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Smarter Mercedes-Benz Vito, Valente Roll In

Mercedes-Benz Vans has announced its facelifted 2021 Mercedes-Benz Vito and 2021 Mercedes-Benz Valente are now on sale in Australia, with the revised medium van and people mover platform boasting an array of largely technology-centred updates.

AEB as standard

For the first time, autonomous emergency braking (Active Brake Assist) with pedestrian detection is available as standard across the range, bringing with it blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assist (both of which were previously optional), while adaptive cruise control (DISCTRONIC) is standard on the flagship Vito 119 CDI (optional on Vito 116 CDI and Valente). This adds to standard safety features such as electronic stability control, crosswind assist, attention assist and six airbags.

Other highlights include the arrival of the Audio 30 infotainment system, which combines a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, plus an improved reversing camera (standard across the range) and the option of a digital inside rear-view camera.

Mercedes-Benz says this is a unique feature on the medium-van landscape. Utilising a camera mounted inside the van's rear window, the digital inside rearview camera displays a clear view to the rear that is around twice the width of a regular mirror, and in all light and weather conditions and unimpeded by passengers, head restraints, or loads.

The camera's output is shown on the rear-view mirror's display, which can also show a typical optical (i.e. non-digital) view if desired.

Continuing the tech upgrade is an Intelligent Light System (ILS), which like adaptive cruise control is available as standard only the Vito 119 CDI (optional on Vito 111 CDI, Vito 116 CDI and Valente). An alternative to the standard halogen headlamps, ILS packages LED lighting throughout, including daytime running lights and cornering lights, and also features Highbeam Assist PLUS that adjusts lighting distribution and range according to the conditions.

Streamlined Vito offering

A now-streamlined Mercedes-Benz Vito/Valente range sees the mid-spec and short-wheelbase Vito 114 CDI (100kW/330Nm) dropped from the line-up. As such, the range now comprises three power ratings:

• Vito 111 CDI (84kW/270Nm)
• Vito 116 CDI (120kW/380Nm)
• Vito 119 CDI (140kW/440Nm)

Mercedes-Benz says combined-cycle fuel economy ranges from 6.2L/100km to 6.7L/100km.

The front-drive-only Vito 111 CDI sees a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel mated to a six-speed manual, while the remainder of the range comes in a rear-drive format with a 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with Benz's 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic.

The Vito is available as a panel van (standard seating for two, with an option for three) in short, medium and long wheelbases, or as a crew cab (standard seating for five, with an option for six) in medium or long wheelbases.

The eight-seater Valente people mover, meanwhile, is available only in a medium wheelbase with the 116 CDI rating. Mercedes-Benz says the new line-up "optimises the carrying capacity on offer to better meet the demands of our customers".

Born to work

Gross vehicle mass (GVM) is 3050kg for the Vito and 3100kg for the Valente, while payload ranges from 804kg (Vito 119 CDI crew cab LWB) to 1260kg (Vito 111 CDI panel van SWB), with 752kg for the Valente.

In the vans, cargo volume spans 3.6 cubic metres in the crew cab models to 6.6 cubic metres in the long-wheelbase panel vans, with a braked towing capacity of 2500kg across the range.

Rounding out the changes are a redesigned front radiator grille with chrome finish and a refreshed interior courtesy of new fabric, new 'turbine'-style air vents either side of the instrumentation, piano black fascia for the central dashboard, plus new paint (graphite grey, selenite grey, hyacinth red metallic, and steel blue) and wheel options.

Solid performance

While the Mercedes-Benz Vito has historically been one of the smaller players on the medium-van scene here in Australia, especially in relation to the dominant Japanese and Korean brands, it did gain some good momentum in 2020, the 1195 new examples registered equating to a market share of 5.6 per cent and a jump of 106.7 per cent on the previous year's tally.

The Mercedes-Benz Valente also made ground, with the 219 new units registered last year up 75.2 per cent on 2019, for a market share of 22.9 per cent.

The 2021 range represent the first significant update to the platform since 2015.

According to Diane Tarr, Managing Director of Mercedes-Benz Vans, the updates deliver an even more refined and functional package.

"The Vito's look and style is often symbolic of the business it supports," she said. "The newly designed radiator grill now makes it an even more attractive representation, and with more standard safety, new assistance systems and an upgraded infotainment offering, it will continue to meet the demands of our customers.

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