Van based people carriers are usually quite popular as they offer considerably more room than regular ones; however it can be challenging to disguise the commercial DNA and sometimes they end up as boxes on wheels with windows. The Mercedes-Benz Viano does things differently, and actually looks quite stylish. For families or companies who need something versatile and spacious, it’s an excellent option to consider.
The van/MPV concept has been available from Mercedes since 1996, but the Viano proper came into being in 2004. Since then there have been several upgrades and facelifts that have drastically improved the visuals and character of the vehicle. Yes, it was a converted van to start with, but modern versions are super stylish and could compete with the likes of Citroen, Peugeot or Renault. The Viano is also incredibly hardy and durable, acting as the support vehicle on the 2006 Paris-Dakar Rally and claiming victory in the 2009 Rallye Aicha des Gazelles.
What you’ll first notice about the Mercedes Viano is that it’s huge and imposing, which is where the appeal lies. Sporting a lot of bling, some defined lines and a typically arrogant Merc front end, it’s not that bad to look at. The inside is a different story altogether though as it’s phenomenal and sumptuous in every respect. Up to 8 people can sit in total comfort and be transported like royalty in some very ergonomic seats. The interior space is cavernous, so even long journeys are easy to cope with. In terms of practicality, there are loads of storage areas, and a decent sized booth, but if you take all the seats out it transforms into a bone fide van that’ll swallow anything.
For such a large vehicle it drives well, but is most at home cruising along the motorway. The handling is adequate and the ride is supreme, so overall the experience is quite enjoyable. It’s worth taking time to learn how to park it though, as the length (especially on the larger wheelbase versions) can be tricky. A range of different engines are available, as you’d expect from Mercedes, and generally they are quite frugal and punchy.
The Viano isn’t exactly the cheapest auto around, but getting one second hand from Motors.co.uk can help you lessen the financial blow dramatically. With thousands of different cars for sale, you’ll see some hugely impressive price reductions across the board, and that means finding a bargain used Mercedes Viano for less will be very straightforward.
The simple fact is that while regular MPVs are good, they can’t compete with van based ones in terms of space and practicality. The Mercedes Viano is a one of the best around and delivers a quite remarkable level of versatility. With the German marque’s attention to detail, what you end up with is an awesome transporting solution that looks great and offers unrivalled luxury.