Sprint Review: Mercedes-Benz V250d Avantgarde

Do you need a really, really fancy bus to transport some VIP’s? I may have the solution to your problems.



You need to know: I’ve tested this exact model before, almost exactly two years ago. Back then it was metallic brown with brown leather interior but this V250d Avantgarde pitched up in the most sinister of colour combinations: black on black. For a luxury van, I thought it looked quite stylish and intimidating.

Most observers and passengers agreed.  

Formerly known as a Vito, Mercedes renamed this vehicle because they moved it from commercial to passenger showrooms. All “V-Classes” are powered by the same 2.1L turbo-diesel engine which has its wick turned up to match the clout of your wallet: V200d 100kW and 330Nm, V220d 120kW and 380Nm or this V250d at 140kW / 440Nm.

More info: All models have a generous 70L tank, at least six airbags and a full raft of vehicle stability aids. Auto lights, central locking and alloy wheels are also included but you’ll have to pay up (or get this dear model) to receive LED lighting, fancy glass sunroofs, front and rear climate control or swivelling furniture.

What else? Best speak to your local Mercedes agency about the finer details… and a test-drive, where you’ll quickly discover that they’ve also engineered a lot of finesse into their minibus. Our rather fresh test car had comparatively lethargic pedal feedback and – as can be expected – a wonderfully comfortable ride.

Watch out for: I had to visit my nearest dealership because I couldn’t find the bonnet (hood) release; and the owner’s manual was for a left-hand-drive vehicle. Performance isn’t that amazing; our best 0-100km/h time was almost two seconds off the maker’s claim, while – just like two years ago – I heard one or two cabin rattles.

All of this would be excusable if it cost 700 grand but you don’t even get a base V200d for that. Oh no, that’s 915k. Most other models are at least a million bucks while this one will set you back 1,3 million. Yes, the warranty is fantastic, but for that price I’d rather buy a hardy Hyundai H-1 AND the exquisite Kia Grand Sedona.

Why you want one: That’s because I tend to shuttle around noisy, unruly and messy people. The V250d Avantgarde is meant for a completely different clientele, including fans of modern Mercedes’ and/or anyone looking for the ultimate luxury bus. It’s fairly quiet, reasonably frugal and exceptionally luxurious.


FULL SPECLIST

Engine: 2.1L i-4 turbo-diesel
Transmission: 7-speed Automatic, RWD
Max. Power: 140kW
Max. Torque: 440Nm
Avg. cons.: Approx. 9.5L/100km (claimed 6.5)
0-100km/h: 11.27 seconds (claimed 9.6)
Top Speed: (claimed 206km/h)
List Price: R 1,292,474.00

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