Mercedes-Benz’s commercial vehicles (vans) division has added an extra dose of freshness and luxury to the V-Class, it’s mid-size van sold in an array of overseas markets that’s closely related to the work-focused Vito.
To introduce the vehicle, Mercedes-Benz invited us to a luxe road trip hosted in Cape Town. Seeing that this is one of our favourite cities, it was only fitting to experience it in the new V-Class.
What has changed on the 2020 V-Class? You may ask. The redesigned face incorporates a new grille above a deep and wide lower air intake, while ticking the AMG Line option box brings a ‘diamond’ radiator grille and a more aggressive bumper with a small lower intake flanked by wide, finned ducts on either side.
Minor tweaks at the rear include a switch to high-intensity LED tail-lights and a re-profiled bumper in the AMG Line package incorporating a central ‘diffuser’ section. Four new exterior colour choices are joined by four new alloy wheel designs.
Changes to the interior include new ‘double stripe’ trim elements, ‘turbine look’ air vents and an additional ‘tartufo’ (rich tan) leather option.
The range-topping model is designed to carry six people in the utmost luxury. Its cabin has been decked out with brushed aluminum-look trim on the center console, a leather-upholstered dashboard with contrast stitching, chromed accents around the air vents, and brushed aluminum pedals. All six captain’s chairs are upholstered with nappa leather, and the passengers benefit from a premium 16-speaker sound system manufactured by Burmester.
The center console from the outgoing model remains alongside its large integrated cooler and LED-illuminated cupholders that are both heated and cooled. The list of standard features includes a 230-volt outlet to keep mobile devices juiced up, numerous USB slots, navigation, a 360-degree camera that facilitates the task of maneuvering the van in tight spaces, and Mercedes’ crosswind assist technology.
S-Class limousine-style luxury rear seats with full recline function, back massage (with three intensity settings) and three ‘climatisation’ stages are optionally available at a price. Currently offered with a 140kW/440Nm 2.1-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine, driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Safety improvements include the addition of ‘Active Brake Assist’ (Merc-speak for AEB), and ‘Highbeam Assist Plus’ the three-pointed star’s active high beam system.
Functioning as a luxury people mover for private use or high-end business transport for professional drivers, with worldwide sales now exceeding 200,000 since the model’s global launch in 2014.
The new V-Class ranges from R 913 951.00 (including taxes) for the V 200d, to R 1 292 474.00 for the V 250d Avantgarde.