Engines range from 1.6 to 1.9 litres, and from 82 to 125bhp. All but the 1.9 need to be worked hard, especially when there’s a full complement onboard. The 102bhp 1.6 and the 1.7 turbodiesel are fine once up to speed but take a fair amount of coaxing to get there. The 1.9 is quick but exposes handling flaws.
Mercedes-Benz Vaneo MPV ride & handling
Stiff suspension means the Vaneo has the rigidity to carry 600kg – okay for cargo but too harsh for people and the ride is choppy. Body control is good but there is not enough grip, although electronics are on hand to prevent the Vaneo getting too far out of shape. The 1.9’s power tugs at the steering.
Mercedes-Benz Vaneo MPV refinement
The Vaneo is noisier than any other Mercedes. The firm suspension clatters on poor surfaces and although tyre and wind noise are well suppressed, all four engines get vocal if pushed and the noise echoes throughout the cabin. The notchy manual gearboxes and sharp clutch take-up irritate in town, but the cabin is generally rattle-free.