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Mercedes Vito van cleans up

Facial: The Mercedes-Benz Vito gets new-look headlights as part of its mid-life makeover.

Benz tweaks workhorse Vito with new look, Euro 5 emissions and fuel-efficiency gains

6 Jul 2010

CLOSELY following the announcement this week of a refreshed Viano people-mover due here in November is news that Mercedes-Benz has also renovated the closely aligned Vito commercial van range, which is expected to arrive locally in the New Year.

The entry model to the Benz commercial range features the same external changes as the Viano, with a new nose treatment to align it with the Mercedes-Benz front-end design ethos, in particular the replacement of the ovoid headlights – a Mercedes-Benz styling cue with its genesis in the 1992 W140 S-class coupe – with more sharply defined clusters. The Vito is also treated to a minor tail section refresh.

While Mercedes-Benz has not yet divulged the degree of the cosmetic tweaks, it appears from official images that the remainder of the Vito’s exterior is untouched.

Inside, the dash features redesigned controls, a new four-spoke steering wheel and trim material. Mercedes-Benz has also increased sound-deadening measures for the Vito refresh.

Under the bonnet, the Vito engine range has been upgraded to meet Euro 5 emissions requirements and a 15 per cent fuel-efficiency improvement.

Suspension has been changed and payload has been raised in some variants, although Mercedes-Benz has yet to announce specific information.

Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman David McCarthy said the new Vito range would arrive in Australian showrooms early next year.

Vito is currently offered in Van, Crew Cab and Wagon variants, with a choice of 2.2-litre CDI four-cylinder engines or 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel. Prices range from $39,990 for the single cab Compact to $58,990 for the V6 Crew Cab Extra Long.

Sales of the Mercedes-Benz van, now five years into its model cycle, have declined 20.6 per cent in the first six months of 2010 compared with the same period last year.

In recent years, the segment has gained a raft of new participants, such as the Hyundai iLOAD and more recently fellow German competitor the Volkswagen T5 GP Transporter.

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