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Mercedes-Benz redefines the MPV

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Mercedes-Benz V-Class

Mercedes-Benz redefines the MPV

Geoff Maxted
February 1, 2014

Mercedes-Benz MPV Mercedes-Benz MPV Mercedes-Benz MPV Mercedes-Benz MPV
As the youngest and largest member of the passenger car family from Stuttgart, it sets new benchmarks in its segment with its design and a host of innovations. The new V-Class, which comes to the UK in early 2015, combines room for up to eight people and exemplary functionality with the high-class appeal, comfort, efficient driving pleasure and safety that distinguish the cars bearing the three-pointed star. Mercedes say that among MPVs the V-Class is the perfect vehicle for everyone who appreciates great spaciousness but does not want to sacrifice style and comfort. Whether shopping in a group or travelling with the whole family, heading out for a mountain bike holiday or even driving guests to a special event - the new V-Class provides optimum flexibility when it comes to use of the interior and cuts an elegant figure at the same time.

The V-Class will be available with an Exterior Sports package and an Interior Design package, two wheelbases offering two lengths up to 5370 millimetres, two engines and also many optional extras, the new MPV can be individualised to suit any taste and requirement. As a result it meets a wide variety of customer needs and is just as attractive for families as it is for people who need a variable and spacious interior for their leisure and sports activities.

The interior redefines the meaning of spaciousness in an MPV with high-quality materials with a pleasant touch and feel and an harmonious colour concept. Fine Nappa leather is also available for the seats, steering wheel and shift lever. This inviting atmosphere is rounded off by subtle ambient lighting in three colours.

A particular eye catcher is the dynamically styled two-part instrument panel. The upper and lower sections are separated by a large, three-dimensional trim element that creates an impression of width and underscores the high-class appeal. The lower section is sculptural in design. This emphasises the generous sense of space while also making lightness tangible. For the first time in this class, a leather-look cockpit upper section with lavishly finished topstitching is optionally available.

Other highlights include the free-standing central display, the multifunction steering wheel with 12 function keys and DIRECT SELECT selector lever (plus steering-wheel shift paddles with automatic transmission) as well as the innovative touchpad, which allows control of all telematics functions by means of gestures or by entering letters and characters like on a smartphone. The touchpad is available in conjunction with Audio 20 CD or COMAND Online. The latest generation of COMAND Online combines all audio, telephone and navigation functions and additionally offers an internet browser, the LINGUATRONIC voice control system and transmission of traffic data in real time. The optional Burmester® surround sound system with 16 loudspeakers and a bass reflex speaker delivers the perfect listening experience. There’s also a choice of climate control systems including, intriguingly, an integral demisting sensor and distribution of cooled air to the driver and front passenger sides, the intensity of which is automatically controlled by the position of the sun.

The seating in the rear allows numerous configurations to meet any requirements. As standard, the MPV is equipped with four individual luxury seats with armrests in two seat rows. Thanks to improved technology and operating logic, they can be folded forward intuitively to afford fast and easy access to the rear. An optional folding table can be installed between the individual seats in the first row. There’s also a host of bench seat and storage options.

For easy loading and unloading, the V-Class features another first in this segment in the shape of the standard separately opening rear windscreen attached to the upper tailgate frame. It can be opened and closed independently of the tailgate. This makes loading and unloading easier in two respects: on the one hand, it allows a second loading level; on the other - particularly in tight parking spaces - there is no need to open the large tailgate.

A total of eleven innovative driver assistance systems ensure a high level of driving comfort and an exemplary level of safety. They are based on modern radar, camera and ultrasound sensors, which were introduced in the new E-Class and S-Class under the name "Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive".

At market launch the new V-Class comes with the state-of-the-art 2.1L four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with two-stage turbocharging, which has already proven highly successful in many passenger car model series from the A-Class to the S-Class, and which has now been further enhanced specifically for the MPV. It is available in two power output levels both offering well over 40mpg. To enhance personal driving pleasure, the V-Class is the only vehicle in its segment to offer the AGILITY SELECT function in conjunction with the automatic transmission. At the push of a button the driver can select from four driving modes: economical, comfortable, sporty and manual. Engine, accelerator and transmission response are then adapted accordingly. The light and precise electromechanical power steering likewise contributes greatly to the well-balanced driving comfort in the new V-Class.

Unmistakably a Mercedes Benz, this MPV has a whole host of functions and options to numerous to list here. It looks as if buyers can pretty much configure it to personal requirements. It’s certainly an interesting addition to the range but for most families in the UK it’s probably more car than they will ever need. Prices are yet to be announced.

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