Achtung Camper has welcomed Mercedes-Benz Vito into its fold of offerings of converted campervans. Placing the Vito alongside Volkswagen Transporters and Volkswagen Crafters under the Achtung banner. These three vehicles are leading the way in space, style, practicality and comfort when it comes to homes and hotels on wheels.
Transporter T6 and Vito 116 and 119 models are a well-matched trio, meeting each other on a long list of features, however there are a few differences with regard to options and standard inclusions.
Let’s look at the specifications and compare these vans.
Peek inside a Transporter cabin and it immediately hits you that it is spacious with a high seating position, convenient storage compartments and steering column that is adjustable for height and rake. The Vito also has a solid cabin with an easy-to-use dashboard, adjustable seating and steering, leather covered steering wheel, oversized door bins, lumber support for driver and chrome trimming for a sophisticated touch.
Both models have an infotainment system that includes a radio, Bluetooth, Apple Car Play connectivity and USB, touchscreen and steering wheel mounted controls. That’s a big double tick!
Other standard features within the cabins for both vehicles include power steering.
WINDOWS AND MIRRORS
Vito vans are delivered with tinted windows and heated side mirrors as a standard feature.
LENGTH AND HEIGHT
The Transporter comes as two wheelbases – short and long varieties and the Vito van is available only as a long wheelbase. The Vito at its tallest is 1910mm, which is beneficial for parking in multi-storey carparks, whereas the Transporter is 1990mm in height and makes it very tight for visiting shopping centres.
The Transporter’s four-cylinder 2.0 litre diesel engine is available as a 340 Nm or 450 Nm. The 340 Nm is an inline turbocharged direct injection and 450 Nm is an inline bi-turbo direct injection diesel. It is a seven-speed automatic with an 80 litre fuel tank, whereas the fuel tank is 70 litre.
The two options for the Vito are a 1.6 litre or 2.1 litre diesel engine. The large diesel engine packs a punch and ensures it is a soothing machine to drive.
Both Vito 116 and 119 models come with nine-speed torque-converter automatic transmissions, which has two more gears than its predecessor, and rear-wheel drive powered by 2.0 litre turbodiesels.
Fuel consumption is 6.9 to 8.8 litres per 100km for the Transporter, and for the Vito 116 it averages 6.4 litres per 100km, and the Vito 119 sits at 6.6 litres per 100km.
Both vans are stacked with standard safety features such as driver and passenger air bags, rear view cameras, hill-hold assist, three-point seatbelts, electronic stabilisation programme, crosswind assist, automatic windscreen wipers, blind spot monitoring and anti-lock braking system – to name a few. One feature that strikes a chord is the driver fatigue detector that is present in both vehicles. This component alerts the driver of any unusual behaviour whilst driving via audible and visual queues.
The front and rear sensors with park assist and active distance assist are sought after standard features in the Vito. Roll over mitigation and roll movement intervention, are both in place to detect rollover tendencies during low or high speed manoeuvres, and safety features that you do not find in other vans. Another for the Vito is the enhanced understeer control, which helps to stabilise the vehicle in the event high understeer.
Vito also has a QR Code rescue sticker located on both B-pillars and opens up a digital rescue card to show the location of vital vehicle components such as fuel tanks, air bags and electrical cables. Mercedes-Benz is the first manufacturer to equip all new vans as a standard with a rescue sticker. Game changer!
Both vehicles perform well and responsive when out and about on the road, with Vito having the edge over the Transporter in being quieter and more comfortable. Bumps and vibrations are slightly more noticeable in the Transporter, as well as noise levels once on a highway.
Vito comes with rear-wheel drive rather than front-wheel drive, which means there are added advantages such as enhanced acceleration, performance in dry conditions, greater traction and reduction of torque steer. Expect more power!
There is no denying that the Vito is a sizzling van in the looks department, but the Transporter also catches the eye with its nod to yesteryears and its retro feel. The aesthetic appeal comes down to personal taste, style and desired finish.
Remote locking and an immobiliser comes standard with the Vito for security.
The Vito requires a service once every 25,000kms or two years, whichever is sooner. In comparison to the Transporter which recommends a service every 15,000kms or 12 months.
In conclusion, these two cvans are premium products from reputable brands. Both hold their value well when it comes to re-sell. The Transporter has a lineage that can be traced back to the Kombi which was first launched in 1950 and since then the German manufacturer has learnt a thing or two about mastering a van. Fitting with the Mercedes-Benz brand, the Vito is finished with style and offers a quality driving experience.
Some words from a few customers:
“A great work horse with five-star luxury.” – Mick (Vito)
“Reliability plus.” – Morten (Vito)
“The best thing about the Vito is its comfort.” – Shirl (Vito)
“Our van has not skipped a beat.” – Elizabeth (Transporter)
“I drove 467km and the tank is still above half way.” – Judy (Transporter)
“My Vito has clocked 350,000km. I drive it everywhere.” – Ian (Vito)
“It’s doing everything I want my van to do.” – Johnny (Transporter)