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Old 8th January 2019, 19:00   #1
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Default Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

Mercedes-Benz is set to launch the V-Class in India on January 24, 2019. The premium MPV is likely to be imported as a completely built unit (CBU).

Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019-mercedesbenz-vclass.jpg

In the international market, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class is offered in three configurations - the standard length of the vehicle is 4,895 mm, the long version measures 5,140 mm, while the extra long version has an overall length of 5,370 mm. Which of these will be available in India remains to be seen.

In terms of styling, the V-Class gets a typical Mercedes grille up front with sweptback headlamps on either side and LED tail lamps at the rear. It comes with multiple seating configurations with sliding doors at the rear. The MPV has a dashboard with a centrally mounted touchscreen infotainment system flanked by circular AC vents. It has a 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel and a twin-dial instrument cluster.

In India, the V-Class is expected to be offered with a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that is available on the E-Class All-Terrain. It makes 192 BHP @ 3,800 rpm and 400 Nm @ 1,600-2,800 rpm.

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Old 8th January 2019, 20:47   #2
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

CBU means it will definitely be very high price and we as a market don't really appreciate vans. Maybe the Innova fan who does want a three point star and afford 4x the price would buy it. The comparative US prices suggest this would be priced around 80 lakh INR. Or maybe the hotels sector would buy this - however, they can already import it under business use?
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Old 8th January 2019, 21:49   #3
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

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Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
CBU means it will definitely be very high price and we as a market don't really appreciate vans. Maybe the Innova fan who does want a three point star and afford 4x the price would buy it. The comparative US prices suggest this would be priced around 80 lakh INR. Or maybe the hotels sector would buy this - however, they can already import it under business use?
Haha, another typical 'limited units' import by Mercedes. Likely to go down as the R-class that they had launched earlier. Few sales and then people will forget it or not recognize it. Although the R-Class was discontinued globally and hence in India, it wasn't exactly on the 'desired' list of many buyers
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Old 8th January 2019, 21:57   #4
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

We do have a void of comfortable, safe vans which can take people and their luggage, beyond the be-all Innova which I feel (for lack of choice) is rated way beyond its league
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Old 8th January 2019, 22:25   #5
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

I have driven the previous model as a rental. I don't remember anything spectacular about the drive. But remember it was a guzzler. Maybe I was comparing with drinking habits of a sedan.

Time for Toyota to get their Alphard.
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Old 8th January 2019, 23:12   #6
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

I don't see any reason why Mercedes would want to bring this to India. It will just dilute the brand further considering how our market treats Vans.

Quoting a famous Youtuber, 'Ye company ne aise market mein dukan lagayi hai jahan koi aata hi nahi'.

(This company has set up shop in a market where no one comes)

This line seems apt for this this move by Mercedes Benz

Cheers!
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Old 9th January 2019, 00:24   #7
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

A good review by Doug DeMuro on the quirks and features of this van. Until I watched this review I did not realize that it has so many annoying features. This seems to be designed as a commercial cargo van first. Then fitted with seats and launched as a commercial passenger hauler than a family van.
Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna or Alphard seem more convincing.

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Old 9th January 2019, 01:29   #8
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

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Originally Posted by BusyBoyKK View Post
A good review by Doug DeMuro on the quirks and features of this van. Until I watched this review I did not realize that it has so many annoying features.
We are not getting that surely, it will be more like this.

https://www.mercedes-benz.co.uk/pass...v/explore.html




I have a felling that this will do better then usual CBU launches we see from MB India, there is definitely a need for luxurious 6/ 7 seater. It might make sense for someone who travels on highways with a chauffeur with staff/ Security, like Politicians may find it as a good alternative to the mighty Land Cruiser or the basic Innova beyond which there is nothing at all. Same goes for HNI, Industrialists and businessman and not to forget Hotels, Airports. This won't be something for an average Joe surely.


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Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
The comparative US prices suggest this would be priced around 80 lakh INR. Or maybe the hotels sector would buy this - however, they can already import it under business use?
I am not sure under which category will MB India import this, as a commercial Bus or a Car. In case they import as a commercial bus (7 Seater version) then they can definitely price it lower given 25 % Custom duty but I don't know how many seats are minimum to qualify as a Bus. But even if they import under Car, given the smaller engine, it will be taxed under 60 % duty. If they price around 65-70 Lac, I can see numbers. Even at 75 lac for a fully loaded..hmm, will wait to see the final product. There used to be EPCG scheme to Import cars and other stuff for qualifying Hotels but most prefer the models that are sold here given the maintenance issues.

Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019-whatsapp-image-20190109-1.33.44-am.jpeg

Last edited by Turbanator : 9th January 2019 at 01:57.
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Old 9th January 2019, 06:25   #9
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

I think they themselves know it's not going to do well here. However, with no imminent launches anytime soon by the auto major this i think is one marketing tactic to stay in the news. I sympathize with the one odd mis informed customer who ends up buying this. Even in case of a minor crash it will spend more time in the service center waiting for spares than with the customer.

Have seen these vans in Bangkok etc but i don't think a cost sensitive market like India will really appreciate them.

Last edited by bharatbits : 9th January 2019 at 06:27.
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Old 9th January 2019, 06:56   #10
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

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Originally Posted by porsche_guy View Post
I don't see any reason why Mercedes would want to bring this to India. It will just dilute the brand further considering how our market treats Vans.
I donít think so. Brand dilution happens if they sell it really cheap and compete with the smaller brands, which wonít happen anyway.

This can be a preferred addition to luxury hotel fleets.
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Old 9th January 2019, 09:50   #11
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
I donít think so. Brand dilution happens if they sell it really cheap and compete with the smaller brands, which wonít happen anyway.
+1

You must have seen the many trucks here in Kerala running with a BIG 3 pointed star on the front grille instead of the BharatBenz logo. I really like it when it comes around the corner. A tasteful mod really.

I don't think it affects the brand at all when the product is premium with stellar quality, no matter the segment it operates in.
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Old 9th January 2019, 09:58   #12
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

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Originally Posted by GeeTee TSI View Post
We do have a void of comfortable, safe vans which can take people and their luggage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
I have a felling that this will do better then usual CBU launches we see from MB India
Bingo .

I think there is a definite market for a luxury van in India, at double or triple the price of an Innova. I know several Mercedes, BMW & Audi owners who use the humble Innova for their commute to work, their sites (construction, factories, docks) or their luxurious 6-crore-rupee farmhouses. Nothing beats the comfort + practicality of a captain seat Innova Crysta. These guys would easily pay 50 - 80 lakhs for a proper luxury MPV, but there are no viable options for them.

I feel Mercedes should bring this in via CKD. Only then will it have real potential in the market. Else, I'm afraid it'll fail more because of the CBU price than the product. Toyota also has a ready range of luxury vans they can launch here, but the company is so SLOW that we'll probably see a Tesla showroom in India before we do a luxurious Toyota MPV.
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Old 9th January 2019, 18:08   #13
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

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Originally Posted by msdivy View Post
Time for Toyota to get their Alphard.
Looking at the way Toyota prices its CBU products, i won't be surprised if Alphard costs upto 40-50% more than the V class! Have been hearing about Alphard getting launched since the past 1 year, if i recollect it was shown at the 2018 Auto Expo as well.
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Old 9th January 2019, 20:25   #14
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I think we will be getting this same model as in the video, but with the panoramic sunroof and beige interior.

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Old 10th January 2019, 05:00   #15
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Default Re: Mercedes-Benz V-Class to be launched on January 24, 2019

I travel in a Mercedes Valente (Same as the V Class shown here) almost twice every week for short distances. I believe we have the medium wheel base model. The long wheel base adds more luggage space. The company that I work for replaced the aging Toyota Hiace Minibus to these fancy vans for the purpose of inter office travel and whenever high profile guests visit. To be honest, I think they updated the fleet for the latter reason. The Toyota vans were just fine.

This Mercedes is definitely a cut above the Toyota. Way more refined, interior appointments are superior (Plastics, etc), better NVH and the passenger seats are a bit wider. Heck; this is the first van I've seen with automated parking (I have not seen it in operation), Driver Fatigue Warning (the usual coffee cup), Auto Start Stop, Collision Prevention Assist, Crosswind Assist, Dual Zone Aircon, Touch Screen Audio and the works. The Valente sold in New Zealand comes with VW GTI themed seat fabric too.

I must say that the Mercedes 2143cc, OM651DE 22LA engine is in a different league when it comes to refinement levels.

Also; as is expected from a Mercedes, this van is rated at 5 Star ANCAP.

After speaking to the drivers of these vans, they hate it. Their complaints are the vague steering and sponge brakes. I have experienced the latter and it is bad. The biggest complaint is capacity. While the Toyota could manage 12 in comfort, this Mercedes can take only 7 which means twice the number of trips needed over the Toyota. You are not saving much on gas even after you have the Start Stop go about its business, which in my view is actually annoying. It is nowhere as refined (being a diesel) as the system in Toyota's petrol hybrid systems. I must add that the developed world can get picky about some things. As expected, the stalks are the other way round, typical to European cars. One driver was so annoyed by it and said that Mercedes should not be allowed to even sell a car if they cannot set this right.

Comfort wise, you cannot fault either. The Mercedes ferries you in a quiet and better appointed cabin. Rides better too. The Toyota 3l engine can get pretty loud and intrusive. Comfort is alright for short or long hauls. The Hiace is pretty much all you see when it comes to budget camper vans. It is bomb proof too.

To own this van as a personal ride maybe a bit much. For one, it is big. It is bigger in every way than a Toyota Innova. I am also not a big fan of forward facing seats (The Toyota has all seats facing the direction of travel) which the Valente has. This could probably be addressed by Mercedes quite easily.

I must add that Mercedes have screwed up some very basic controls you'd expect to be in place, or, work in a certain way. I prefer to sit in the front passenger seat. One day, when I got in, the back rest was not adjusted properly and the seat was too close to the dashboard. I hit the electronic buttons to adjust the seat. None of them worked. They were dummy. When I tried to look for the seat rail lever, it was not present at the usual place. To slide the seat and recline the backrest, there were two large dials on the side of the seat. It took over a minute to figure out how to adjust the seat!

The YouTube video posted above shows a higher specification model to the one sold in NZ. The center console is a lot more premium and the digital displays are color, which isn't the case in the Valente.

In the New Zealand market, there is no price difference between the Mercedes and the Toyota. While the Mercedes gives you car like driver ergonomics and passenger comfort, the Toyota aces it for carrying capacity. Do you really care for a 3 pointed star up front, in a van? Personally; I do not.

To sum things up, the Mercedes looks sharp for a van.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 10th January 2019 at 05:21.
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