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Mercedes-Benz V250 (Extra Long): Premium newfound popularity

By Ghaith Madadha - Sep 13,2021 - Last updated at Sep 13,2021

Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

With larger families and a particular penchant for the Mercedes-Benz brand, it is a wonder that the Mercedes V-Class and its Viano predecessor have traditionally not had a big presence on the Jordanian automotive scene, until recent months.

At the pricier and larger end of the multipurpose (MPV) vehicle market, Mercedes’ elegant and highly practical people carrier’s popularity had suffered from high running costs and registration fees in its previous Viano incarnation, when the only petrol version legal for Jordanian roads as a three-row passenger vehicle was powered by a thirsty 3.5-litre V6.

Private buyers, however, preferred to either spend such money on more fashionable SUVs and more traditional saloons, often from Mercedes’ large stable of models. Meanwhile, fleet operators and private buyers of dual family and work use two-row diesel vans tended to look to less expensive and less luxurious alternatives like the Hyundai H1, rather than the Viano or its two-row diesel-powered Vito van sister model. The advent of the re-named successor V-Class MPV in 2014 saw the introduction of a downsized but similarly powerful turbocharged 2-litre engine, which brought running and registration costs down.

An increasingly common but classy sight

But with a premium price tag, the stylish new V-Class nevertheless remained an expensive proposition for the MPV crowd, and stayed in the shadow of trendier but less practical large SUVs and crossovers. Or that was the case until around a year or two ago. With the introduction of a lightly revised V-Class for the 2020 model year, pre-facelift versions of both the petrol-powered V-Class and to some extent diesel-powered dual use Vito van prices have gone down on the independent import market, which has subsequently led to significantly increased popularity.

With greater emphasis on design than its predecessor, the more charismatically assertive V-Class’s styling uses subtle interplays of convex and concave shapes and surfaces, more prominent crease lines and smoother, better integrated bumpers, but remains evolutionary and functional in spirit. An increasingly common sight that is better looking than newer face-lifted versions, earlier V-Class models feature a snoutier and better framed fascia, and more grounded stance, with three section lower intakes, rather than a single full-width mesh element. Offered in three lengths, the V-Class is best proportioned in Extra Long guise, with its longer wheelbase complemented with a longer rear overhang.

Downsized but right sized

Elegant in its front engine and rear drive proportions, short front overhang, large swept back windscreen and bulging clamshell bonnet, the petrol V250 model is powered by a turbocharged direct injection 2-litre 4-cylinder engine mated to a smooth and slick shifting 7-speed automatic gearbox. Developing 208BHP at 5500rpm and 258lb/ft torque throughout 1200-4000rpm, the V250 Extra Long is capable of estimated 9.4-second 0-100km/h acceleration and an estimated 210km/h top speed. Responsive and brisk despite its 2-tonne heft, the V250 also feels quicker and more muscular than its larger and 20BHP more powerful naturally-aspirated V6 predecessor.

With only slight turbo lag evident in its ‘Eco’ driving mode, the V250 is better driven in default mode. Happy to rev through to its redline, the V250 may not quite match its predecessor in outright power, but instead delivers a much wider and slightly punchier mid-range that is more accessible and especially better-suited for mini-van service with its more muscular hauling, incline climbing and motorway overtaking abilities. The V250’s smaller, lighter engine also means that it is more eager and nimble into corners than its predecessor or what is expected in its segment.

Going long

Tidy into corners with little understeer even when pushed aggressively, the V250 Extra Long is balanced and unexpectedly agile through switchbacks, but with its forward driving position and 3200mm wheelbase, one needs to turn-in slightly later than is intuitive. Nevertheless, its long wheelbase delivers good rear grip and predictably progressive oversteer if provoked. Positive, precise and eager to self-centre, the V250’s electric-assisted rack and pinion steering delivers better feel and feedback than most MPVs. And with a balanced chassis and upright driving position with little impeded front views, the V250’s provides an involving driving experience.

More rigid and refined in construction and ride quality than its predecessor, the high spec V250 Avantgarde rides on independent rear suspension with variable dampers that become more forgiving for straight line comfort and taut for good cornering body control. A natural long distance companion, the V250 is stable, comfortable and refined at speed, while Avantgarde 245/45R19 tyres provide a good compromise between control and comfort. A smooth ride, the V250’ vertical movement is slightly exaggerated over choppy roads, but is otherwise reassuringly settled. Meanwhile, a tight 12.5 metre turning circle, makes the V250 Extra Long unexpectedly manoeuvrable.

Cavernous comfort

Enormous at 5370mm long, 1928mm wide and 1880mm tall, the V-Class Extra Long is nevertheless comparatively easy to manoeuvre when driving forward, while the driven Avantgarde version features 360° and reversing camera parking package and optional blind spot and lane assistance systems to aid rear and over the shoulder visibility in such a large vehicle. Cavernous inside, the V250’s walk-in passenger and cargo space far exceeds any car or SUV, and features a long, wide and tall loading bay with a low loading lip and automatic tailgate, with rear glass hatch for added practicality.

Luxuriously comfortable, refined and accommodating inside, the V250 Avantgarde is classy yet modern, with leather upholstery, good build and material quality, tinted rear windows and numerous mod cons, safety features and a contemporary dashboard design and infotainment system. Highly practical, it features plenty of interior storage spaces and two huge sliding remote operating rear doors for easy cabin access in confined spaces. With configurable and removable rear seating and table, the V250 can accommodate eight passengers with a mid-row bench or seven passengers with mid-row captain’s seats, similar to the supportive and comfortable driver’s seat.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 2-litre, turbocharged, in-line 4-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 83.1 x 91.9mm

Compression ratio: 9.8:1

Valve-train: 16-valve, DOHC, direct injection

Gearbox: 7-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 208 (211) [155] @5,500rpm

Specific power: 104.5BHP/litre

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 258 (350) @ 1,200-4,000rpm

Specific torque: 175.8Nm/litre

0-100km/h: 9.4-seconds

Maximum speed: 210km/h

Fuel tank: 70-litres

Length: 5,370mm

Width: 1,928mm

Height: 1,880mm

Wheelbase: 3,200mm

Track, F/R: 1,666/1,646mm

Overhang, F/R: 895/1,045mm

Aerodynamic drag co-efficiency: 0.31

Unladen weight: 2,055kg (estimate)

Steering: Electric-assisted, rack and pinion

Turning circle: 12.5-metres

Suspension F/R: MacPherson struts/semi-trailing arms, coil springs, anti-roll bars, variable damping

Brakes: Ventilated discs

Tyres: 245/45R19

 

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