Mercedes V-Class MPV
"With up to eight seats, the Mercedes V-Class is a big, luxury MPV with a price tag to match"
- Decent engines
- Lots of interior space
- Feels very luxurious
- Expensive to buy
- Bumpy ride
- Starting to show its age
Buyers may generally be moving towards SUVs, but the Mercedes V-Class proves there’s still life left in the MPV, especially if it happens to be a desirable one. The V-Class is one of few MPVs designed to offer genuine luxury, transporting up to eight people in style. On the outside, the V-Class looks very much like the Vito van on which it’s based, but inside it’s a different story thanks to a very upmarket interior; there are comfortable seats, the latest technology and high-quality materials. A facelift in 2019 ensured the V-Class remains one of the smartest ways to carry a large group of people in comfort and luxury.
The V-Class is offered in three lengths: Standard, Long and Extra Long. The Standard version comes with seven seats. The Long and Extra Long versions come with eight seats as standard but can also be specified with seven seats and a table for the second row. The Long model is the only one available in optional, six-seat Exclusive trim, which gives passengers the maximum in space and luxury; it makes the V-Class feel more like an oversized Mercedes S-Class limousine.
The V-Class is unlike many van-based people carriers of the past; Mercedes has transformed it from a humble van to something more akin to a private jet on the inside. It looks smart on the outside too, and is a good companion for drivers who need to transport passengers in comfort effortlessly.
The ageing 2.1-litre diesel engine has been replaced with a smoother 2.0-litre, providing a welcome boost to the driving experience. A faster V 300 d version also gives the V-Class a performance injection, with 236bhp and 500Nm getting it from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds. For the first time in the model's history, an all-electric version, which uses a 100kWh battery pack, is also expected in 2020, called the EQV 300. Not only will this reduce running costs, it will also mean the V-Class can enter some congestion and low-emission zones (like the ones in London) without paying.
Along with the two power outputs, there are three trim levels called Sport, AMG Line and Exclusive. Exact specifications are still being ironed out, but every version is expected to be well equipped. AMG Line will get a bolder grille, while the Exclusive model comes with standard 'Luxury' rear seats that get the same massaging and reclining functions as those found in the S-Class.
The Mercedes badge and the high level of standard equipment make the V-Class one of the most expensive MPVs on the market. Entry-level versions start from £50,520, with the range-topping Exclusive model costing almost £92,000. By comparison, the Volkswagen Caravelle is around £40,000, while other eight-seat people carriers, like the Hyundai i800, are less luxurious but even less expensive.
And let’s not forget the Mercedes Marco Polo camper. For around £55,000 Mercedes will build you a small house on wheels that can accommodate four. The Marco Polo comes complete with a small kitchen, an electric pop-up roof and two double beds, one of which is in the roof, and the other of which is comprised of folded rear seats.
It’s also good to know that the V-Class received a full five-star crash test safety rating. What’s not so impressive for Mercedes as a brand is its 26th out of 30 ranking in the 2019 Driver Power manufacturer survey.