Recently we travelled to Stuttgart to attend the launch of the updated Mercedes-Benz V-Class. Having launched in 2014, the V-Class has done well for Mercedes-Benz, bringing in over 209,000 sales in just under 5 years. This has been a remarkable achievement for Mercedes-Benz considering that the V-Class is a premium offering in a segment that is under decline 9due to among others, attack from the ever popular SUVs). These are the five things that you need to know about the updated V-Class:
1. Minor exterior updates
The designers decided to play it safe for the update and slightly improved the exterior and aerodynamics. There is a new bumper design with striking cooling air inlets and a new diamond structure in the radiator grille. You will get an option of the Avantgarde and Exclusive lines plus a new AMG line that comes with a new diamond radiator grille with chrome pins.
Buyers looking for a more expressive car have a choice of four more new colours: grey metallic, selenite grey metallic, steel blue and hyacinth red. At the same time, the four new light-alloy wheel designs have been introduced. They include 5-twin-spoke 17-inch light-alloy wheels painted in black with a high-sheen finish as well as 18-inch light-alloy wheels in tremolite grey with a high-sheen finish and 5-twin-spoke design or in black with a high-sheen finish and 5-spoke design. At the upper end of the new wheels portfolio are black-painted 19-inch 10-spoke light-alloy wheels with a high-sheen finish.
2. Subtle interior updates
The interior has received subtle but key updates to keep it looking fresh and modern. There are new air vents in a sportier turbine look as well as new dials in the instrument cluster. Additionally, a new upholstery and equipment colour tartufo nappa leather has been introduced bringing to six the number of different upholsteries in light and dark colours that are available. Staying on the interior, a new twin-stripe trim element that is used on the instrument panel and in the side trim elements caught our eye. We expect a lot of buyers to opt for it.
3. Show stopping seats
These should fall under point two above but they deserve their own mention. The new seats caused quite a stir at the launch. The option luxury seats for the second row of seats are a real treat and, just like in the S-Class, they offer a fully reclining function, back massage and climatisation. Expect to see these in a lot of V-Classes being acquired by VIPs.
The @MercedesBenz_SA V-Class has sold over 209,000 units since launch in 2014 and solidified its status as the next level of luxury in MPVs. It’s easy to see why with these new reclining back seats with back massage and climate control. Ereng work bus @MapsMaponyane? #newvclass pic.twitter.com/CrVLgs1qQF
— Khulekani on Wheels (@khuleonwheels) January 31, 2019
4. New more powerful engine and a new transmission
Whilst not quite the return of the much loved Mercedes-Benz OM642 (3.0 V6 CDI) that did duty in the Viano, Mercedes-Benz has introduced the four-cylinder OM 654 diesel engine. In the V300d, the engine will kick out 176 kW and 500 Nm torque, and have a combined fuel consumption 6.3-5.9 l/100 km. In the acceleration phase, the V300d can briefly deliver an additional 30 Nm of torque in addition to its 500 Nm of torque. The V300d accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. It can reach a top speed of 220 km/h.
The facelift will also see the V-Class optionally equipped with the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission for the first time. The converter automatic transmission replaces the 7G-TRONIC and is available as standard for the V300d and V250d.
5. A safer V-Class
In addition to the long list of impressive safety features, the V-Class will gain new safety systems in the form of Active Brake Assist and Highbeam Assist Plus. The former will detect the risk of a collision with a vehicle driving in front and initially initiates a visual and acoustic warning. If the driver reacts, Active Brake Assist increases the brake pressure to suit the requirements of the situation. If the driver fails to react, the system initiates autonomous braking. In urban traffic the Active Brake Assist also reacts to stationary obstacles or pedestrians crossing. In respect of the latter, the driver to enjoy a permanent, broad illumination of the roadway without dazzling other road users. In the event of vehicles in front or oncoming traffic, the LEDs of the main-beam module are partially deactivated and thus create a U-shaped cut-out in the cone of light. The remaining areas of the roadway continue to be illuminated with the main-beam headlamps (partial main beam).
All electric V-Class on the horizon?
With the eVito already available and the eSprinter due for market launch in the second half of 2019, Mercedes-Benz will provide an initial outlook on the electric future of its luxurious V-Class MPV at the Geneva International Motor Show with the near-series study “Concept EQV”, which will celebrate its premiere there.
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