The Mercedes-Benz Vito is an M-segment or light commercial van produced in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, as well as Mexico, China, Argentina, and India. Vito represents the cargo panel van variant while the passenger versions are called V-Class or Viano. It has been in production since 1996, available in Australia since 1998, and is currently in its third generation.
The First Generation: W638 (1996-2003)
The first-generation Vito was powered either by petrol or diesel engines sourced from older Mercedes and VW models, with the exception of a more modern CDI 2.2 engine. It was produced not only as a panel van, but also Vito microbus, which was a passenger-oriented version. Unlike Viano, it was not redesigned to appear less like a van and did not come with all the luxury features Viano had.
In Australia, Vito came equipped with a driver’s airbag, air conditioning, power steering, radio cassette with two speakers, and roof racks.
Optional equipment includes ABS, front fog lights, seatbelt pretensioners for the front seats, traction control system, central locking, and power mirrors.
Engine options and wheelbases include:
- 108 D - classified as a commercial vehicle with two doors and two seats; equipped with a 2.3L diesel engine (58 kW, 152 Nm) paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 113 and Flexivan 113 - classified as a commercial vehicle with two doors and two seats; equipped with a 2.0L petrol engine (95 kW, 180 Nm) paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 108 CDI - classified as a commercial vehicle with two doors and two seats; equipped with an upgraded 2.2L diesel engine (60 kW, 200 Nm) paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox
- 112 CDI - classified as a commercial vehicle with two doors and two seats; equipped with a 2.2L diesel engine (90 kW, 200 Nm) paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox
The Second Generation: W639 (2003-2014)
The successor to the original Vito comes in 2003. Now available as a 4-door van or 4-door minibus, Vito comes in front-engine, rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive layout. It had received a significant facelift in 2010, which allowed it to remain competitive and environmentally acceptable until 2014 when the third generation replaced it.
Thanks to the standard front side airbags, as well as two optional head-on airbags and front window airbags, Vito has received a high safety rating. It is loaded with safety assist systems, such as electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control systems, and ABS, all as standard equipment. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rated Vito and gave it 32.66 out of 37 points, making it the only van to achieve a 5-star rating in Australia at that time.
Other equipment available as standard on launch included radio CD with two speakers, cloth trim, front fog lights, seatbelts pretensioners for the front seats, power steering and power mirrors.
Australian models are classed as commercial vehicles with four doors and two to five seats depending on the model, available in the following wheelbases and powertrains:
- 109 CDI, Compact (2 seats), Extra Long (2 seats), Compact Crew Cab (5 seats), and Extra Long Crew Cab (5 seats) - powered by a 2.1L diesel engine producing 65 kW of power and 220 Nm of torque, later improved to 70 kW and 250 Nm, paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox
The facelift of 2010 brought BlueEfficiency tech to the Vito range, which enhanced the engine's power, fuel consumption, and emissions. The interior received new fabrics, ambient lighting systems, entertainment systems, redesigned cockpit, and improved suspension on both axles. 4Matic four-wheel-drive system became an option with 4-cylinder diesel engines. Base equipment is expanded by engine immobiliser, central locking remote control, and adjustable steering wheel (tilt & telescopic).
- 111 CDI, Compact (2 seats), Extra Long (2 seats), and Compact Crew Cab (5 seats) with cruise control added - powered by a 2.1L diesel engine (85 kW, 290 Nm) paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission
- 110 CDI, 2-seat version - powered by a 2.1L diesel engine (70 kW, 250 Nm) paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox
- 113 CDI, LWB (2 seats), SWB (2 seats), and SWB Crew Cab (5 seats) - powered by a 2.1L diesel engine (100 kW, 310 Nm) paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox or 5-speed automatic transmission
Third Generation: W447 (2014-present)
The current Vito was revealed at the 2014 International Commercial Vehicles Show. It is equipped with Attention Assist, Crosswind Assist, and optional Intelligent Light System. Production factories are located in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, China, and India. Aside from rear-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive, Vito is now available in front-wheel-drive as well.
Aside from the usual equipment offered as standard base items, the third-generation base model also includes adjustable speed limiter, ambient temperature display, brake assist, cruise control, LED daytime running lights, dusk-sensing headlights, EBD, ESP, emergency stop signal, front footwell lights, multi-function control screen, multi-function steering wheel, and traction control system.
Optional equipment includes brake-pad wear indicator, headlights on warning, rear window demister, and many more.
Models available in Australia are powered by diesel engines and come in long wheelbase, short wheelbase with 2-seats, and Crew Cab variant with 5-seats, viz:
- 110 CDI LWB and SWB - powered by a 1.6L diesel engine (84 kW, 270 Nm) paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox
- 110 CDI SWB - powered by a 2.1L diesel engine (70 kW, 250 Nm) paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox
- 113 CDI LWB and SWB - powered by a 2.1L diesel engine (100 kW, 310 Nm) paired with 6-speed manual gearbox or 5-speed automatic transmission
- 114 Bluetec Crew Cab and LWB - powered by a 2.1L diesel engine (100 kW, 330 Nm) paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed automatic transmission
- 111 CDI LWB and SWB - powered by a 1.6L diesel engine (84 kW, 270 Nm) paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox
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Author: Luka Kusic