Mercedes Benz has introduced the all-new V-Class to the South African market.
This model has always been the “luxury express” for large families, and it’s likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. The new V-Class is even more spacious, luxurious and efficient than the model it replaces.
We are not sure how Mercedes has managed it, given the design limitations set by the proportions, but the V-Class looks just as elegant and tasteful as the other vehicles in its local line-up.
Interior space and quality are naturally of prime importance, and in this respect the “V” is in a class of its own. It can accommodate up to eight people and their luggage. And as you’d expect, the seats are configurable and a wide range of options is available to make the interior more practical, more luxurious, or both. You can even fit a table between the second and third rows. That gives some idea of how much space is on offer.
The V-Class comes with four single seats in the rear as standard, but a three-seat bench can be fitted for the second and third rows.
There are a few competitors that offer more or less the same amount of space, but none does it quite as elegantly as the V-Class.
The interior is a seemingly perfect blend of high quality materials, generous standard specification and interesting design features, but as is the case with the rest of Merc’s vehicles, there are numerous optional extras that elevate the already lavish interior to S-Class levels of refinement. Even the most difficult VIP would be hard pressed to find something to complain about in the back of a V-Class when no cost is spared. The Avantgarde interior package, for example, includes Nappa leather seats and armrests, leather multifunction steering wheel, wood trim and sporty pedals in brushed aluminium.
The driver can also take comfort in the knowledge that his passengers are as safe as possible. The V-Class comes as standard with every active and passive safety system you could expect at the price, while the premium safety gadgets are optional extras.
There are three engine options. The range kicks off with the V200, which produces 100kW and 330Nm of torque. Next in line is the V220, which puts out a nice 120kW and 380Nm of torque, while the headline act, for the moment at least, is the V250 BlueTec with 140kW and 440Nm at its disposal. The latter powertrain allows the V-Class to accelerate to 100km/h in around nine seconds, so if your VIPs are usually in a hurry, this is the one to go for!
A six-speed manual transmission is specified as standard on 100kw and 120kw derivatives with rear-wheel drive, while Merc’s seven-speed 7G-Tronic is standard on the V250. The automatic gearbox is an optional extra for 200 and 220 models.
All of this opulence and space comes at a price, however, with a base V 200 CDI costing R695 981. The mid-range V 220 CDI retails for R726 875 and the V 250 BlueTec costs R783 416.
A V 220 CDI with the optional Avantgarde trim, which adds a number of stylish upgrades, goes for R949 175, while the same specification with a 250 engine will set you back R984 196.