Design: synthesis of form and function

  • The new Vito – attractive and thoroughly innovative
  • Detailed attention paid to the bodywork
  • Interior: take a seat and feel good
  • Cockpit: exemplary functionality
  • Storage concept: space for large and small items
  • Entertainment electronics: always well connected
With a powerful-looking radiator grille framed by sharply contoured, wing-shaped headlamps the new Vito creates an assertive and unmistakable impression. The van fits perfectly into the large family of commercial vehicles at Mercedes-Benz – from the Citan urban delivery van to the heavy-duty Actros models for long-distance transport. One of the signature stylistic elements is the three perforated slats in the new Vito's radiator grille. This design exudes dynamism while at the same time boosting air flow to cool the major assemblies.
Like other commercial vehicles bearing the star, the van has a horizontal bumper containing a further air intake. Extending downwards with a striking shape, it gives the new Vito a sturdy look on the road. In the standard version the rugged bumpers are unpainted to reduce costs in the event of minor damage. If a more elegant look is sought, colour-coded bumpers and detachable body parts are available painted in the vehicle colour (standard on the top-of-the-line Vito Tourer SELECT model).
The new Vito – attractive and thoroughly innovative
For the new Vito design is not an end in itself. The new headlamps are one example of the perfect synthesis of form and function. An optional Intelligent Light System (ILS) provides an alternative to the standard, powerful halogen headlamps. Unique in the van segment, this technology consists of LED indicators resembling a torch (a typical feature of the brand), LED daytime running lamps, as well as a lower level comprising LED low-beam headlamps and main beam with cornering light function.
Depending on the current road speed, the headlamps automatically adapt for driving on motorways or country roads by varying the light distribution. ILS also includes Highbeam Assist which dims automatically in the case of oncoming traffic, if there are vehicles in front and in villages and towns. A "Coming home" function illuminates the area surrounding the vehicle after removing the ignition key.
Detailed attention paid to the bodywork
The bonnet of the new Vito is a dynamic arrow shape and constructed like a sculpture. It flows over into the side wall which, with its two elongated and slightly extravagant contours, indicates a level of dynamism that is actually measurable. With a Cd value of 0.32 wind resistance is very low. This reduces fuel consumption and improves performance.
Even at first glance the new Vito's bodywork exudes high quality through aspects such as narrow, even joints and the streamlined, inconspicuous guide mechanism for the sliding door. On the new Vito every detail combines form and function. The optional roof rails are one example. They provide the base for carrier systems while still keeping the overall height of the new Vito below two metres. This is important in multi-storey car parks, garages and automatic car washes.
The tail lights on the new Vito are unmistakable. They are located higher to make the vehicle more noticeable to other road users and to afford protection when jostling for position in traffic. LED technology is available as an option for the tail lights. This too is more than a design feature – LED lights reduce electrical consumption. With a service life equivalent to the vehicle's useful life, changing bulbs is largely a thing of the past.
As an alternative to the standard tailgate the new Vito is also available with hinged rear doors. These open out to the side wall as an option.
Interior: take a seat and feel good
Both the driver and passenger benefit from contoured seats in the new Vito. The seat cushion has grown; the backrest is also larger and has been moved up for distinct lateral support. Uniform seams indicate careful build quality. Both front seats have two-way head restraints and can be adjusted lengthwise as standard, as can the backrest angle. The driver's seat is also height-adjustable.
A major benefit for tall drivers in terms of comfort is the change to the contour of the partition wall in the panel van, which has increased the seat's adjustment range. Thanks to a curvature in the top section, the backrest can now be tilted back 83 mm further than before.
For deployment scenarios involving frequent entry and exit such as courier services, there is a "Plus" driver's seat – a variant with a raised centre section of the seat cover and therefore flatter contour. It features even more rugged fabric too.
Mercedes-Benz also supplies optional comfort seats for the driver and passenger in the Vito. Here the seating surface angle can be adjusted and there is an armrest on the inside, as well as four-way head restraints. Electropneumatically adjustable lumbar support for the front seats with two air cushions in each backrest or electric seat adjustment with memory function boost comfort further. In signature Mercedes-Benz style, the switch for this takes the shape of the seat contour and is attached to the door panel.
A double seat is available as an alternative to the single passenger seat provided as standard. Both spaces on the double seat have integral three-point seat belts and two-way head restraints.
Cockpit: exemplary functionality
Now completely redesigned, the new Vito's cockpit is exemplary in terms of its functionality and ergonomics. Symmetrical in its fundamental form, the structure is clear and uncluttered for maximum operational safety. All controls are within easy reach of the driver.
A great deal of attention has been paid to detail in the cockpit, which has an exceptionally high-quality look for this vehicle class. The surfaces are coordinated while the shine, structure, grain and join patterns are well thought out and harmonious. The cover over the cockpit and the window sill surface have a leather-like grain and are pleasant to the touch. Familiar from the Sprinter, this grain is also scratch-resistant and easy to clean.
The angle and height of the three-spoke steering wheel are adjustable either as standard or as special equipment depending on the model. As an upgrade there is a multifunction steering wheel with trip computer. Using the steering wheel buttons the driver is able to operate the radio, navigation system, telephone and instrument cluster. Even more pleasing to the touch is the optional leather steering wheel with its high-quality, nappa leather cover providing grip. It also has chrome highlights. The gear knob for the six-speed manual transmission is ready for the driver's right hand and resembles a joystick on the centre console. If the customer has chosen the automatic transmission, the selector lever is formed like a steering-column lever to save space while being conveniently placed.
Clear, round dials are located directly in the field of vision with an informative display nestled between them. The standard instrument cluster includes a trip counter, clock and fuel gauge. An optional pixel matrix display provides other information such as from the trip computer, audio system or navigation. It is operated using the buttons on the multifunction steering wheel. On the left are controls for the lights as well as a block of buttons for assistance systems.
The neat centre console contains the double DIN audio system at the top with fresh air outlets to the left and right. Below that and between two open stowage facilities are a line of controls along with the air conditioning controls. If a tachograph needs to be fitted (for example, on vehicles used to transport goods commercially with a trailer), one can be installed in another DIN slot at the bottom of the centre console.
The shape and structure of the controls indicate attention to detail. In terms of touch and feel, the quality approaches the level found in cars. Examples include the stylish central locking buttons integrated into the moulded recesses for the door openers or optional seat heating. The buttons for the electric power windows and for adjusting the exterior mirrors are attractive and logical.
Like its predecessor the Vito has a space-saving foot-operated parking brake with a pedal on the left of the footwell. In versions without a partition or in the Vito Tourer this arrangement facilitates access through to the rear.
The new Vito's clear view is striking. This is a key safety feature, particularly on a van. Triangular windows are a signature feature of the new Vito. Known as van windows, they are found at the bottom ends of the left and right A-pillars. Equally typical are the large exterior mirrors affording an excellent field of vision. Both mirrors have an additional, integral wide-angle section which can be beneficial when changing lanes or manoeuvring.
Optional extras such as Driving Light Assist, Blind Spot Assist, rain sensor or electrically adjustable, folding and heatable exterior mirrors (as standard depending on the model) support the driver in their work.
Storage concept: space for large and small items
When developing the new cockpit the stowage concept received plenty of attention. After all, for many drivers the new Vito is their office and a living space too.
Three large, open stowage facilities at the top of the instrument panel catch the eye. These are useful for papers, clipboards, tablets and other items that need to be kept near to hand yet tidy. All three stowage facilities are partially covered at the top to prevent annoying reflections appearing in the new Vito's windscreen. The middle compartment accommodates A4 documentation. There are also cup holders on the cockpit at the top left and right.
Small items such as pens, coins or car park tickets can be placed in open stowage facilities in the centre console to the left and right of the button panel. A 12-volt socket is installed underneath the centre console.
Further items can be stored in the large glove compartment and the optional open compartment under the centre console. The way that the door compartments are divided merits special attention. Compact, open stowage facilities halfway up are suitable for small items and creating order. A large, open compartment towards the bottom is split into multiple sections. It holds drinks bottles up to 1.5 litres and includes a large section, as well as another small, open one.
Entertainment electronics: always well connected
The new Vito benefits from the latest generation of radios from Mercedes-Benz Vans. The entry-level model is the Audio 10 system (double DIN format) with a 3.5" monochrome display, Bluetooth telephony, telephone keypad, phone book and SD memory card slot. A USB 2.0 port and AUX input are located nearby in the cockpit. The Audio 10 plays a range of formats such as WMA, MP3, AAC and WAV.
Meanwhile the Audio 15 has a 5.8" display with TFT technology and a CD player. It is possible to use mobile devices via its USB 2.0 port. If a reversing camera is installed, the picture can be shown on the display.
Audio 15 may be linked to the optional Becker MAP navigation device – a fully integrated navigation module with GPS antenna, intuitive user interface with 2D/3D representation and TMC for dynamically avoiding traffic jams. The compact Becker MAP PILOT box integrates discreetly into the glove compartment. All map material for the buyer's region is installed ex factory. The box is removable and incorporates a USB connection, enabling the navigation module to be customised and updated online via a computer.
The new Vito is also available with preinstallation for the navigation device. This makes it possible to use the navigation module in different vehicles within a fleet.
Mercedes-Benz Vito Panel Van, 116 CDI, interior, stowage compartment in upper section of dashboard, cup holder, detail
Mercedes-Benz Vito Panel Van, 116 CDI, interior, bottle holder, detail
Mercedes-Benz Vito Panel Van, 116 CDI, interior, small centre console with stowage compartment, detail
Mercedes-Benz Vito Panel Van, 116 CDI, interior, full-length partition wall, through-loading possible, detail
Mercedes-Benz Vito Panel Van, 116 CDI, exterior, headlamp
Mercedes-Benz Vito Panel Van, 116 CDI, interior, stowage compartment under air-vent right and left, detail
Mercedes-Benz Vito Panel Van, 116 CDI, interior, driver’s seat with length adjustment, detail