Mercedes Benz Viano - 8 Seater
Being based on the commercial van platform, the Viano is a questionable effort on a crossover to a people carrier. It is one of the only vehicles available that has space for eight passengers.
The interior is huge but strangely for a Mercedes, there isn't much in the way of standard equipment. It is a multi-purpose vehicle that manages to incorporate that trademark Mercedes style and quality. It features a slide door with plenty of space, and there is a folding table in the rear for the 6 and 7-seater configurations.
Prices start at just over £35,720. Second Hand models are available from under £10,000. You can pay up to £70K.
With only diesel engines being available, the car tax band varies from J to L. As it is essentially a commercial van with seats, the running costs are similar to the Sprinter; an out and out commercial van. Despite a fairly frugal 2.0CDI diesel engine, it pumps out 192g/km of C02, the faster eight-seater 3.0 CDI model emits 226g/km. The average fuel consumption for the 2.0 and 2.2 CDI engines is 38.7 miles to the gallon, whilst the faster 3.0 litre engine averages 32.8mpg. The insurance group is very high at group 28 and 35, which is mainly due to the fact there is the potential to have more passengers on board during a crash and that will affect the premiums.
The Viano received a four-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety tests, which is very good for a vehicle that weighs more than two tonnes. It has driver and passenger airbags, traction control and anti-lock brakes as standard. There is the option to have stability control, which might be handy if the weather is poor.
Comfort and Dimensions
It's not the most comfortable of cars and that's surprising for a Mercedes. The rear seats are basic and almost bench-like, which is fine for short school runs and trips to the shops, but long distances can be tiresome. The front seats offer more in the way of comfort but they don't quite match the rest of the Mercedes line-up for quality. For added comfort and more space there are three lengths available; compact, long and extra long.
The quality of the greasy parts, such as the engine and the suspension, are all high but the interior is lacking in capturing the usual Mercedes flair. It is fairly basic inside - not swathed with gadgets and gizmos found in the S-class cars. The trim and fitment is average and it's apparent that the interior has been adjusted for public use from a commercial background.
Typically van-like, the performance is poor and lackluster. The 136bhp diesel reaches the benchmark figure of 62 mph in 14.1 seconds. The 3.0 Litre engines fares better and reaches 62mpg in 9.1 seconds, that extra grunt is needed, especially if you're carrying eight passengers and luggage. Top speed ranges from 108mph to 125 mph. With the engine and weight of the front passengers all over the front end, the suspension has lots to deal with. The long wheelbase also gives a slow response for corners and it is bus-like in the handling department.
Disabled User Access
Practicality is the one reason why most people purchase a Viano. It has the ability to carry eight or six people very comfortably, and has space for each person's items. The seats can be removed too, which is handy for access for a disabled-person's wheelchair, for instance.
Its huge capacity and high quality interior means the Viano has become popular as a taxi and airport shuttle vehicle, even if some corners of the motoring press have been less than enthusiastic about the look of the vehicle.
Surely, if it were anything other than a Mercedes Benz, the opposition would die down. Compared to most minivans, this vehicle looks and feels like a dream given the superb standard of engineering and design that has gone into it.
The only downside is that the Viano seats do not fold into the floor, a common feature of rivals in this market. Seats can, however, be completely removed in the back, which creates a huge amount of cargo space (some 4,610 litres). That equates to a payload of nearly 1 tonne, plus it can tow a 2.5-tonne trailer.
Overall, this minivan is unlikely to attract the traditional Mercedes Benz buyer given it’s a whole different package. But for those looking for volume, seven seats or more and a quality drive, the Viano is the only game in town.
You May Also Be Interested In:
- Some More Mercedes-Benz MPVs
- Larger People Carriers
- Luxurious People Carriers with Seven Seats
- Land Rover 4WD Vehicles with 7-Seats
- More Eight Seat Passenger Vehicles
- Mercedes E63 AMG
- How to Carry, Eight, Nine or Even More