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Mercedes-Benz V-Class MPV (96 - 04) review

(1996 - 2004)
Mercedes-Benz V-Class MPV (96 - 04)
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Which used Mercedes-Benz V-Class estate should I buy?

There's only really one answer to this question - avoid the petrols and go for the diesel.

The 2.3-litre 143bhp petrol engine from the old E-Class struggles and wheezes to shift the V-Class's considerable bulk and only gives 24mpg fuel economy. The 2.8-litre V6 with 174bhp offers a more powerful alternative, but returns an appalling 21mpg. So, pretty much by default, that only leaves the 2.2-litre diesel, badged 220 CDI, giving a half-decent 35mpg.

However, you've still got to floor the throttle to get anywhere, and the same is true in the 2.3. Driving any V-Class isn't a peaceful experience, and you really notice the coarseness of the 2.2 and 2.3 if you have the four-speed automatic gearbox, which was an option on those two models and standard on the V6.

Trend is the basic trim, while Fashion gets a special velour upholstery and Ambient adds leather, cruise control and wooden inserts on the door and dashboard.

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Which used Mercedes-Benz V-Class estate should I buy?

There's only really one answer to this question - avoid the petrols and go for the diesel.

The 2.3-litre 143bhp petrol engine from the old E-Class struggles and wheezes to shift the V-Class's considerable bulk and only gives 24mpg fuel economy. The 2.8-litre V6 with 174bhp offers a more powerful alternative, but returns an appalling 21mpg. So, pretty much by default, that only leaves the 2.2-litre diesel, badged 220 CDI, giving a half-decent 35mpg.

However, you've still got to floor the throttle to get anywhere, and the same is true in the 2.3. Driving any V-Class isn't a peaceful experience, and you really notice the coarseness of the 2.2 and 2.3 if you have the four-speed automatic gearbox, which was an option on those two models and standard on the V6.

Trend is the basic trim, while Fashion gets a special velour upholstery and Ambient adds leather, cruise control and wooden inserts on the door and dashboard.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here