If you old enough to remember the origins of the Mercedes-Benz Viano you’ll understand the all-important 3.0V6 CDI model. Back in the day, 150kW was more than plenty for a van. It made the V6 excellent candidate for the “get out of my way” double flash in the right lane with 440Nm and more mid-range punch than a decently trained boxer. Fast forward to the present day, the V300d aims to return this feeling to the many families and through no fault of its own, tender-entrepreneurs that eat the backwards-facing seats and a mobile business class lounge travel up.
The key change to the V300d is the replacement of the powerplant, with the brilliant but aged 2.1litre Turbodiesel being swapped out for the more modern 2.0Litre Turbodiesel from the E-Class. Offering 176Kw and 500Nm the 2.1Ton van will accelerate from 0-100 in 8.5 seconds and top out at 215Km/h. These are numbers that would scare any Kia Picanto out of the right lane in a hurry.
With seating for 8 in standard guise, the v300d comes standard with LED intelligent lighting, 19-inch alloy wheels two-zone (front and rear ) Climatronic climate control, satellite navigation, Parktronic Park Distance Control, and multi-function steering wheel. The Exclusive model gains additional creature comforts such as Distronic adaptive cruise control, 360-degree camera and a full length sliding Panoramic sunroof.
Mercedes-Benz V Class in South Africa
The V Class range consists of the Avantgarde, Avantgarde AMG Line and Exclusive trim levels with the option of V200d, V220d, V250D and the V300d range topper.
Inclusive of PremiumDrive maintenance plan that covers a contribution maintenance plan during the first five years / 100 000 km. V200d – R977 913 V220d – R1 022 382 V200d AMG Line – R1 046 177 V220d AMG Line – R1 090 646 V250d – R1 099 606 V250d AMG Line – R1 167 870 V220d Avantgarde – R1 335 144 V250d Avantgarde – R1 382 928 V220d Avantgarde AMG Line – R1 388 785 V250d Avantgarde AMG Line – R1 436 569 V300d – R1 440 203 V300d Avantgarde AMG Line – R1 515 183 V300d Exclusive – R1 645 880
Our driven review on the Mercedes-Benz B200 AMG LINE Sports Tourer
The B-class has always been somewhat of a strange offering to the market from Merc, with the first generation being a bit of a sandwich box MPV in a world of SUVs and hatchbacks. Understand even is South Africa where badge loyalty still exists, even in tough economic times, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class has always been the underdog to the smaller and more conventional hatch, even in its first iteration. Now with the new models and the new Merc ethos which is filled with MBUX based tech, line ups that are designed to drive home a more holistic vehicle which features that are lifted from more expensive models where does the updated B-Class fit?
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Sports Tourer shares the same platform as the New A-class but has an increased bulk and feels like a much larger car given the standard A-class hatchback dimensions when contrasted with that of the more MPV-like feel of the B-Class. The Driving position is higher, and Merc claims the driver sits 90mm more elevated than in the A-Class and this is felt, with the all-round visibility improving over the standard car on which it’s based. The Increases to the roofline and doorway entry space makes the B-Class easier to get in and out of in-line with the Minivan appeal. The B-class does outshine the smaller counterpart.
Internally the cabin is very much in line with the New Merc interior architecture with everything lifted directly from the A-Class, and the theme of MBUX connectivity still shines through. The options with respects to the driver information display being slightly altered for this model, and offering the opportunity of 3 screen sizes. A twin 7-inch, a 7- and 10.25-inch display or the Widescreen Twin 10.25 Display fitted to our test car, with the optional heads-up display. The MBUX optional connectivity with the “Hey Mercedes” Voice prompts proved its intuitiveness and works rather well for simple things with more complex tasks requiring a few attempts. Still, it’s all rather marvellous like MBUX is, sadly it’s an option but on well worth the extra change when spec’ing one.
The Aviation inspired vents to carry through and appear to milled singular pieces of aluminium(like) vents. The option for ambience lighting with 64 colours can be optioned and can be somewhat of irritation and so to fairly calming at other points with the lights just making traffic surfing a touch more friendly on one’s mood. The seats fitted to the test car- the optional ‘Energising Seats’ – which additional support and two-tone leather, proved very comfortable and helped soak-up the harshness of the ride. Even with our AMG spec Test car with 19” Inch wheels was impressive even on rougher roads.
The new range consists of B180 and B200 powered by the same 1.33Litre Renault sourced engine, with either 100kW and 200Nm or 120kW and 250Nm respectively. Both engines are mated to a 7-Speed DCT dual-clutch transmission and promise equal fuel consumption at 5.4/100km.
Diesel options are powered by the same 2.1Litre diesel from the Merc range, in two states of tune producing 110kW and 320Nm in the B200D, and a healthy 140kW and 400Nms mated to an 8-Speed DCT gearbox. Having sampled the B200, 1.33Litre petrol we can conclude the drive and overall dynamic is very similar to the A-Class. The engine pulls strong, and it has a bit of turbo-lag when pulling off from stop streets and robots, but once in its stride with the low max torque availability does tend to hide this well enough for most. The Dynamic Select does change up the characteristics of the drive and when in Sport almost, eliminates this issue all-together.
Steering proved too light, but again through the same system can be firmed, to the point where some real confidence in where the wheels are pointed can be had. Being a Minivan its almost pointless to attack the corners with full-on AMG aggression, but the AMG Line and the small ride height drop and larger wheels made the car rather progressive and reduce body roll very well.
The optionally available driver Assist packages with the Active brake assist, Lane Keep with Blind Sport Assist, Emergency Brake Assist systems are at this point understood to be very useful and often needed for South African roads and additional safety but sadly for us still options.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Sports Tourer’s appeal is what drives the B-class home for those it appeals to, in my view and most the A-Class counterpart will be a better car to love and live with but given the differences in lifestyle towards it’s geared. For example, fitting a child seat and pram in the boot (which fits with ease) is less easy to do with the A-Class, increased visibility for less of a claustrophobic feel in the rear, a larger boot and just a larger feeling cabin makes the B-Class shine brighter, to those it needs to. It serves better as a small family car, and this may be where it makes the most sense.
The Mercedes-Benz B-Class Sports Tourer Starts pricing at R526 900 before the all-important options list, with the diesel B220D starting at R559 100, making it almost identical to the pricing of the A-Class equivalent in all reality. Still, the slight tweaks make it a better family orientated vehicle. Spec yours here.
The endless onslaught of SUV’s for the South African Market and the equally infinite marketability of a vehicle of such a design has resulted in the Stuttgart giant Mercedes to create a kind of ‘Mini-me’ version of the GLC, dubbed the ‘B’. The GL terminology is indicative of the SUV origins and the B to indicate where it will fit into the range. Merc’s range is a bit tricky at the moment, but the GLB falls part of the target market as stablemates A class, A-class sedan and CLA. Offering an additional 10 centimetres on the B-class Platform and extending a total length of 4634mm, while providing the elevated SUV driving position that has become the typical statement of a vehicle of this class and design with a 1658m height.
The GLB offering aims to take on the VW Tiguan directly into its crosshairs with its compact design and the well put together compact Merc package that offers the option of extended versatility through the ability to spec an additional row of seating. The range will comprise of the GLB 220d and the GLB 250. Later the GLB 35 AMG will join the lineup and serve as the range-topper.
The engines are shared with other models within the range, and the tried and true motto means the GLB 220d makes use of the familiar 2.1Litre turbodiesel motor, producing a maximum output of 140kW and 400Nm paired to an 8-speed DCT automatic. These numbers are suitable for a 7.6 second 0-100 sprint time and a top speed of 217Km/h. The GLB 250 makes use of a 2.0Litre Turbo producing 165KW and 350Nm, which equate to a relatively brisk sub-7 second 0-100 and a 236Km/h top chat. In the interests of efficiency and fuel consumption cylinder deactivation and Start aim to lower consumption and emissions.
Drive is to all four corners through optionally available 4Matic which ultimately under typical drive situations and in Eco and Sport, splits power 80:20 between the axles and when in sport 70:30. In Off-road mode is the power split equally 50:50 through the Dynamic Drive Select which alters the 4Matic and characteristics and allows the ABS-system to assist with low traction situations.
Internally the GLB brings out its origins through the typical New-Generation Mercedes interior roots raining clear. Aluminium vents and design trim elements, and the combination of quality materials are to be expected throughout. The options list serves as your proverbial oyster, and this way almost endless connectivity and customisation are available. The 10.25″ Display and MBUX user interface offering the option of Augmented Reality Navigation, Wireless charging, hard drive storage and bundles of optional features. The passive and active safety elements not forgotten, and encompasses DISTRONIC Active Adaptive cruise control, PARKTRONIC with Park Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Hill Assist as some highlights. LED headlamps with adaptive High beam Assist are standard throughout the range, with the option for Multibeam LED lights as an option. The key feature of the optional 3rd row of seating has been designed with passengers of up to 1.68meters.
GLB 35 AMG
The Range Topper 35AMG takes the speed and driving dynamics to another level with the 228kW 2.0litre turbo petrol powering all for wheels through 4Matic AWD, Enough to propel the sandwich like SUV to 100Km/h in 5.2seconds and on to the 250Km/h Limiter. Standard features and specifications on the AMG model are more extensive than the standard model and rides of a set of 20″ inch alloy wheels.
To someone who knows nothing about vehicles, the name ‘Sprinter’ would likely fit into the ‘sportscar’ category of their mental filing system, and as such, launching this particular Sprinter at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit makes complete sense. However, this parallel universe isn’t reality, so when one takes a look at the hard facts, a racing track really is an unlikely venue to host the launch of Mercedes-Benz’s latest iteration of their legendary commercial vehicle, the erm… Sprinter!
Lap times and clipping the apex were not on the agenda for the day, but rather hands-on demonstrations of the extensive safety features and driving aids that have now been developed specifically for the Sprinter, making use of certain sections of the track, as well as the skidpan where a slalom course was laid out.
The formalities kicked off with a novel and humorous enactment of a ‘nutty professor’ and his ravishing assistant envisioning the perfect vehicle for doing “things”. A nice twist to the usual death-by-PowerPoint presentations we are often subjected to, it gave a glimpse into the all-new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s standout features. At the end of the show, two vehicles emerged – a people carrier configured Sprinter and a freight carrier configured Sprinter.
Following this, we were then instructed to head off in groups which had already been assigned where we’d rotate through three different stations, all designed to give us an accurate representation of what the Sprinter stands for, as well as why it makes up such a significant majority share in its segment in South Africa.
Offering a complete transport and mobility solution, the Mercedes Benz Sprinter benefits from increased safety levels, improved total cost of ownership and enhanced Inkanyezi Taxi Specification.
An interesting one, that Inkanyezi derivative – set to continue its dominance of the long distance taxi market, Mercedes-Benz also hopes for it to make an entry into the everyday commuter sector having introduced three different grades with options ranging from three-point seatbelts and USB ports to air-conditioning and an electric sliding door.
By far, the most impressive set of skills in the new Sprinter’s arsenal is its array of safety features. Standard features include Cross Wind Assist and Hill Start Assist, as well as an impressive array of stability systems calibrated specifically for the Sprinter’s added weight and higher centre of gravity.
Perhaps the most impressive demonstration of this was down Kyalami’s famed mineshaft, where a series of cones were laid out and after a quick demonstration, we were then challenged to slalom between the cones as quickly and aggressively as possible. I am here writing this, so as you can imagine, all went well and the systems worked just as they were supposed to.
Visually, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has also benefitted from a makeover and as far as commercial vehicles go, it’s a rather handsome and clean looking thing. The dashboard layout has also been significantly changed and depending on how the vehicle is specced, it can even be had with a full leather steering wheel and Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX 7-inch infotainment system.
An interesting introduction to the range is the Sprinter 311 CDI which has a GVM of 3 490 kg, allowing drivers with a Code B license to drive them. In the past, only drivers with a Code C1 license could drive a Sprinter.
Mercedes-Benz has partnered up with six ISO 9001 approved bodybuilders who have to conform to strict rules, regulations and quality standards laid out by Mercedes-Benz. All 4×4 versions are now factory fitted with Mercedes-Benz’s 4Matic AWD system.
A huge focus has been placed on improving the servicing process through the Mercedes-Benz dealer network, and flexible servicing hours with servicing bays dedicated to Sprinter customers are to be introduced at selected dealers in order to reduce downtime for businesses.
Mercedes-Benz claim to have reduced the total cost of ownership by reducing fuel consumption (8.5% fuel cost saving) and reducing maintenance costs by 4.5%. Emergency and breakdown support is also included, and it was noted that while the Sprinter’s main competitors are the Iveco Daily and Volkswagen Crafter, the goal was to make improvements over the previous generation Sprinter rather than compete with other vehicles within its segment.
After a day of putting the Sprinter to the test, it was quite clear as to why it is such a key player in its segment – the product is brilliant and there’s no denying that, but Mercedes-Benz also offers unrivaled support which makes the whole ownership experience hassle-free and cost-effective.
Bring the kids along: Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door coupe on the way.
If the upcoming CLS is not sporty enough for you, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door coupe may just be what you’re looking for. Based on the E-Class chassis, this vehicle is aimed at the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Audi’s A7 model – a niche segment for an eccentric buyer. Despite bearing looks similar to that of the AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door shares more similarities with the Mercedes-Benz E Class (so we’re told). Having seen the blistering results of vehicles such as the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, one can only imagine what’s in store for the GT 4 door coupe.
At this point, all we know is the fact that the vehicle is undergoing testing “around the world”, with a few vehicles doing the rounds in specific areas. We can only imagine a unit or two running around the heat infested Upington region – an area often used for hot weather testing. In terms of engines to be offered, it’s all speculation – but judging by Merc’s push into electrification, we can expect EV technology to present itself. The recent announcement of inline 6 cylinder “53” engine variants is a telltale sign regarding where the brand is going. Publications such as Autocar have also reported on an apparent upcoming high powered 4.0 litre V8 turbocharged engine, integrated with EV systems – providing epic performance (800hp+) and electric range too. All we can do for now is wait for the official announcement at the Geneva Motor Show on the 6th of March. Tobias Moers, you have our attention…
Do you remember that one tough guy at school? Yes him. The one that had six or seven brothers and all of them were untouchable! The brothers that were tighter than industrial super glue and if one of them got into trouble, you had to deal with all of them.
Well in a modern sense, that is what has happened to the Mercedes AMG brothers. All of them are a force to be reckoned with but together, they form the vehicular equivalent of the Avengers. The latest of the Mercedes brothers to get the in-house horse power treatment is the GLC and before you say, “but hang on we know that this variant has the uber smooth V6 270K 520 NM 43 version”, you would be mistaken! Mercedes AMG has now come out with a 63 version of the GLC. Yes, the motor that sounds like Zeus coming down from Mount Olympus, has now being shoehorned into this this Midrange Mercedes SUV. Claimed figures from the 4.0 liter V8 twin turbo is quicker that your five-year-old daughter asking, “Daddy (mommy in my household) is that a Ferrari?” That’s four seconds just FYI.
The “regular” version will get the “standard” 350 KW and 650NM and the S version will get then 375KW 700NM upgrade. In this vehicle, little Hannah won’t even get to finish her sentence at 3.8 seconds. This torrent of power and torque will be send through the familiar 4Matic system, aided by a rear limited slip differential, guaranteed to make those trips to the shop VERY entertaining.
With the GLC 43 starting at R 1 070 900.00, we estimate that you won’t get much change for your R1.7M. Competition will be tough with direct opposition from the Porsche Macan Turbo, Jaguar SVR and the upcoming Zebra stripe wearing BMW X3M. With SA’s economy hitting junk status, the older brother GLE might be out of range so this will be a steal under R2M!!
The 43 series in Mercedes-AMG’s line up has proven to be a popular engine choice for those who want a little more performance than a non AMG variant can provide, but are not yearning for a fire-breathing AMG-63, we can call this the middle ground.
If you didn’t know, the middle ground provides some nice numbers, 270 kW and 520 N.m to be exact from a 3-litre V6. Power is delivered through a Nine-speed gearbox and Mercedes’ four wheel drive system. Jokes, aside, it is a great setup and Mercedes-Benz have now added the AMG-43 variant to a number of models.
The 43 series is now available for the C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, as well as the GLC and GLC Coupe, GLE and GLE Coupe and finally, the SLC Roadster.
All the 43 Series models can expect AMG sports suspension as standard in the shape of Air Body Control. They will all, bar the SLC, feature a 4MATIC system with 61% percent of the power being delivered to the rear axle. Further to this, the AMG sports braking system, AMG Dynamic Select and sports exhaust system are all fitted as standard.
The AMG-43 series is a great option for those wanting a taste of the AMG experience. As always, when we get behind the wheel of these machines, we will post a full driven review. For more latest news on cars in South Africa, visit our Latest News section.
As you may know, Mercedes and Maybach has re-joined forces to create cars of extreme luxury and customisation for a special type of customer. Over the past year they have released some exquisite vehicles. Earlier this week, Mercedes-Maybach released the G 650 Landaulet, which you can read about here, and now another model has arrived.
I would like to introduce to you the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman, a longer limousine styled S-Class. The Pullman is not a new vehicle, it has been around for 90 years but of recent times, had disappeared until now.
The Pullman is a very long vehicle. At 6.5 metres it is 125cm longer than the S-Class long wheel base, 105cm longer than a Mercedes-Maybach S600 and is 41cm longer than a Rolls Royce Phantom LWB. This is a car doused in luxury. Many features on this car would be an optional extra on a standard S-Class, but not with the Pullman. For instance, it provides features such as the PartitionWall with Electrochromatic glass, the refrigerated compartment and the centre console featuring four champagne flutes.
Power closing doors are also standard, along with power curtains, a Burmester 3D surround sound system and the panoramic roof with sky control, once again Electrochromatic. The occupants can choose to have the glass transparent or blue. Further to this and as expected, is a full rear entertainment system featuring an 18.5 inch power retracting flat screen. And if it’s not all play and you need to do business during your travels in the Pullman, stow away tables are also included.
The Pullman can also seat four occupants in the rear with two electronic controlled seats becoming available in a conference type rear facing fashion. When these are not needed, they can be electronically reclined to provide even more space.
With almost everything you could image in a luxury car as standard, what is optional? Well for one, you can change the wheels, for £10 000. But that is just scratching the surface, you can request your Mercedes-Maybach Pullman in any exterior colour you like. For example, you can have the colour of your Maybach to match your spouses eyes, if you wish. Not bad for £5k. On the inside, Mercedes-Maybach do offer a range of different and more expensive leathers, but they also state that virtually any other leather or colour is available.
Your personal family crest or initials are also available to have stitched or embossed into the seats, or other areas by luxury craftsman. Mercedes state that with this vehicle, anything the customer requires they can have, such as an additional fridge, a walk through centre console or even lambskin floor mats.
The Mercedes-Maybach Pullman is clearly an ultra luxury vehicle for a very select person. It reminds me of how we don’t just have super cars now, we have hyper cars. The Pullman is a hyper luxury car and Rolls Royce should be worried.
How’s it’s made?
To order a Pullman, you first need to order a Mercedes-Maybach S600. This is the donor car, many parts such as the engine and other interior components are used. Mercedes don’t state exactly how it is done, but they do say that it’s not cut in half and stretched, but built on an individual platform.
Power train and Performance
The Pullman uses the V12 Twin Turbo, producing 390kw or 530bhp. This is a lower output then other Mercedes vehicles that use the same engine and is probably for safety, due to the size of the vehicle. Torque is also down at 830Nm,but still quite plenty. The Pullman weighs in at just over 3 tonnes, but will still do 0-100km/h in around 6.5 seconds, delivered though an automatic 7G gearbox.
If your wondering if you can stretch the budget this year, here is the price. £522,000. Yes that is in English pounds. So with today’s exchange rate of R16.5, that puts this car at over R8 million. Yikes.
If you don’t know what to do with your money, we have just the car for you.
Mercedes-Maybach is the brand of choice when you want something utterly lavish. If it’s not limousines they’re supplying then its drop top G-Classes. What!? Yes, you read correctly. If you have enough money you can get a drop top G Class! If the current G-Class range was not braggadocios enough with its exhausts on the side, you can now get it without a roof. What a time to be alive. This is the first Mercedes-Maybach SUV to be created and what a way to make an entrance.
Being the owner of a car like this means you’ll have something super exclusive as only 99 of these models will be made. The name of this convertible G Class is the G650 Landaulet, which means “a car with a folding hood over the rear seats.” The G650 is powered by a V12 engine so you can only imagine the kind of power this tank will have. If you really want to know you’ll have 463kW (620bhp) and 1000Nm at your disposal. Not too shabby huh?
This car only seats four, so you’ll have to pick your friends wisely. Those you choose to ride with you will want to sit in the back as the Landaulet has S-Class seats in the rear. If your occupants are thirsty, they can use the individual cup holders which can either cool or heat a drink up. How insane? But wait there’s more, the rear seats also have their own table and a business console which has controls for you to operate the glass partition that can separate the rear of the car and front. Last but not least there are two monitors in the rear and a feature called the G Cockpit which operates various features like the soft top mechanism.
This is not the first Landaulet created by Mercedes as they have been other types of this car in the past. One thing is for sure, there hasn’t been one with this kind of glamour in it. The funny thing about this car is that it can still off road like any other G-Class, you’ll simply be more stylish as you do it a G650 Landaulet. With 450mm of ground clearance you’ll be able to look down on the peasants in their cheap 4×4’s as you drinks are kept cold and your V12 sings your praises. Oh, how we wish we owned a mine or something that will give us many millions. Even if we did, as South Africans the G650 will not be available here. No worries then, we would park it in our Monaco home.
The Mercedes S class has arguably been the crème de la crème of luxury vehicles for some time now. This car is Mercedes’ answer to the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Jaguar XJ. These vehicles are built to be driven long distances in the utmost of comfort. You might also remember Maybach, a company purchased by Mercedes-Benz back in 1960. They released cars such as the Maybach 57 and 62, ultra luxury vehicles with an ultra-luxury price. To cut a long story short, they hardly sold any cars and produced their last vehicle in December 2012.
Mercedes are now reviving the brand as an ultra-luxury sub-brand of the S class, the same way the Mercedes AMG brand fits in. Mercedes have really pushed the boat out with this one; luxury is of critical importance with Nappa leathers covering almost every conceivable surface inside the vehicle. This is complimented by technology such as the “Cabin fragrance system”, an option which sends a scent into the vehicle at pre-set times. The scent is emitted in a way so as not to hang in the air or stick on clothes.
Along with this is other technologies such as the Ambient Lighting System with over 300 LED’s, silver champagne flutes, hot and cold cup holders, folding tables and of course, power executive rear seats which recline to a 45-degree angle. Rear entertainment systems are also included, you get the idea, everything is pretty top notch.
Powering this first class cabin is a bi-turbo 6-litre V12 engine, kicking out over 500 horses which will get you to 100 km/h in 5 seconds. Keeping everything smooth on your journey is the “Magic Body Control System” which uses the multi-purpose camera of Intelligent Drive to scan the road ahead for variations and bumps in the road. The system then informs the suspension components before the wheels reach them.
I could write all day about the innovations and exciting features on this car, in doing so I would probably crash the site. The S600 Maybach is an S-Class on steroids, luxury steroids that is. It’s hard to improve on what already is a fantastic car, but by giving that extra bit of refinement and quality, it makes a big difference.