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Mercedes-Benz Vito 116 CDI Mixto (Long): Dual-use daily driver

By Ghaith Madadha - May 23,2022 - Last updated at May 23,2022

Enormously spacious and large, yet, manoeuvrable and economic — and bearing Jordanians’ most coveted automotive brand — it was only a matter of time that the Mercedes-Benz Vito would become a much more common sight on Jordanian roads than it has in the past.

Available in three formats and three lengths, the Vito has traditionally been pricier than many other dual work and personal use vans. However, it has gained significant popularity on the independent grey import market in the last couple of years.

 

Up-market appeal

 

Traditionally less popular than less space-efficient SUVs and crossovers, it would seem that the latest generation Vito’s design, equipment and comfort have overcome any misplaced stigma that some quarters of Jordan’s motoring public might have associated with vans. Converging with such change of heart among some, a minor 2020 model revision has meant that pre-facelift examples of the current generation Vito have depreciated to within reach of many other van drivers looking for the same practicality, albeit with more up-market appeal. 

A significantly more economical model that it permitted with a Diesel engine than its more luxurious, three-row petrol-powered V-Class derivative that is classified as a passenger car, the Vito Mixto’s name sums up its configuration as a mixed use van. With generous two row passenger accommodation and tall and wide kerb-side sliding rear door for easy accessing tight parking spaces, the Mixto’s enclosed cargo area accommodates an enormous 3,600-litres volume through a massive, upright up-swinging tailgate, and benefits from a comparatively low 558mm loading height.

 

Utilitarian versatility

 

Uniformly shaped with near equal width and height, the Vito Mixto “long” version sits on the ground elegantly with its extended rear overhang complementing its short front overhang. Unadorned by unnecessary or exaggerated body styling flourishes, the Vito has a utilitarian appeal to its design, and provides good road visibility, and especially so its front sightlines, owing to an almost wedge-like rising bonnet angle and vast windscreen. Large side mirrors meanwhile offer excellent reversing visibility for such a large and bulky vehicle.

Instantly recognisable as a Mercedes-Benz with its large tri-star emblem, elegant familial style grille and headlights, the Vito’s sculpted clamshell bonnet, meanwhile, houses a thoroughly proven and fuel efficient 2.15-litre common-rail turbo-diesel engine positioned longitudinally and driving the rear wheels. Offered in several states of tune, the featured 116 CDI variant is the second most powerful Diesel option, producing 160BHP at 3,800rpm and a muscularly versatile 280lb/ft torque throughout comparatively broad and accessible 1,400-2,400rpm. This allows for estimated 0-100km/h acceleration of around 12-seconds.

 

Rich and responsive

 

Quick spooling and responsive for a turbo-diesel, the Vito 116 CDI’s turbo lag is little next to some similar vehicles, and is well managed and overcome by its 7-speed automatic gearbox, which smoothly and intuitively selects the right gear for the right occasion. The Vito’s gearbox is especially good at minimising lag and delivering responsive acceleration from standstill when one feeds in smaller, progressive throttle inputs. For more driver control and engagement, the 116 CDI is also available with a 6-speed manual gearbox. 

Effortlessly muscular through its torque-rich mid-range, the Vito 116 CDI pulls hard towards its peak power point and feels faster on the road than expected. Similarly, it is a far more manoeuvrable vehicle in town and in tight parking areas owing to its upright body panels, good visibility, big mirrors and tight 11.8-metre turning circle. Forgiving over most lumps and bumps with its coil spring rear suspension, the Vito can feel slightly firm in side-to-side vertical reactions on certain, unevenly choppy roads.

 

Commanding and comfortable

 

Stable and as refined as vans come at motorway speeds, the Vito is a natural and comfortable long distance cruiser with comparatively good Diesel clatter noise suppression. Handling through winding roads is, meanwhile, surprisingly agile for its segment. With balanced front-engine and rear-drive layout, the Vito is tidy turning in and grippy at the rear, but over-steer can be progressive if deliberately provoked. Well managing body lean for a tall and heavy van, its vertical movements are, meanwhile, settled, and its electric-assisted steering direct and accurate.

Classy and well-equipped with creature comforts, the cavernous Vito Mixto’s cabin features plenty of storage spaces. It is MPV-like rather than that of a ruggedly Spartan workhorse, and is available with progressively more generous trim levels. Seating is upright, alert, comfortable and commanding, while rear seats are highly spacious. Seating five with front captain’s seats, the Vito is available as a six-seater, with a front passenger dual occupant side bench. High on safety, extensive standard and optional driver assistance systems include blind spot warning, reversing camera and lane-keeping assistance.

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Engine: 2.15-litre, turbo-diesel, in-line 4-cylinders
  • Bore x stroke: 83 x 99mm
  • Compression ratio: 16.2:1
  • Valve-train: 16-valve, common-rail injection
  • Gearbox: 7-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
  • Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 160 (163) [120] @3,800rpm
  • Specific power: 74.6BHP/litre
  • Power-to-weight: approximately 80BHP/tonne
  • Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 280 (380) @1,400-2,400rpm
  • Specific torque: approximately 177.3Nm/litre
  • Torque-to-weight: approximately 190Nm/tonne
  • 0-100km/h: approximately 12-seconds (estimate)
  • Fuel tank: 70-litres
  • Length: 5,140mm
  • Width: 1,928mm
  • Height: 1,910mm
  • Wheelbase: 3,200mm
  • Track, F/R: 1,666/1,646mm
  • Overhang, F/R: 895/1,045mm
  • Loading height: 558mm
  • Cargo volume: 3,600-litres
  • Aerodynamic drag co-efficiency: 0.32
  • Kerb weight: approximately 2,200 (estimate)
  • Steering: Electric-assisted, rack and pinion
  • Turning circle: 11.8-metres
  • Suspension F/R: MacPherson struts/semi-trailing arms, coil springs, anti-roll bars
  • Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs/discs
  • Tyres: 225/55R17
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