PS and 380Nm of torque. It’s capable enough to haul the vehicle along fully-loaded at motorway speeds, plus it’s reasonably quiet and refined unless pushed hard. It’s relaxing to drive thanks to the standard-fit seven-speed automatic transmission.
The same engine is available with more power as the 250 BlueTec. This produces 190PS and 440Nm of torque, making it slightly faster to accelerate and more responsive when laden. The differences between the two are negligible when it comes to economy and emissions, though the 220 is slightly better with official figures of 45.6mpg and 163g/km.
The V-Class might not be as cheap as a Ford Tourneo Custom or Volkswagen Caravelle, but if you need a genuinely luxurious, upmarket people carrier, it’s well worth the extra. The car-like cabin, excellent refinement, generous levels of space, quality finish, versatility and high specification make the V-Class feel a cut above the competition.
What does a Mercedes-Benz V-Class (2015) cost?
Mercedes-Benz V-Class (2015): What's It Like Inside?
The V-Class has five rear seats, or six if you opt for the ‘Extra Long’ body style. These can be moved around into different configurations, allowing you to choose between legroom and load space. The rear seats can be arranged to face forward or to face one another, plus there are numerous extras on offer, including cup holders and small tables.
Behind the seats is an ample load area which, again, can be configured in various ways. There’s a removable load area cover which also serves as a storage compartment for a small folding crate. This can be accessed by opening the glass section of the tailgate – convenient in a tight parking space where the full tailgate can't be opened.
The whole parcel shelf unit can be removed, giving a huge amount of space. It’s the same story with the rear passenger seats, which can be tilted forward or taken out to liberate even more room. It takes a fair bit of familiarisation to figure out the various levers and mechanisms, as well as some strength to properly operate them. A second pair of hands is more or less essential to move the interior layout around and you can expect some grazed knuckles and trapped fingers the first few times.
Maximum boot capacity for the standard length V-Class is 610 litres, while the Extra Long has a maximum capacity of 1410 litres. Both variants have the same permitted gross vehicle weight of 3100kg, which means they can be driven on a standard car licence with no additional training. The maximum braked trailer weight is 2500kg.
Up front the V-Class dashboard layout is similar to recent Mercedes-Benz passenger cars like the S-Class or C-Class, with a nicely sculpted design housing clear, classy instruments and a colour infotainment system. This is used to control navigation, audio and Bluetooth, as well as the air-conditioning system for the front and rear of the vehicle.
Standard equipment includes electric sliding doors, an electric tailgate, leather upholstery and cruise control. Sport trim gains LED headlights, sportier exterior styling, an artificial leather dashboard covering and higher quality Nappa leather upholstery for the seats.
There are several option packs. The Driver Assistance package includes Distronic cruise control, blind spot assist, lane keep assist and Pre-safe, which prepares the cabin to improve safety if systems detect and imminent crash. Another extremely useful option is the 360 degree camera package, which gives a simulated bird's eye view of the vehicle to help with parking. There is also an upgraded infotainment system with a larger screen, plus a 15-speaker 640W audio system.
What's the Mercedes-Benz V-Class (2015) like to drive?
The Mercedes-Benz V-Class might have the dashboard from a saloon car, but once on the move there’s no getting away from its hefty size and bulk - town driving and tight car parks are not its natural environment. Having said that, the V-Class is very easy to drive, thanks to light steering and a standard-fit seven-speed automatic transmission.
Two engines are available, both 2.1-litre diesels. The V220 BlueTec is the entry-level option and produces 163PS and 380Nm of torque. It’s well-suited to the V-Class, with enough torque to haul along a full load of passengers with ease. Emissions for this engine are 163g/km and official economy is 45.6mpg.
The other option is the V250 BlueTec, which has 190PS and 440Nm of torque. This is a better choice for those who cover longer distances or who tend to carry heavier loads, since the additional torque gives some extra capability when overtaking or accelerating up to speed. This additional capability barely makes a difference to official economy, which is 44.8mpg. Emissions are 166g/km.
Ride quality is good on the whole, though the suspension does sometimes make a racket over potholes. The handling is fairly neat through twists and turns but it’s here the V-Class suffers for its size and weight. That is to be expected, of course - body roll is more apparent and steering less precise than in a small, nimble car, but it’s no worse than other vans and large people carriers.
On the motorway the cabin is well isolated from wind and engine noise. There is typically enough torque in reserve for overtaking, regardless of engine, but when pushed hard the V-Class can get a little bit gruff and coarse. That said, for the most part it remains quiet. It's also very relaxed and comfortable over distance for both the driver and passengers.
What do owners think?
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