New Mercedes 2019 V-Class facelift arrives with new engines and improved tech
This is the facelifted Mercedes V-Class, which aims to build on record sales for the people carrier in 2018 by updating the cabin technology and offering more refined and more efficient diesel engines.
The exterior tweaks for the model are typical facelift fare, with no changes to the metal panels but a revised front-end look, thanks to a new bumper that incorporates air inlets to look more aggressive, and a wider radiator grille. There are also four new colours in the range, and a similar number of fresh alloy wheel designs ranging in size from 17 inches up to 19 inches.
There are bigger changes in the cabin, where the V-Class gets at least some of the revisions that we’ve seen on the recently updated C-Class. There’s a new dashboard, with ‘turbine’ air vents, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen and at least the option of the a digital instrument panel.
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Other new kit includes semi-autonomous braking assistance, which will bring the car to a stop if it senses the driver isn’t responding to an imminent collision, and high-beam assist, which deactivates some LEDs in the main beam to avoid blinding oncoming road users.
A flexible seating configuration will continue to be a strong point of the V-Class. By default it’ll be offered with three rows with six seats, but seven-seat and eight-seat layouts will be available across the three different lengths of vehicle.
In addition to this functionality, Mercedes now offers the possibility of ‘luxury seats’ in the second row. These are like the items in the S-Class, so they are able to recline fully as well as offering back massage and ventilation. Auto Express understands this feature will be available shortly after launch, and that Merc UK may choose to offer it as a standalone model instead of as an option.
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British customers are being denied the four-wheel-drive variants on offer in mainland Europe - and we’re also restricted to Agility Control selectable damping, instead of the comfort and sports set-ups available elsewhere.
However, UK models do get the most significant overall change to the vehicle, because the V moves from the ageing OM651 series of motors to Merc’s latest OM654 units. There’s also a new gearbox across the range, as the old seven-speed transmission is replaced by a nine-speed automatic.
The OM 654 2.0-litre, four-cylinder powerplant, which is around 17 per cent lighter than the OM 651, is offered in a couple of states of tune. The V 250 d has 188bhp and 440Nm of torque - enough for a 0-62mph time of 9.5 seconds and a top speed of 127mph. The more potent V 300 d has 236bhp and 500Nm of torque, although it can deliver 30Nm of ‘overtorque’ beyond this figure for short periods; it can manage the 0-62mph dash in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 137mph.
Fuel consumption figures will vary depending on which engine tune, length of vehicle and wheel size you choose, but Mercedes says two-wheel-drive V-Classes should return between 44.8mpg and 47.8mpg, equivalent to CO2 emissions from 165g/km to 154g/km. The company claims that the new V 250 d offers a gain in fuel economy of around 13 per cent over the outgoing model.
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The new V-Class is due on sale in the UK by the end of February, with first deliveries of the Spanish-built vehicle due in June. The current trim levels will be retained, so the car will be offered in Sport and AMG Line editions.
There’s no word yet on pricing, but with the existing V 220 d not being directly replaced in the short term at least, there could be a temporary step up in the entry point to the V-Class range. Expect a modest increase over the price of the current V 250 d, with a starting figure of around £54,000.
Many of the V-Class’s revisions, including the new transmission and engine options, will make it across to the Marco Polo campervan - but they’re unlikely to become available until the second half of 2019.
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