Meet the Mercedes-Benz of people-movers. It's called the V-Class and seats up to eight people in comfort.
The V-Class takes over from the low-profile Viano and is aimed at businesses, VIPs and hotels. Most will be used as fancy transfer vehicles but some will be bought as luxury people-movers, like a Honda Odyssey but with extra fruit and a Benz badge on the nose.
Mercedes-Benz Australia will launch the V-Class in mid-July and there will be just one model, the V250, at $85,500.
It is based on the Vito commercial van and shares many panels with the load hauler. However, it is fitted out like a Mercedes passenger car.
Propulsion comes via a 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel straight from the passenger car range, which makes a decent 140kW/440Nm.
Mercedes-Benz claims it does the 0-100km/h sprint in 9.1 seconds - but not with eight on board.
An overboost function delivers an extra 10kW and 40Nm during acceleration in most instances. Mercedes-Benz claims it does the 0-100km/h sprint in 9.1 seconds - but not with eight on board.
The sole transmission is a seven-speed automatic and the official fuel consumption figure is just 6.3L/100km. The V-Class has electric sliding doors on both sides., while the tailgate opens and closes at the touch of a button and also features a glass panel that can be opened independently.
It has the latest lighting technology and is the only vehicle in its class with LED lights front and rear.
Standard safety gear includes radar, camera and ultrasound technology enabling adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, lane keeping assist and automated emergency braking. The V-Class can also park itself with limited input from the driver.
The interior looks just like a high-end Mercedes passenger car with lots of real leather (not the brand's synthetic Artico leather) and woodgrain and there is a large touchscreen in the dashboard.
The V-Class can start to cool or heat the interior before anyone gets in, responding to the key fob.
Engineers have worked hard on noise insulation and Mercedes says interior noise has been halved compared to the previous generation.
The V-Class also has a nifty public address setup — a microphone in the forward control panel transmits comments from the driver and front passenger to speakers in the back.