Electrical Contracting News (ECN) October 2016 - Page 39

VAN REVIEW DON’T VETO THE VITO Russell Drury puts Mercedes-Benz’s mid-size van, the Vito, through its paces. A s a journalist the occasions when I find myself in need of a van are somewhat minimal (I am either shackled to my desk or zipping about in my trusty hatchback chasing the latest news for ECN’s dedicated readers). But with a new house purchased and a move date confirmed, a perfect opportunity to test one out presented itself. The van I chose for the job was the Mercedes-Benz Vito. Opting for the Crew version (it is also available as a Panel van), it proved a very able assistant as I spent a few days shuttling my belongings across south Cambridgeshire, and I had begun to rely on it by the end of the week and was sad to lose it. Design It is difficult to get too carried away with the aesthetics of a van – it is designed for practicality after all – but as vans have evolved from the ‘box on wheels’ shape over the years it’s safe to say Mercedes- Benz has been up there among the leaders as far as styling is concerned. The Vito boasts a sleek profile, well enhanced by the wing shaped headlights that sit either side of a striking radiator grille – bearing the famous three pointed star – which gives it a powerful presence on the road. Access to the load area can be gained via sliding doors on either side and a choice of hinged doors or a tailgate option at the back. Triangular windows are a signature feature of the Vito. Known as van windows, they are found at the bottom ends of the left and right A-pillars. Equally typical are the large exterior mirrors affording an excellent field of vision. Both mirrors have an additional, integral wideangle section which can be beneficial when changing lanes or manoeuvring. Interior The high cab position gives the driver a clear view of the road and there is plenty of headroom for taller drivers. The angle and height of the three-spoke steering wheel are adjustable either as standard or as special equipment depending on the model. 39 39-40 Van Review.indd 39 12/09/2016 12:37