Friday, May 2, 2014

Mercedes-Benz V-Class (W447)

Mercedes-Benz made saloons, crossovers, and sometimes sportscars but rarely, they made themselves an MPV in case you never heard of it. Yes, over the years, Mercedes-Benz do really have multipurpose vehicles in the form of the Viano, the Vito, the MB100D (which is a Ssangyong or Daewoo Istana made by Koreans for the MPV-hungry customers), and the now defunct R-Class but those MPVs do have a problem; even though they're made to be as versatile as any other people carriers, they don't have the same Mercedes-Benz luxury flavor as expected from any other luxury saloons...until now.

2015 Mercedes-Benz V-Class

This MPV does sounds convincing though and even though it dons the Mercedes-Benz badge on it, the all-new V-Class is what happens when the German carmaker wanted to take on MPVs on all sizes; small, medium, and large. Asians, Americans, even Europeans, this new MPV wanted to dethrone the world's best MPVs and become the king of MPVs. Although it maybe too big to be considered a minivan, I just want to know if the V-Class got what it takes to take on the finest MPVs such as Nissan's Elgrand or Chrysler's Town and Country. Yes, they're luxury MPVs. They combine versatility and space with luxury features such as a premium sound system, a decent entertainment system ordinary MPVs could only dream of and how it treats not just a family car but a chauffeur-driven machine where wealthy people can relax on the rear seat like a boss.

2015 Mercedes-Benz V-Class interior

2015 Mercedes-Benz V-Class interior
Forget about the exterior because the biggest focus on the new V-Class is the interior itself because a true luxury MPV should have a very luxurious interior fit for a CEO to relax like a boss and in general, the new V-Class really blows the opposition out of water. Because of the height of the V-Class, the interior feels more of an office rather than the living room and because it's been festooned with high-tech gadgets that most luxury MPVs stored on the inside, you can't go wrong.

The V-Class can be offered in either a 6-seater, 7-seater, or an 8-seater, depending on how many family members, office employees, or politicians can fit in and if you are a rich premiership footballer who has kids and relatives alike, the 8-seater is your best bet but the real party piece of the V-Class is where the 2nd row seats facing to the 3rd row seats. Not even Japanese luxury MPVs has this! Well sort of because unlike Japanese MPVs, the V-Class doesn't have ottoman seats so that's one of the problems this new V-Class faced. No ottoman seats? Who cares? 2nd row seats facing to the 3rd row seats is the party piece an MPV buyer would go for although...you can also have a V-Class with a typical seating arrangement that you can expect in most MPVs but for this special feature, which is the one where the 2nd row seats facing on the 3rd row seats, is what I'm interesting at

Anyway, enough on the passenger side, let's move to the driver side because even though the passenger side is the big plus, the driver's side is where I'm focusing at and if you're working as a family driver or a chauffeur, the cockpit is less complicated than driving a big truck. While the cockpit design is okay, the infotainment system is worth worrisome for first timers because you need to use the dial to select specific functions such as navigation, music, radio, settings, and others but if you are familiar with the gizmo nonsense, there's no hardship at all.

2015 Mercedes-Benz V-Class
At the start, the new V-Class is powered by a 2.1L OM651 DE 22 LA 4-cylinder common rail diesel engine in three different configurations. In the V200 model, the entry-level model, it produces 136PS of power output and 330Nm of torque while the top-of-the-line V250 BlueTEC model develops 190PS of power and 440Nm of torque. The V200 and V220 comes with the standard 6-speed manual gearbox with an optional 7G-TRONIC while the V250 BlueTEC has the 7G-TRONIC standard. The first two maybe Euro 5 but the V250 BlueTEC is Euro 6 compliant because why? Thanks to its clean diesel technology, the combined fuel consumption is about 16.7km/L and CO2-Emissions of 157g/km. The Euro 6-compliant model balances between good fuel consumption and moderate performance levels and when I say performance, the V250 can go 0-100kph in 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 206kph.

Although the 7G-TRONIC is not the transmission you may like if you're more of a free-will, being and costly in the servicing department, the one thing I'm concerned about is the driving comfort but the V-Class is way ahead of me thanks to its modern suspension setup in the form of independent suspension, MacPherson struts, and the new AGILITY CONTROL. Such sophistication really made this quite a comfortable van even though I find the electric power steering to be more prone to its understeering doom. Careful driving is essential because I know the V-Class can be a very heavy car, as heavy as a big American SUV, and it's a fragile beauty to handle with care because on the speed bumps, it feels like you'll almost spilled your coffee during a chat with your boss when your chauffeur's driving like an undertaker so rest assured that because it's a big van with some luxury features, handle this stuff with care.

Of course for a good luxury MPV, safety features is a must to provide a peace of mind for the driver and passenger in an event something terrible happened and for the V-Class, they're one step ahead by implementing most of the safety features that most Mercedes-Benz models had. From ADAPTIVE ESP to Brake Disc Wipe, from PRE-SAFE to INTELLIGENT DRIVE, every single safety feature in the V-Class is highly necessary to keep this van safe for everyone inside and what's noticing is the safety precautions after the accidents. When a crash occurs, the airbag control unit sends a message to the in-car CAN data bus and in the case of the accident, triggers precautions such as conspicuous illumination, emergency door unlock, lowering of the side mirrors, switching off the blower, and of course, the activation of the air recirculation function. I can hardly imagine if high-ranking officials had this van for some point...

2015 Mercedes-Benz V-Class

So, with all those gizmos and comfort loaded in the V-Class, I was expecting this to be very expensive...and it is. It costs 42,900 Euros (estimated $59,500) for the V200 CDI model up to 49,183 Euros (estimated $68,200) for the V250 BlueTec model. That's more expensive than the Elgrand or the Town and Country but for an MPV, the V-Class is guaranteed to be the ultimate luxury MPV that can triumph against the opposition despite its downsides because the interior space is the best upside for the V-Class. I just want to have one in my whole life more than those Japanese-made luxury MPVs.

Available colors: kieselgrau, arktikwei╬▓, flintgrau metallic, dolomitbraun metallic, obsidianschwarz metallic, jupiterrot, navyblau, brillantsilber metallic, cavansitblau metallic, bergkristallwei╬▓ metallic, granitgrun, and indiumgrau metallic.

Photo: Daimler AG

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