A LUXURY SMALL VAN FROM MERCEDES-BENZ? INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW T-CLASS
This is one of those cars that immediately looks like a great idea, a new car in a segment that has a few mainstay competitors, and it truly is. The only downside, if you’re a longroof fan, is that these are the very cars that are making the estates a dying breed. It’s no one’s fault really because they offer up what people want, practicality while looking good. This all-new Mercedes Benz T-Class is set to compete with the likes of the Volkswagen Caddy, Peugeot Partner, Opel Combo and Ford Transit, among others. This is a Mercedes-Benz though, and that usually means the quality is higher than what competitors offer and that there’s some great tech features on board too. With the benefit of space for luggage or sports gear, this Mercedes-Benz T-Class is going to be a hit with small families with active lifestyles. Although small is relative, there’s space for three child seats on that rear bench seat…
The Mercedes Benz T-Class looks great from all angles, and we quite like that the Mercedes-Benz design architecture is as strong in a compact van as it is in a new C-Class. It’s in the typical small van shape, and to make it safe to enter and exit the car from anywhere, there’s electronically controlled sliding doors on both sides of the car, so passengers can be dropped safely on the curb no matter which side the curb happens to be. When things are especially narrow, entry can even happen via the rear. Up front we see a standard chrome-plated radiator grille and colour-coded outside mirror covers, door handles and bumper. We also find door sill panels with Mercedes-Benz lettering and in the pics you see the optional 17-inch light-alloy wheels, although we reckon there will be other wheel options available because 17s are so last decade, the new standard should be at least 18-inch, in our expert SXdrv opinion. Especially when the planned long-wheel base 7-seater arrives, 17-inch wheels will make it look like it skipped leg day. As the pics show, and in typical Mercedes-Benz fashion, we also predict a new, large range of accessories for the T-Class. The German automaker is well-known for its extensive option lists that can see the price tag rise way above the ‘base’ retail price. Which in this case is pegged to come in under R600 000, or €30 000.
Inside the all-new Mercedes-Benz T-Class there’s all manner of storage compartments and modular, configurable seating that allows for different setups to accommodate varying amounts of people, luggage and equipment, not forgetting man’s best friend when the need arises. Multifunction is the name of the T-Class game. We also find the expected MBUX infotainment system headed up by a 7-inch screen (a 5.5-incher sits ahead of the driver in the cluster too), keyless entry and drive, ambient lighting, seven airbags, numerous drive-assistance systems and some very good seats with ARTICO man-made leather/MICROCUT seat upholstery. Practical folding tables are installed on the back of the front seat backrests for things like smartphones, tablets or children's toys. “With the new T-Class we are extending our portfolio with a true premium small van that combines roominess and functionality with style and comfort like no other vehicle in this segment, the T-Class is perfect for everyone who needs plenty of space – from active families to sports enthusiasts. With it, we are steadily pursuing our strategic course of growth in the premium segments.” says Mathias Geisen, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Powering the Mercedes-Benz T-Class is a choice of two engines, both 4-cylinder setups, one being petrol and one being diesel. There’s a T160 with 75 kW (102 hp) and 20 Nm, a T180 that has 96 kW (1312 kW) and 240 Nm of torque. The diesels are the same size with a T160d that has 70 kW (90 hp) available with torque at 260 Nm, and the larger T180d comes in at 85kW (116 hp) with a typical diesel torque output of a healthy 270 Nm. This last T180d features an overpower and overtorque function that sees power increase to 89 kW of power with 295 Nm of torque in short bursts. Alongside the 6-speed manual transmission, the two diesel models and the more powerful of the petrol models are also available with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT).
Here at SXdrv we're hoping that in true Mercedes-Benz fashion, there will eventually be some sort of power upgrades or AMG-line styling available for the new T-Class. There's a massive world of aftermarket tuning dedicated to some of the small van's competitors complete with engine swaps, like Golf R-powered VW Caddys, so a Mercedes-Benz addition to this would be absolutely epic.
Take a look at the YouTube video about the all-new Mercedes-Benz T-Class that was launched to the world digitally, below: Digital World Premiere of the New Mercedes-Benz T-Class | Mercedes-Benz.
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