v class questions

Hi,
Tryed sending this earlier but did not seem to get through so will have another go.
Recently hired a Mercedes mpv for a holiday in Cornwall. Seemed like a
good all rounder so considering purchasing one.
So, a couple of questions. The hire vehicle was an 8 seat Vito. Are all the v class models based on this arrangement and are they all the same size?
When were they introduced and any major changes in certain years?
Finally, which engine options are most reliable and long lasting?
Also, is there anything I should be aware of before going shopping?
Thanks
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Regards

Keith Barrett
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You did not say if new or used.
I think it is the Viano now:
http://www2.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/unitedkingdom/mpc/mpc_unitedkingdom_website/en/home_mpc/passenger_cars/home/products/new_cars/viano_new0/overview.html
It may be you want it used. If I am not mistaken the Viano is a big improvement.
A popular engine across Merc and, indeed, other brands, is the 2.2 diesel.
DAS
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The first Mercedes Vito was launched around 1997, IIRC. Vito was the name of the commercial version, which was available with or without windows in the rear and two different rear door designs. MB also sold a passenger car version of this body, called the V-Class. These cars have front wheel drive, and they do not have a good reputation. I drove some Vitos and some V-Classes at various opportunities and I was not at all amazed. I would always have chosen a VW Bus T4 over the Vito/V-Class.
In 2003 the first generation Vito was replaced by the all-new Vito. They changed the name for the passenger car version, which is now called Viano. The body is available in two different wheelbases. Now the car features inline mounted engines and rear wheel drive like Mercedes uses to do it in their sedans. According to test reviews I read, the new Vito/Viano behaves much more like a passenger car than the old one. Handling and safety has improved siginficantly. OTOH the new Vito/Viano has become quite expensive and it is longer without offering more space. If you are in the shop for a new Vito, maybe the new VW Bus T5 would also be worth a look. The best engine for a new Vito/Viano would probably be the 2,7 litre CDI.
Frank
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Citroen - Made in Trance
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Frank Kemper wrote:

The bad reputation was related to the engine but not any more since the CDI engine was introduced.
Reg: Harri
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Lots of shortcomings remainded: the poor finish of the interior, the cramped seat position, the uncomfortable suspension. The car feels like a truck, even with the strong CDI engine.
Frank
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