Mercedes Benz V-Class a.k.a. Viano

My current car, a Mercedes Benz B-Class B200 Limited with AMG wheels and a few other extras, would be a whole world cooler with this modification, although even in its present configuration it’s not at all bad. B-Class_200_LimitedNow, I just got my hands on a MB V-Class 3.5 loaner while the B-Class is being maintained. The van is kinda nice, but in a word, BIG! I went on a trip to Gotemba in one with a load of friends and accompanying kit and caboodle a few years back. That van was the long version whereby this one is shorter and more easily maneuvered.

MB V-Class 3.5

Mercedes Benz V-Class 3.5, a.k.a. Viano

The space it offers is wonderful, with a superior driving position and the drive itself is very comfortable with very little road noise. On the other hand, I found that the brake pedal is too high needing a leg lift to access it, that also makes it too high in relation to the gas pedal which is placed nicely. In the same tone, the steering is OK in town etc. but on the highway doesn’t have a really clearly defined centre, which means it needs a little attention to keep it straight – one finger driving should be possible, but here two are required to keep the balance! It feels like the power assist has a progression that begins when the vehicle starts to move and then forgets to specify a dip in the centre position for straight ahead. I remember that an ML we had some years ago, the second iteration of the first edition, had the same characteristic which is just a nagging addition to the multitude of things requiring attention when driving. In the V-Class the auto-gears seem to change late especially with a light gas foot in first and second, such as when driving in town, which makes the engine rev a bit too high for my liking considering the torque available. Put the pedal to the metal though and that effect disappears fast, as do most other rearward road users! Other than that the 3.5 l engine is thirsty, though it does have quite a bit of poke. Any highway speed is comfortable, overtaking a snap and cornering is surprisingly flat and stable for such a big vehicle. It’s also easy to park. On the convenience front, the electric sliding side doors on both sides are super, and the electric powered rear quarter-lights have a driver operable switch located in the window switch cluster, and in addition there are rear passenger operable switches. The sliding door windows do not open. It’s nice to have so much space available, but it’s a bit like taking the house for a ride and although easy enough to drive, moving a building through a Japanese town is more of a job than I might (?) want to take on regularly. Possibly a good thing though as I might think twice about driving and maybe walk instead!
They say there’s an updated version of this vehicle in the pipeline that should be available soon, so I’m curious to see if they’ve modified any of the points I mentioned…
Now all I’ve got to do is try a 4WD Mitsubishi Delica D:5 and a decision can be made – finances allowing…

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