Snow-covered forests, frozen icy lakes and temperatures far below zero. Just the right terrain for the new Mercedes-Benz Vito. It demonstrates its capabilities to the trade press in Arvidsjaur in northern Sweden and tackles Lapland’s snowy roads.
The van will face exactly those road conditions which many drivers would love to avoid during the winter months: Winding routes, snow-covered stretches of icy road or meter-deep snow and off-road terrain. Because businesses, tradesmen and delivery services often have no other choice but to confront the wintry conditions in their vehicle, Mercedes-Benz now offers a new solution. Thanks to its all-wheel drive and assistance systems, the new Vito provides greater safety and guaranteed mobility in winter and off-road.
The Vito lives up to its promises, as the practical trial in Arvidsjaur proves. The Vito easily handles a snowy, icy incline. The standard winter tires dig into the soft snow on the road and keep a firm grip. The electronic traction control system works almost unnoticed in the background, together with the ESP and ASR driving dynamic control systems. The drive power is distributed between the front and rear axles of the mid-size van with a ratio of 45 to 55. This ensures good traction even when the surface only provides poor grip.
Then it goes down the steep winding route. Not without risks in the snowy and icy conditions. Yet the Vito shows that it is also perfectly equipped to handle this challenge. The Downhill Speed Regulation keeps the vehicle at the set speed at the press of a button and also reacts to changes in the road surface, even braking automatically if necessary. This simplifies the driver's job on the challenging winding descent despite the poor surface. The driver only needs to concentrate on steering the vehicle. The Downhill Speed Regulation takes care of the rest, working like a cruise control system.
The next section of the test consists of cornering on a frozen lake. Although it initially sounds dangerous, the new all-wheel drive van from Mercedes-Benz succeeds with no problems at all. Whereas a person on foot can barely stand up on the slippery ice, the Vito's electronic safety and assistance systems keep the vehicle on track even when cornering at speed. Additional, flashing lights on the display provide a warning when things get dangerous and remind the driver to adjust the speed to the road conditions.
At the end of the event in Arvidsjaur in Sweden, one thing is clear: The new Vito is absolutely convincing. It not only sports an attractive look off-road and in icy winter regions and guarantees a safe journey. In addition, the all-wheel drive concept is perfect for day-to-day use. With a height of only 1.91 m, the all-wheel drive is no higher than the new front or rear wheel drive version of the new Vito. It can use underground parking garages and parking buildings with no problem at all while handling inner city transport tasks with ease. Cargo space, safety and traction on any terrain – the Vito 4x4 offers all of this as a Panel van, Mixto and Tourer with compact, long and extra long body variants.