The Mercedes-Benz Vito is a van manufactured and marketed by the German carmaker Mercedes-Benz since 1996. The Vito refers to the cargo van variant for commercial use. The Vito/Viano is available in both rear- and four-wheel-drive configurations and comes in three lengths, two wheelbases and a choice of four petrol and diesel engines (as well as two specialist-tuned models) coupled to either a six-speed manual or five-speed TouchShift automatic transmission.
History of the Mercedes-Benz Vito
First Generation Mercedes-Benz Vito (W638; 1996–2003)
The first generation Mercedes-Benz Vito was produced between 1996 and 2003. It is powered either by a diesel engine with up to 120 bhp (89 kW; 122 PS) or a gasoline engine with up to 140 bhp (104 kW; 142 PS) and a front-wheel drive drivetrain.
Vito 108 E
A battery-electric variant of the W 638 was unveiled in July 1996, designated the Vito 108 E. The 108 E was fitted with a three-phase asynchronous electric traction motor that developed 40 kW (54 hp) and had a stall torque of 140 lb-ft, driving the wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. The Vito 108 E was capable of speeds up to 120 km/h (75 mph) and could carry up to 600 kg (1,300 lb). The 108 E was assembled at the "Competence Centre for Emission-free Mobility" (KEM) at the Mercedes-Benz Mannheim plant; due to the small scale of production and battery costs, it was estimated the 108 E would be three times the cost of a conventionally-powered Vito. Deutsche Post operated a small fleet of Vito 108 E delivery vans in Bremen.
Second Generation Mercedes-Benz Vito (W639; 2003–2014)
The second generation Mercedes-Benz Vito is more streamlined than its predecessor, but more importantly, is powered by a new range of engines and a rear-wheel drive (RWD) drivetrain. The angle of the windshield and A-pillar is closer to horizontal; the dashboard is bigger and the bonnet (hood) is smaller. The newer Vito is available in 3 different lengths and 4 diesel engine versions: the 109 CDI, the 111 CDI, the 115 CDI, and the powerful 120 CDI. The model numerics conform with the Mercedes pattern that relates to a rough guide to engine power output. In the Vito range currently, the 109 has 93 bhp (69 kW), 111 relates to 116 bhp (87 kW), 115 to 150 bhp (112 kW; 152 PS), and 120 to 204 bhp (152 kW; 207 PS). The 2nd generation Vitos are all Euro 3 compliant (additionally Euro 4 compliant as of November 2006) and therefore exempt from the upcoming Low Emission Zone in London. This requires commercial vehicles (vans) to reach at least Euro 3 standard from October 2010.
Third Generation Mercedes-Benz Vito (W447; 2014–Present)
The third generation V-Class was launched in 2014 as a full size MPV to replace the R-Class. However, it also was marketed as a successor to the Mercedes-Benz Viano. Sales commenced in Germany in May 2014, with European sales following in June. The Vito panel van variant was also released in 2014.
The eVito, an electric panel van variant using the W447 chassis, was introduced in November 2017. Compared to the discontinued W639 Vito E-CELL, the W447 eVito had greater energy storage, 41.4 kW-hr, and a greater range, at 150 km (93 mi). As introduced, the eVito van was equipped with an 84 kW (113 hp) electric traction motor with maximum torque of 300 N⋅m (220 lb-ft). Maximum speed was limited to 80 km/h (50 mph) but could be unlocked to 120 km/h (75 mph) via an option. The EQV is an electrified variant of the V-Class using the same Vito W447 chassis; it was unveiled as a concept at the March 2019 Geneva Motor Show with a more powerful drivetrain and a more capacious battery than the eVito.
In 2022, Mercedes-Benz retails the Mercedes-Benz Vito with a starting MSRP of $42,900 for the base variant, rising to $79,881 for the top-spec Vito variant.
Features of the Mercedes-Benz Vito
The Mercedes-Benz Vito has been a success since its debut in 1996. The mid-sized van is known for its extreme versatility and is mostly used in small and medium-sized enterprises. The story continued in 2020 with a facelift version, bringing a redefined look and smart features. One of the major highlights was the introduction of the new eVito Tourer, with 150 kW and a 421-km electric range. A new diesel engine generation is also available with up to 239 hp. Other features include AIRMATIC air suspension, improved safety with the DISTRONIC and BAS, an improved reversing camera, a digital rearview mirror, a revised infotainment portfolio, a new interior, and a new radiator grille. The halogen headlamps can be replaced by the optional Intelligent Light System and can be extended to include the Highbeam Assist Plus – which reacts adaptively to changing visibility conditions. The Vito Tourer mostly transports people and goods and is available with the BASE, PRO, and SELECT trim lines. As a standard assistance system, the Tourer comes with tire pressure loss detection and can be optionally equipped with Active Parking Assist, Blind Spot Assist, and Lane Keeping Assist. For the first time, DISTRONIC is also available for the Vito. While equipped with the active distance assist, the vehicle can accelerate by itself and brake using the necessary braking power to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles in front.
Specs and Performance of the Mercedes-Benz Vito
New for 2022, besides the name, is the car's turbo-diesel powertrain and transmission combination. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz Vito Tourer is powered by a 2.0L OM654 four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine producing 120kW of power and 380 Nm of torque. This new engine to the Vito Tourer incorporates a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and an all-aluminum construction. There are also improved noise and vibration characteristics. The OM654 engine in the Vito Tourer is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, which has two more ratios than the 2021 model year Valente and sends power to the rear wheels only.
Mercedes-Benz has been producing the Mercedes-Benz Vito since 1996. Currently, the model is in its 2022 model year.