Readers could be forgiven for wondering why we are testing this vehicle – after all, with its ‘Sport’ moniker, it isn’t exactly your average fleet fare.
But the requirements of firms which make up Great Britain plc are many and varied and we can think of several instances where the Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport would fit in nicely.
Some van fleets belong to top end firms – say media groups or upmarket estate agencies – which demand vehicles that not only perform well but look good, too. Turn up at a client’s with this van, accompanied by its three-pointed star, and it will speak volumes about the firm it represents.
Another use for the Sport model was put forward a couple of years back by a van fleet expert we were interviewing. He suggested having one Sport model among the other ‘cooking’ variants and launching a competition each month to see which driver used the least fuel. Results would be gleaned from data offered by a telematics system. The winner would then get to drive the Sport model the following month.
Apparently where such a ploy has been used, fuel usage plummets suddenly.
Then, of course, with a second row of seats and still 3.6 cubic metres of cargo volume to spare, this van is ideal for collecting company executives from the airport and transferring them to their various destinations. The shiny alloys, smart black paintwork, darkened windows and chrome sidebars will impress even the most critical of bosses.
And to cap it all, despite having rear seats and windows, this vehicle is still classed as a van, so VAT can be recovered.
Needless to say with any Mercedes-Benz product, the Vito oozes quality from every pore, after its major facelift at the back end of 2014.
It isn’t exactly a bargain basement price at £27,980 ex-VAT but you do get an awful lot of bangs for your bucks.
Safety systems on board above the usual ABS brakes and Adaptive ESP include crosswind assist, attention assist, hill start assist, tyre pressure monitoring, headlight assist, rescue assist and adaptive brake lights.
In the cab, both front seats are the ‘comfort’ variety with armrests and snazzy cloth trim, while there’s semi-automatic air-con and an infotainment system that does just about everything but make the tea!
Outside, our van boasted a dazzling black metallic paint job which is standard, along with colour-coded bumpers, chrome sidebars, privacy glass and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Under the bonnet goes a 2.2-litre turbodiesel powerplant offering a meaty 163bhp and 280lb-ft of torque. Despite all that power, the Vito is still slated to return 46.3mpg on the combined cycle.
The Vito Sport is a stunning commercial vehicle which will delight any driver. It’s classy looking, smooth and fast yet still returns reasonable fuel economy figures.