The next generation Mercedes-Benz Viano minivan and Vito commercial van may be introduced to the United States. According to company insiders quoted by Automotive News, the new V-Class minivan, which replaces the Viano, and the new Vito commercial vehicle could arrive in the U.S. in 2015, following their launch in Europe in spring 2014.
If introduced in the U.S., the V-Class would compete with the Chrysler Town & Country, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna, although it will be slightly larger than these models. The V-Class would also be the only rear-wheel drive minivan in the segment.
As for the Vito, which sits a class below Mercedes’ Sprinter commercial van, its competitors will be the Ford Transit and the Chevrolet City Express, Nissan NV200 sibling models. Both the V-Class and Vito are using the same rear-wheel-drive platform and will be available with all-wheel drive as well. Four- and six-cylinder engines will be offered.
As Mercedes-Benz revealed last month, the V-Class will have a more luxurious interior than the outgoing Viano, including wood trim, ambient lighting, many electronic features and a big panoramic roof, among others.
Mercedes-Benz USA declined to comment on the report, but earlier this year Volker Mornhinweg, global head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said the Sprinter was a “door opener” and a U.S. launch of the new vans was possible. I, for one, believe the V-Class would make sense in the United States, as Mercedes-Benz has been left without a luxurious people-carrier after the R-Class was discontinued last year.
By Dan Mihalascu