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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - Viano - people-mover range

Launch Story

Mercedes-Benz logo28 Mar 2011

By JAMES STANFORD

MERCEDES-BENZ has upgraded its van-based Viano people-mover, which now comes with a new 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine.

Pricing has been increased by $2164 to $74,990, putting it up against the premium versions of the Chrysler Grand Voyager, VW Multivan and Toyota Tarago.

Mercedes said the Viano, which comes with seven or eight seats, is purchased by fleets and private customers in equal measure, adding that many private buyers would prefer a big SUV but either can’t afford it or need to carry eight people (rather than the seven of the GL).

The Viano update runs further than a simple engine change.

It has a new front bumper and grille, the headlights now feature bi-Xenon lamps as well as LED daytime running lights, there are new-look 17-inch rims and optional 18s, and the tail-lights have been re-designed, partly to make the Viano look different from behind compared with the Vito van on which it is based.

Convenience has been improved by the fitment of electrically operated sliding doors on both sides, front and rear sunroofs are standard and there is a large Command information screen on the centre of the dashboard.

The new 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel generates 165kW of power and 440Nm of torque, which is a massive improvement over the 110kW and 330Nm of the previous 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel.

This slashes the 0-100km/h time from some 15.6 seconds to a far more respectable 9.1s.

Fitted with the same five-speed automatic transmission as before and driving the rear wheels only, the Viano uses an average 8.6L/100km while the emission figure is 226g/km.

The single-spec Viano comes standard with leather seats, woodgrain trim elements, front and rear climate control, a premium sound system with eight speakers and a sub-woofer, rain-sensing wipers, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control and very dark tinted windows.

The seats, other than those of the driver and front passenger, are tethered to the floor in rails and can be set up in a wide variety of ways. They can all face forward, or backwards or even face each other, and can be removed if the owner needs to transport big loads.

Rated by ANCAP as a five-star vehicle, it has ESC and six airbags, including front, side and curtain airbags for the driver and the front passenger. The curtain airbags do not extend into the second or third row of seats.

A Vision package, which includes a reversing camera, electrically adjustable heated front seats with electric lumbar support for the driver, and a six-stack DVD changer for the information display is available as a $4995 option.

Metallic paint is a hefty $2550 option, the eight-seat option is $1350 and stepping up to 18-inch rims adds $1500.

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