Driving

Mercedes-Benz V-Class review

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Mercedes-Benz V-Class
Review continues below...
23 Jun 2017 12:13 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 13:15

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The V-Class’s commercial-vehicle underpinnings are evident right from the off, and affect a pretty rudimentary drive. It bounces over undulating roads, and if you hit a hefty bump or ridge at any speed, it sends a resounding shudder echoing through the cabin. It certainly feels a long way behind the comfort offered by regular MPVs such as the Seat Alhambra, and even the similarly van-based Peugeot Traveller manages to do better.

The same is true of handling. Bar the Ford Galaxy, none of these large MPVs feel particularly agile, granted. Yet with low-witted steering and a hefty amount of body lean through corners, the V-Class feels firmly in the shadow of rivals including the Alhambra, and again, even the Traveller.

Another area in which the V-Class lags behind its purpose-built MPV rivals is refinement. Wind and road noise are reasonably well checked, but you get lots of suspension noise over broken surfaces and the engine’s gruff when you work it hard. It also sends quite a bit of vibration through the steering wheel and pedals. If you really think a van-based vehicle would suit, we’d again recommend the Traveller, or even the VW Caravelle as more relaxing cars to tootle round in. Better still, by a Galaxy and it’ll seem whisper quiet by comparison.

At least the V-Class’s engines give good performance. Even the 161bhp diesel is up to the job and pulls well from low revs, but if you are regularly making use of all those seats then we’d suggest you plump for the 187bhp version. The extra shove it brings not only makes it feel relatively brisk, but also takes the stress out of your drive – not having to rev it so hard to make progress tempers the engine’s clatter. Both engines come with a standard seven-speed automatic gearbox, and this works well, producing slick shifts.

 

Mercedes-Benz V-Class
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There are 6 trims available for the V-Class estate. Click to see details.See all versions
Sport
The cheapest trim option, but still nicely specced. It comes with 17in alloy wheels, air-con, Bluetooth, DAB radio, sports seats, sports steering wheels, a wind deflector, cruise control and LED da...View trim
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AMG Line
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Marco Polo Horizon AMG Line
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Marco Polo Sport
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Marco Polo AMG Line
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