Mercedes Benz VITO has been part of our fleet since 2004. In 2013 we bought the latest model with the 116 CDi 2.2 liter “blue-efficiency” engine. I am not going to focus on specification and technical stuff. I want to write a review from the point of the taxi driver and taxi fleet manager.
We have the two same vans that match the specification from the title of the article. The other two vans in HFS Taxi & Transfers fleet are 115 CDi 2.2 liters and apart from the less horsepower and a few minor features (e.g. leather color, 2 zone A/C) the vans are basically the same. I believe that having driven the Mercedes Benz for more than 400 000 Km’s gives me right to make conclusions and write this short review.
Where to begin? Let me briefly compare with other vans I have driven: Opel Vivaro, Ford Tranzit, VW Multivan. One may say that comparing Opel and Mercedes Benz makes no sense, and I would agree. The same counts for FORD. The quality of interior, comfort of the seats, utility of the interior (position of buttons, pockets etc.) is just too different and Mercedes Benz is way too better. Conclusion nr. 1: Mercedes Benz is worth the higher purchase price then VIVARO, Tranzit and I would not be worried to include Hyundai or Renault in the category. If we compare the VW Multivan and VITO, I have to admit that VW has better interior and finishing, yet the seats are less comfortable in VW. VW interior is more easily damaged by everyday use. VITO simply offers great working force, comfort and the star on the front.
The most important part about having the Mercedes Benz in the fleet is the selling potential. The brand is famous and known for being comfortable and reliable. From personal experience I agree. Potential clients are interested in what model / brand of a van they will be driven. They want quality for the money and Mercedes Benz grants all what customers want.
Having said that the vans are equipped with diesel engines, we have to have a look at the mileage. In average the Mercedes Benz VITO takes about 8 liters of diesel per 100 km’s. The best we have ever done is 7.14 liters per 100 km’s. Of course to maintain such a great value, you should not exceed top speed 110 km/h and you have to be driving alone without passengers. Nonetheless the 8 liters is great result for such a heavy and spacious car.
In the point of view of liability I can not fail the van at all. During the 400 000 km’s on each of the vans we never had any serious issues apart from regular servicing.
In average the parts last as follows:
Front break pads: 100 000 Km’s
Rear break pads: 140 000 Km’s
Front suspension: 180 000 Km’s
Rear suspension: 160 000 Km’s
Oil 5W/30 8.5 liters: 35 000 Km’s
Diesel filter: 90 000 Km’s
Cardan: 250 000 Km’s (just recondition); next done in 380 000 Km’s
Turbo: only 1x out of 7 vehicles after 330 000 Km’s
Windshield wipers: 90 000 Km’s
Control units: no issues
Window folding mechanism: issues after 300 000 Km’s
Space for passengers, driver and baggage
The XL 9 seats version is the longest available on the market. It can easily hold up to 10 regular size suitcases and 10 smaller bags (carry ons). The van is super comfortable for 5 people, but can drive up to 8 plus the driver. I personally do not like the middle front seat as it is really not comfortable for long distance driving.
The Mercedes Benz VITO is cost-efficient, comfortable, stylish and demanded vehicle. I really recommend it for passenger transportation for both short and long distance driving.