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V-MAX (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The V-Class offers Mercedes quality to the super-MPV segment. Jonathan Crouch drives the revised V220d variant.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 92
One thing Mercedes' big V-Class isn't short of is space. As a People Carrier in the truest sense, it's only real competition comes from other large, van-based MPVs - or public transport. This is the usefully revised version of the brand's 'W447'-series model and it gets a fresh 2.0-litre diesel engine that features in 163hp form in this volume V220d variant. If you want to take up to eight people and their luggage in a vehicle that makes a very high quality statement, then this Mercedes is a difficult option to ignore.
Backgroundword count: 119
There aren't many alternatives open to you if a really sizeable People Carrier is needed that can take seven or eight people plus all their luggage. And if that MPV must make a really sizeable statement of quality, the options reduce to just one: this Mercedes V-Class. Here, we've got a revised version of the successful 'W447'-series model. This modern generation V-Class gets big engineering changes. These include the all-new 'OM 654'-series 2.0-litre diesel engine that both the mainstream variants use and a fresh 9G-TRONIC PLUS 9-speed auto gearbox, plus 'Active brake assist' autonomous braking is now standard. But is it all enough to allow the V-Class to at last fully justify its premium pricing? Time to find out.
Driving Experienceword count: 201
Of all the super-large MPVs on the market, this is the one that disguises its van-based underpinnings the best. Especially in this revised form, thanks to its diesel engine and transmission transplant. That's seen the introduction of the brand's more refined and efficient 'OM 654'-series 2.0-litre diesel engine, available in two states of tune for V-Class buyers. Here, we're trying the 163hp V220d variant that most will probably choose, but there's also an alternative 239hp V300d derivative that might appeal if you'll regularly be carrying heavy loads. Both powerplants now use a smooth 9G-TRONIC PLUS 9-speed auto gearbox. Mercedes has tried hard to optimise the ride and handling package that its biggest People Carrier can offer. Hence the standard 'Agility Select' system that allows you to tweak throttle response, gearchange timings and feedback from the 'Direct Steer' speed-sensitive steering to suit the way you want your V-Class to respond. Plus there's 'Agility Control' adaptive suspension, a set-up able to tweak the damping to suit road conditions. Ultimately, all these efforts aren't really enough to make the dynamic experience on offer here in any way rewarding, but the overall compromise is decently impressive by the moderate standards of the super-sized MPV class.
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Category: MPV People Carriers
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