Mercedes Benz Vaneo - minivan, mono-car, high-capacity station wagon - this car class, which became incredibly popular some time ago, is not a name for car enthusiasts and autobusiness professionals. At the 2001 motor show in Frankfurt, the company Mercedes-Benz presented its first minivan Vaneo, which was created on the basis of the Mercedes A-class (40% of the units were used), but at the same time differs quite strongly from it. Mercedes Vaneo is a kind of “transitional” model between the miniature A-class and the commercial V-class minibus.
It is this location in the Mercedes model line that allows you to explain the whole essence of the Vaneo model: a family monobody having a passenger platform based on the dimensions of a passenger car and appropriate maneuverability, with a comfortable spacious interior, in which the possibility of transforming the interior space is provided. Mercedes Vaneo does not look like a passenger car, its appearance causes clear associations with commercial models of this brand. However, calling Vaneo a minivan or a van is also not entirely successful, because by the sum of its qualities, it is closer to passenger models.
From the front bumper to the central pillar, some resemblance to the A-class is still guessed, but further - nothing in common. Vaneo is much longer (overall length 4.2 m) and higher (1.83 m). The strong inclination of the huge, like a tour bus, windscreen gives its profile speed and dynamism. This is emphasized both by the inclined side lines of the body, which are at the same time both design elements and stamps for reinforcement of the exterior door panels, and visual lengthening of the windows (black painted stand between the second and third side windows).
Instead of swinging rear side doors, there are sliding doors, moreover, as large as on minibuses: the doorway width is 756 mm and the height is 1210 mm. Even in tight parking there are no problems with boarding passengers. These doors are so well designed that you don’t immediately realize that they are sliding: the guides along which they move are not striking because they are a continuation of stamping. The side spoiler threshold has an additional function - it protects the sidewalls of the body from dirt.
The rear (fifth) door is huge, and the height of the vertical lights bordering it is almost a meter. Because of them, there was not even a place on the rear racks for drawing out the cabin ventilation system, therefore the “gills” were placed directly in the body of the lanterns. To open this door, you need to take a couple of steps back, therefore, asymmetric swing doors, which are offered as an option, are more convenient here. It is very convenient to load large-sized luggage, since the lower doorway is located not above the knees of a person of average height. Behind the floor there is a retractable luggage rack on which you can put a load of up to 120 kg.
Up to 555 kg of carrying capacity are impressive figures for such a compact car outside. At the heart of the Mercedes Vaneo bodywork is the Sandwich-concept (double sandwich floor), which significantly increases passive safety. Powerful longitudinal bars are able to effectively absorb the impact energy. In the event of a frontal impact, the engine together with the gearbox goes down, crushing the bottom, and the upper part of the "sandwich" is almost not deformed, saving passengers.
And it also allowed to make the floor in the cabin completely flat - for a minivan, the thing is very relevant. Moreover, Vaneo can be both seven-seater and single with a corresponding change in the volume of the luggage compartment from 150 to 3500 liters! Besides, the broadest set of restraints was applied: front and side airbags, seat belts with pretensioners, safety dashboard and upholstery. The trump card of Vaneo, as conceived by the marketers of the company, is in its hyper versatility.
There are three levels of equipment for the car: the simplest is Trend, the middle one is Family, and the prestigious one is Ambiente, depending on whether the owner wants to turn the car into a representative minivan with leather interior and wood trim, or stop at the family version. You can choose any of 768 (!) Options for saturation and transformation of the cabin. You can shoot the seats themselves or just the back. Backs can be folded, turning them into tables. You can only spread out the tables, without folding backs, etc. With 5 seats in the cabin there is still 715 liters for luggage.
And depending on the seat configurations, the cargo compartment length can reach 1.81 m, and with the front folded, the fantastic 2.97 m. Plus, Mercedes offers five additional “packages” of equipment on the Vaneo (some of them are possible by installing a roof rack) ). Bike - with fasteners for bicycles, Snow and Surf - for skiers and surfers, respectively, Dog, which will help securely fix the dog on the trip, and Carry - with a large box for seedlings, in which you can carry anything you want without messing up the interior panels made of quality materials. All these accessories can be installed on any car, and you can get them immediately when buying a car.
"Vaneo - virtuoso metamorphosis"! Initially, the Vaneo is a five-seater vehicle in which the second row of seats folds in pieces (in a ratio of 60: 40) or completely removed from the cabin. Family has a “baby package” included in the standard equipment: in the trunk there are two child seats in the third row, designed for children weighing from 12 to 36 kg (weight restrictions are associated with passive safety — in the event of an accident, three-point children's straps are unlikely properly keep adults). A child can be seated on one of the second-row seats, transforming it into a child’s room in one second by pressing a key.
Under this seat, capacity for small things and the like is pushed out. Or you can attach a special child seat to the Isofix standard brackets. The basic version of the Family is also equipped with an additional interior mirror so that the driver or passenger in the front seat can always see what is happening in the backseat, and red interior lighting in the back of the car to protect children's eyes from light during a night trip. Vaneo Ambiente differs in light-alloy wheels, leather upholstery of the steering wheel and gear lever, trimming the front panel "under the tree", folding armrests in the front seats and other pleasant trifles.
As an additional equipment, you can order a power sunroof, seat heating, parking sensors, cruise control and a multimedia system with navigation, TV, telephone and high-end audio system with a CD changer. Execution Trend is a high-quality basic version with an extensive range of additional equipment. There are three more versions, which take into account the individual preferences of customers. To sit on the driver's seat is very convenient - a wide door is fixed in several positions.
It is even more convenient to sit: the driver's seat with various adjustments, the range of which is greater than in the A-class. The driver sits high, but at the same time, not too upright, and the supply of space above his head is huge. The review is good, but when you turn the car to the left, the left windscreen pillar is a little in the way. The windshield in Vaneo is simply huge, but the “wipers” are tiny. Steering wheel, instruments - everything was inherited from the A-class. On the instrument cluster, a maximum of indicators and a minimum of instruments. Steering wheel switch (they also included wipers) one - left.
Thanks to the large sliding doors, there is plenty of room for access to the rear seats. The second row is also comfortable, spacious and impeccable in quality materials. The sofa is made in the form of three separate seats, each of which can be folded separately, and under the outer seats there are special plastic "pockets" that allow you to store various fines, hiding it from prying eyes. There are also such containers under the front seats, but the “glove box” itself, like in most modern cars, can only hold gloves or a small man's purse.
True, to some extent such a small volume of the glove box can be compensated by pockets in the front doors, which also have a cup holder, but, unfortunately, they do not lock, and therefore cannot ensure the safety of the cargo. For ventilation, you can order a hatch in the ceiling and the most rear windows, which are slightly opened using the buttons on the central tunnel. For Vaneo, five different engines borrowed from the A-Class are offered: from the energetic gasoline engine to the efficient diesel engine with the Common-Rail system. Two fuel efficient 75 and 90 hp diesel engines.
and three petrol engines from 60 kW (82 hp) to 92 kW (125 hp). The strongest on the Vaneo is the 1.9 hp petrol, 125 hp, but at low revs the torque is slightly lacking. The engine “wakes up” after 4000 rpm, and then the car immediately begins to show agility, unusual for a minivan.
Quite quiet CDI 1.7 turbo diesel with 90 hp direct fuel injection. - in the cabin it is almost inaudible, the minimum of vibrations, although outside it rumbles much louder than a gasoline engine, the family model is ideal, besides it consumes relatively little fuel. A five-speed gearbox is installed on the car (manual or automatic), automatic clutch release system (AKS), the latest brake systems (ABS, ASR, ESP, BAS) increase active safety. The suspension of all wheels located in the corners of the body is independent, which makes the car on the go very stable and allows you to make the most efficient use of the internal space of the body.
A hydraulic dual circuit brake system with a vacuum booster is effective even when the car is loaded. The refined and predictable reactions to turn the steering wheel, minimal rolls and good stability when driving in a turn - drive cocktail Vaneo. Mercedes Vaneo - a unique product of its kind, because in the presence of a whole range of commercial models, the German automaker has never before been engaged in the production of family models.