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Van drivers rejoice!

Well, should I say MPV drivers. The sort of drivers who have no idea of the concept of a 'condom' and therefore have to carry a 5-a-side footie team with them. These drivers have had a pretty miserable time when it comes to choices of motors; the Hyundai i800 is about the best you can manage, fully armed with a weedy 2.5L diesel engine. Put simply, if you are a petrolhead, keep your chap to yourself or you'll be doing B-road blasts in a tank.

Blimey, that's actually not bad at all...
Well, that is just fact isn't it? Not only are you sacrificed on dynamics, you also seem to receive the wrong end of quality too. This is a result of vans being turned into MPV's, but chuck away the seats and extra cow lining and you are still left with materials that are meant to be durable for a Man With Tools. Hard plastics, cloth that won't get worn and of course, few electronic toys so there is less to go wrong.

Now many people would argue that those who enjoy having children deserve the same amount of luxury as a businessman in a 5-series. Mercedes seem to agree with that, because they have just pulled the covers off for their new van-cum-MPV: the rather handsome V-Class. Welcome, everybody, to the S-Class of vans.

Yes, this really is inside a VAN.
OK, it's not like this will be a rocket; I do hear you moaning petrolheads as it does indeed still look like a van. But dynamics aren't what impresses about this machine. Saying that, they've made the front end look almost (dare I say it for a van) pretty. Striking at the very least.
So if it still looks and performs like a box, what makes this deserve the claim that it will revolutionise the van sector? Well my fellow good reader, do care to take a step inside.

Them high quality materials. That massive central screen. That multi-function steering wheel. So much quality, everywhere you look. The revolution arrives as soon as you step in; this is arguably the first van ever to have an elite car grade interior. Just look at the multi-configuration ventilated leather seats and listen to the surround sound stereo and you will be tricked to think you're in an E-Class on stilts. Except it's not a trick, it is pretty much just that give or take.

Surfers look in amazement at a van that's actually nice.
For example, the engines available aren't rattly diesels only preserved for vans - oh no. You get the finest diesel in the Merc range; the iconic 2.1L diesel. A diesel so smooth, it sits happily in the executive E-Class. You can have it in 136bhp, 163bhp and, in the case of the V250, 190bhp guises. You can also spec the 7 speed G-tronic auto box on the lower powered models, but is a standard feature on the V250. Sadly, a V63 AMG hasn't been mentioned just yet, and this is something that needs to be fixed with immediate effect.

Mercedes hasn't pulled back in picking out of the S-Class goody box. Therefore, you get proximity cruise control, lane keeping assist, adaptive highbeam assist, blind spot assist and collision prevention assist. The V-Class is packed with enough computing power to drive itself. Probably.

So take all that in, and suddenly you'll start to appreciate the V-Class a hell of a lot more. Mercedes has reached out to parents drowned in children and offered them a slice of the executive cake. Have a massive pat on the back, Merc.

Van drivers rejoice! Van drivers rejoice! Reviewed by Jack Cooper on February 01, 2014 Rating: 5

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