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Mercedes-Benz Vito 2021 review

The Vito is Mercedes’ midsize panel van, which represents one of the more premium commercial vehicles on the market

£16,067
Average price
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2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Strong image
  • Great build quality
  • Good engines

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Firm ride
  • No ‘high roof’ option
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

You might first and foremost think of Mercedes-Benz as a car manufacturer, renowned for luxurious models like the S-Class and sporty AMG versions, but the German firm is also a significant player in the commercial vehicle world – not least with models like the midsize Vito

Rivalling the Ford Transit Custom and Volkswagen Transporter, the Vito has been around since 1996 when Mercedes decided to expand its commercial range. It has also been available in more passenger car-like versions, first with the Viano, and then the later V-Class

The second-generation Vito arrived in 2003, and the most recent version was introduced in 2015 – bringing with it an additional focus on versatility, a more upmarket interior and new driver assistance features. 

Latest model

In 2020, the Vito range had a rejig, with the most prominent change being the introduction of a new electric eVito, which was aimed at the urban van market, though debuted with a rather minimal 92-mile electric range. 

The rest of the lineup also had a rejig, with the model getting a whole set of new engines, as well as more in the way of technology – highlights including a digital rear-view mirror, autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. Styling changes are more reserved, though, with the only real changes being a new grille and additional choice of alloy wheel designs. 

Value for money

As you might expect given the three-pointed star on the grille, the Vito isn’t the cheapest van in this segment, though with prices starting from £22,845 (excluding VAT), it’s actually decent value at this end of the spectrum, and surprisingly on par with rivals. Given all versions come with cruise control, a reversing camera and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the spec is impressive, too. However, as you go up the range, models are rather pricey, with top-spec Sport versions costing more than £40,000, even before VAT or optional extras have been considered. 

The electric eVito model is also rather steeply priced, with this starting from £40,895. 

When it comes to used Vitos, though, prices now start from as little as £3,000 for scruffy high-mileage options, though you’ll need to spend £6,000 or so to get something with fewer than 100,000 miles.  

While you can expect to save a good few thousand by going down the nearly-new route, discounts won’t be as steep as with other manufacturers. 

Looks and image

That Mercedes badge on the bonnet goes a long way to adding to the Vito’s appeal, as even in the lesser specs that come with steel wheels, it offers a more upmarket look than other models in this class. The higher spec Premium and Sport models bring classier styling, with additional chrome trim and alloy wheels, and look particularly appealing for a van, though do come at a rather steep price. 

The Vito also offers a more expensive feel inside, too, with a good fit and finish that feels closer in-line with a car than a van. It’s not the most exciting layout, and perhaps doesn’t look as modern as some rivals, but there will be few grumbles from those behind the wheel. 

The Vito is also largely a very pleasant thing to drive, with more of a focus on comfort and refinement than fun – something that will be appreciated if you spend a lot behind the wheel. The nine-speed automatic box also impresses, and is one of the best available in any van today. 

Space and practicality

There’s plenty of choice available on the bodystyle front, too, with three lengths available – L1, L2 and L3, which are 4.9m, 5.1m and 5.4m long, respectively. You can also choose the Vito as a standard panel van with three seats, or a crew van, which gains a second row, allowing seating for six. 

Vitos have a maximum payload of 1,369kg, with rear-wheel-drive models proving the most useful where load carrying is concerned, while the L3 has a maximum load carrying ability of 6.9m3. Twin sliding rear doors also come as standard, while the only real disappointment with the Vito is that it lacks a high roof model. The electric eVito isn’t quite as useful as the regular van, though with a payload of up to 923kg, it’s still a surprisingly useful tool. 

Engines 

Diesel engines largely continue to dominate in the van world, and within the regular Vito range, that’s all you can choose from. There’s also the option of front- and rear-wheel-drive on most models. 

Kicking off the range is a 1.7-litre diesel unit that’s shared with Renault. Available in outputs of 100bhp or 134bhp (badged 110CDI and 114CDI respectively), they come paired exclusively to a six-speed manual gearbox. 

Up next are the 2.0-litre options, which use a Mercedes engine and come with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Power outputs include 134bhp (114 CDI), 160bhp (116CDI) and 187bhp (119CDI), with the latter delivering particularly strong performance for a van. 

Then there is the electric Vito, which uses an 85kW electric motor delivering 114bhp. You also get a 41kWh battery, which allows for the electric range of 92 miles. Unfortunately the model also lacks rapid charging capability, meaning a charge can only be done at a maximum 7.4kW, which takes six hours. 

Running costs

If you’re looking to keep running costs down, the eVito is undoubtedly the one to go for, as it qualifies for free road tax, while if you drive within an area like London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone, you won’t have to pay that either. 

The rest of the range should prove to be affordable to run, though. Mercedes claims a fuel economy figure of up to 39.8mpg, along with CO2 emissions from 157g/km. 

Things to look out look for

The Vito largely has a solid reputation when it comes to reliability, though just be aware that servicing and maintenance costs could be steeper than more mainstream rivals, because of pricier parts. 

Rivals 

The mid-size van market remains as competitive as ever, with the Vito’s key rivals including the best-selling Ford Transit Custom and Volkswagen Transporter – the latter feeling nearly as upmarket as this Mercedes. 

However, other models worth considering in this class include the mechanically similar Vauxhall Vivaro, Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch, which are also available with an electric derivative. 

Depreciation

The Vito largely holds its value impressively well, with strong desirability on the used market helping to limit depreciation. Good discounts should still be available if you’re wanting to go down the nearly-new route, though. 

Trims Explained

Three trim levels are available on the Vito, with equipment highlights and prices as follows.

Progressive

All Vitos come with a generous amount of standard kit, with highlights including cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, a driver attention alert and a reversing camera. You also get heated and electric door mirrors and a media display with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

From £22,845

Premium

Upgrading to the Premium brings a chrome grille, 17-inch alloy wheels, electric folding mirrors and metallic paint. You also get a parking package, more plush carpets and climate control.

From £29,550

Sport

At the top of the range is the Sport, which is only available in a ‘Crew’ guise. It brings an AMG styling kit, along with a larger touchscreen with satellite navigation, heated front seats and LED headlights. Sports suspension is also included, along with roof rails and additional chrome styling.

From £40,745

Summary

  1. High-quality interior
  2. Versatile and practical
  3. Very refined for a van
  4. Plenty of standard kit
  5. Low-spec models represent decent value…
  6. But top-spec versions are expensive
  7. Electric eVito available…
  8. Though it’s let down by a weak 92-mile range
  9. Strong diesel engines
  10. An especially desirable mid-size van

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