The Mercedes-Benz Vito is a cargo van, a cargo combi, a low-cost (by European standards, of course) minibus on a platform like W638. The starting point in the fate of the Mercedes-Benz V-Class is considered to be 1995. Then, the DaimlerChrysler plant in Vitoria in the north of Spain began mass production of a small-class Vito truck, which proved itself as a good office on wheels, a family minivan or corporate taxi. In 1996, Vito won the title of best van of the year. The main modifications of the family are the all-metal van with a carrying capacity of 895-925 kg and the 9-seater bus with a carrying capacity of 740 kg. Vito are equipped with diesel engines of 79 and 98 hp.
and petrol capacity of 129 and 143 hp In 1996, at the Geneva Motor Show, a high-capacity wagon from Mercedes-Benz was first shown on the basis of the Vito truck and called the V-class. For greater comfort, the pneumatic elements replaced the coil springs in the rear suspension, insulation and trim has been improved, appearance has been slightly changed due to mounted parts. The result is a car that retains the capacity of a commercial van, but with a higher level of comfort. Minivan went on sale in 1997. In 1998, the cars have undergone easy upgrades - CDI diesel engines with a Common Rail fuel system appeared.
Consumer qualities of minivans are enhanced due to a significant renovation of the cabin and interior equipment. In 2003, "DaimlerChrysler" instead of a thorough modernization of models to replace the old Vito and V-class is a completely new car - Vito and Viano. These two models, which the company released at the same time, outwardly resemble each other as twin sisters, but completely different in nature. Mercedes-Benz Vito is presented in three ways at once: a thoroughbred workhorse, cargo van and a roomy minibus. For the production of a new model, the usable area at the Spanish factory in Vitoria was almost doubled.
In the new territory, a new assembly shop for an unpainted body was built, which employs 550 of the most modern industrial robots, a new paint shop and a new final assembly shop. Since the fall of 2003, the new Mercedes-Benz Vito has gradually begun to replace light commercial vehicles. The second-generation Vito comes with three body length options (the shortest Compact is 4748 mm; Long is 4993 mm; the longest Extralong is 5223 mm), two wheelbase sizes (3200 and 3430 mm), two roof versions (low and high, with useful volume from 4.65 to 6.49 m3, cargo compartment length 2224-3099 mm) and five engines from 88 to 218 hp By the way From 2005, the average roof variant will appear.
One of the most attractive should be the so-called Panel van - a van with a usable body capacity of 6.49 m3 (its predecessor has a maximum of 4.8 m3) and a payload of up to 1,140 kg and a six-seater Vito Mixto for combined cargo and passenger traffic with a luggage compartment capacity of 970 liters. It takes on board up to six people and can carry large cargo volumes, which are usually required in various industries, such as construction, utilities, etc. For those who care about the number of seats in the cabin, the Vito, which is designed to carry 9 people, including the driver, can enjoy, while still free about one cubic meter of cargo compartment, where you can place your luggage.
The essential difference between the Vito new generation - a completely new body. The angular forms of the previous generation gave way to smoother and more dynamic lines, which is especially noticeable in profile and full face, a harmonious line from the bumper to the windshield and a smooth transition to the side elements can not be confused with anything - they clearly show the family features of Mercedes. Of the external changes are striking new grille in front, spectacular vyshtampovka on the hood and large vertical dimensions. The appearance of the rear of the car is determined by vertically arranged rear lights of a large size.
With any wheelbase - 3200 mm or 3430 mm - on the Vito are installed new sliding side doors, which greatly facilitate the process of loading luggage into the car. The dimensions of the rear swing doors of the van with an opening angle of 180 ° and 270 °, which can be ordered instead of the rear lift door, make it easy to carry out loading and unloading. The opening of the luggage compartment between the wheel arches is 1277 mm, you can also place a load under the front seats, which means an additional 200 mm of usable length for any size of wheelbase.
The maximum load on the roof is 150 kg. Inside, the new design touched almost everything: the dashboard, buttons and air conditioning control levers, pockets and small compartments for various things. At the top of the dashboard there was an office where you can put A4 paper, folders and road maps. The volume of the glove box has been increased to 11 liters.
The driver and front passenger seats are adjusted in the longitudinal direction, in addition, it is possible to smoothly adjust the seat height, tilt the backrest and seat cushion. Such a thoughtful interior design, Seats with integrated three-point seat belts, a variety of adjustment options and much more make the Mercedes-Benz Vito a decent means of transporting passengers, including guests of expensive hotels, or a successful acquisition for expanding the bus fleet. However, the car has obvious shortcomings, moreover, not every modification of the new Vito deserves high marks in comparison with its predecessor.
There are complaints about visibility: a wide front desk closes the view in corners, and the middle rear headrest in the passenger versions almost completely deprives the driver of the view. In sunlight, the orange symbols on the instrument panel are completely invisible, and for reading information you have to extend the visor with your palm. As for the other points: in the cabin of the old minibuses there was an open garbage can - and with a sharp turn, its contents flew out to passengers. Now the trash has done more by closing the lid.
And this threatens with the fact that children can stuff apple sticks and banana skins there, and the driver will not know about it until all this starts to rot! Nevertheless, there are much more positive moments. This is a decent level of comfort passenger modifications, and a powerful ventilation system, and excellent ergonomics. The design of the new Vito from its predecessors is essentially nothing in common.
Structurally, the new Vito - completely different from the front bumper to the exhaust pipe (although their purpose has not changed). And their main difference is in the layout. If the former Vito and V-class were front-wheel drive, with a transversely located power unit, now the engine and gearbox are positioned longitudinally, and the drive is rear. At least two problems influenced this transformation from a front-wheel drive car to a “classic”.
The first is that previous models suffered vibrations on the steering wheel, and the classic layout allowed them to get rid of them. The second is passive safety. If the previous Vito has a crash test according to the modern rules of EuroNCAP, its engine will go to the salon - with all the ensuing consequences. A power unit, located longitudinally, upon impact, “dives” under the floor, without causing harm to the riders. In addition, the front-wheel drive cars were clearly underloaded rear wheels (this was especially felt on the vans).
Since rear-wheel drive entails a more pronounced tendency to drift, The developers have equipped the cars with a number of standard electronic security systems: this is the ESP vehicle automatic control system, which includes the ABS anti-lock system, the ASR traction control system, the electronic brake force distribution system and the hydraulic emergency brake system. Three-point seat belts on all seats, belt belt tensioners on the driver and front passenger seats are standard equipment. Full volume airbag for the driver is installed in all versions, and for the front passenger - in the version of the "wagon".
In addition, dual airbags and window airbags can be optionally installed on the front passenger side. Along with enhanced comfort seats (optional), new side airbags are also offered to protect the chest. Significantly improved the reaction of the car in a collision with an obstacle: its strength, rigidity increased, the characteristics of bending, torsion and twisting for all versions improved.
In the front part there are deformable zones, which, in a collision, absorb the maximum part of the kinetic energy, and during minor accidents prevent damage to the longitudinal frame beams. In addition, the safety of the car is also ensured by the standardly mounted loops for securing luggage, a system of guides for securing luggage in the cargo compartment of the vans, as well as a variety of devices that prevent the displacement of cargo, and dividing partitions. The variety of transport problems the new Vito is able to solve with the help of a wide motor range.
A choice of five engines that meet the standard Euro-4: inline four-cylinder diesel engines CDI second generation capacity of 88, 109 and 150 hp, as well as petrol V6 with a return of 190 and 218 hp with the injection system Bosch Motronic ME 2.8. Each version has its own torque characteristics, the peak of which is stretched in the power range from 65 kW to 160 kW rpm. This increase in power is particularly noticeable in the lower rpm range, thereby increasing the throttle response of the engine and driving pleasure. The maximum torque of three diesel engines is 220 Nm, 270 Nm and 330 Nm, respectively, and remains constant over a wide speed range.
In the basic configuration, the Vito received a 6-speed manual transmission, V6 petrol engines are standardly equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission, which can be optionally installed together with diesel units. Engines have become much more dynamic, quieter, more economical, and, which is especially important recently, more environmentally friendly. Improvements in the transmission provide a comfortable ride and allow the car to behave confidently on the road.
By the way, the gearbox itself is made in the latest fashion - six-speed, with a “joystick” instead of a long lever, and the reverse gear is equipped with “foolproof” (to turn it on, you first have to raise the ring on the lever). Vito is equipped with an independent suspension of all wheels. On the front axle mounted suspension struts "McPherson", on which are mounting stabilizer bar. In the rear axle suspension coil springs are used, separated from the shock absorbers. The new Vito is equipped with disc brakes with a diameter of 300 mm at the front and 296 mm at the rear. Ventilated front discs, rear - solid.
In standard equipment there is a brake force regulator and hydraulic brake assist Brake Assist - thanks to this, you can feel confident driving at any road. The car is offered with 16-inch wheels, and if desired, it will be possible to order alloy wheels. The basic equipment of all versions includes central locking, power windows, adjustable steering wheel, electric drive and heated side mirrors and a CD player.