Mercedes-Benz has cannonballed into a segment that no other luxury automaker has dared to enter: minivans.
The German automaker just pulled the sheets off its 2014 V-Class, a legitimately luxurious minivan. The folks at Benz have called the V-Class the “Mercedes of MPVs”, and we believe that, as the next nicest family hauler in the segment is either the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna.
The 2014 V-Class is offered in three lengths across two wheel bases, and it can seat as many as eight passengers. However, there are multiple seating configurations, our favorite of which allows the middle and rear rows to face each other, not unlike a limousine. You’ll also find the full suite of Mercedes-level luxury appointments available inside, ranging from heated and cooled seats and navigation, to an adaptive suspension, LED lighting and selectable driving modes.
The V-Class is powered by a 2.1-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder, which is offered in three different levels of horsepower. The base version of the car produces 136 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. The mid-trim offers 163 hp and 280 lb-ft. And the big mill in the group produces 190 hp and 325 lb-ft of wheel-turning goodness. No matter the version you choose, the V-Class engine is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission with eco, comfort, sport and manual drive modes.
There’s no word on the V-Class heading stateside at this point, but we could see it eating into the sales margins for highest-trim minivans on the market here today. Watch out, Sienna Limited and Odyssey Touring Elite.
The V-Class goes on sale in Europe later this spring.