Customers of private hire firm Arnald Cars are now travelling to and from airports aboard one of Britain’s first Mercedes-Benz New Vito Tourers.
The family-owned company is based in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and derives much of its income from London Luton Airport transfers.
The latest addition to its fleet seats eight passengers in addition to the driver, and is also proving a hit with organisers of corporate events and private functions.
Supplied by Dealer Hughes of Aylesbury, Arnald Cars’ new flagship is an Extra-long 119 BlueTEC.
The vehicle is finished in metallic brilliant silver while its Select specification includes colour-coded bumpers and 16-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, to which the customer added optional roof rails and fog lamps.
Inside, meanwhile, Select models feature comfort seating, Tempmatic air conditioning, and a carpeted passenger compartment, as well as a lighting package, the automatic Headlamp Assist function and a rain sensor which controls windscreen wiper frequency. Other optional extras ordered by Arnald Cars include a Parking Package and electric sliding doors.
The New Vito’s 2.1-litre engine – the first low-emission Euro 6 unit in the mid-sized van class – produces a 190hp.
Yet, thanks to a series of fuel-saving enhancements including alternator management, improved underbody aerodynamics and the Eco start/stop function, also offers economy of up to 47.1mpg in the combined cycle.
Also fitted as standard is a 7G-Tronic Plus transmission, the world’s only automatic gearbox for vans with a torque converter and seven gears.
Arnald Cars runs nine vehicles, including minibuses and limousines used for weddings, and also undertakes regular transfers for customers flying in and out of several other airports in the South-East and Midlands.
The company was founded five years ago by husband-and-wife team Colin and Teresa Hall, who stood down their previous, six-seat Mercedes-Benz Vito Traveliner to make room for the new arrival.
“That vehicle covered some 250,000 miles over the last three years and was impressively reliable and robust,” said Colin Hall. “But the New Vito represents a definite step up.
“Its extra seating allows us to carry up to four couples at one time, which means we can now accept bookings we might previously have had to turn down.”
New Vito was launched at the 2015 Commercial Vehicle Show in April, and comes in three lengths and at three gross weights, and is also available as a panel van or crew van with second row of seats.