Europe gets all the good vans.
We here at CNET Cars are suckers for a good van, and it would appear as though Mercedes-Benz has debuted a very good van indeed with its new T-Class. Announced on Tuesday, the not-for-the-US T-Class is a long way from the Metris we get here in the US, and even farther from the venerable Sprinter van.
The biggest difference between the T and those two more utilitarian models is in the T-Class' intended use. This is meant primarily as a passenger van, while its cousin, the Mercedes Citan, will hold down the fort on the cargo/commercial side.
The T-Class is largely based on the Renault Kangoo, but Mercedes has opted to go to town on it by giving it the MBUX infotainment system that we know and love via a 7-inch touchscreen. The T-Class also gets LED mood lighting inside, just like an S-Class (but less rad, probably). It will be available in both five- and seven-seat configurations.
"With the new T-Class we are extending our portfolio with a true premium small van that combines roominess and functionality with style and comfort like no other vehicle in this segment," says Mathias Geisen, head of Mercedes-Benz's van division. "The T-Class is perfect for everyone who needs plenty of space -- from active families to sports enthusiasts."
Other cool features include native What3Words integration (this is the service that Land Rover has been involved with for a while that breaks the world down into 3-meter-square boxes and assigns each a three-word code), as well as lots of standard safety features, including hill-start assist, crosswind assist, driver attention warning, automatic emergency braking with cross-traffic alert, active lane-keep assist, blind spot warning and speed limit detection. Features like Mercedes' Distronic adaptive cruise control and active steering assist are optional as part of a driving-assistance package.
As we'd expect from a European van, four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines are available with low-output and high-output versions of each. The diesels put out 95 and 116 horsepower, respectively, while the gas engines manage 102 and 131 hp. Mercedes is also planning on releasing a fully electric version of the T-Class at some point.
The base model T160 gasoline-powered variant with a manual transmission (jealous yet?) and no options will set German buyers back less than 30,000 euros (around $31,500 at the time of publication).