Mercedes-Benz Viano (2003–2015)

What's good

Generous amounts of space for passengers in all three rows of seats and very comfortable seats.

A good driving position that offers excellent vision in all directions, plus easy to read main instruments.

Tight turning circles makes the Viano easy to place in town traffic and also makes short shrift of parking in compact spaces.

What's bad

Recall 30-07-2004: Mounting of foot-operated brake pedal may detach.

Recall 17-08-2004: Engine speed may reduce or shut down due to software error.

Recall 08-06-2005: Brake pedal to master cylinder clevis pin may detach.

Recall 01-12-2006: Battery to starter cable may melt.

Recall 05-12-2006: Airbag may not deploy.

Recall 15-12-2006: Fuel line may not have been correctly fitted.

Recall 01-02-2007: Fuel line may leak in event of a collision.

Recall 06-08-2007: Engine may stop due to faulty fuel lines.

Recall 07-10-2008: Fuel may leak.

Recall 14-10-2008: Increased brake pedal travel due to faulty master cylinder. Also, full functionality of the vehicle electronics cannot be guaranteed.

Recall 14-11-2008: Fuel may leak.

Recall 12-02-2009: Airbag may not deploy.

Recall 02-03-2009: Parking brake may fail.

Recall 15-04-2009: Spare wheel may detach from vehicle.

Recall 19-01-2010: Rear vent window could detach.

Recall 04-10-2010: Oil may leak.

Recall 19-10-2010: Rear window may detach.

Recall 15-12-2010: Fuel may leak.

Recall 16-06-2011: Risk of fire due to chaffed wiring.

Recall 24-08-2011: Fire may occur due to overloaded air conditioning fan relay.

Recall 02-02-2012: Fuel may leak.

Recall 21-02-2012: Suspension may fail.

Recall 29-02-2012: Front window pillar cover may detach when airbag is deployed.

Both engine options fall some way short of the expected refinement now demanded by buyers in the chauffeur industry. The Viano is also way behind most modern vans in this respect.

A bumpy ride on all types of road varies from disappointing to downright uncomfortable depending on the surface and length of the journey. It’s exacerbated by the Sport suspension that is standard on the Grand Edition.

Performance is best described as adequate, but more honestly described as slovenly when the Viano is loaded with a full complement of passengers. This is an especially acute problem for the four-cylinder 2.1-litre diesel engine.

Viano fitted with self-levelling suspension are prone to running down their batteries after a long ferry trip or after being left parked for a prolonged period in windy conditions because the system attempts to compensate for movement of the ship or being blown by the wind.

On diesel engines, horseshoe exhaust clamp down pipe of turbo prone to snapping frequently.

What does a Mercedes-Benz Viano (2003 – 2015) cost?