The Mercedes Benz Viano | Part Eight

The brakes

The brake system in the Viano has been adapted to the dynamic engines. The vehicle has been fitted with a proven dual-circuit hydraulic brake system in conjunction with a standard-fitted driving dynamics and brake control assistant system. The vacuum brake booster offers considerably greater brake force support than the predecessor model, allowing the Viano to boast class-leading stopping distances.

The Viano is fitted with disc brakes on all wheels; 300 mm in diameter and internally ventilated at the front axle, 296 mm in diameter at the rear. All models are equipped as standard with the dynamic handling system ESP(r), in which ABS (prevents the wheels from locking under braking), ASR (acceleration skid control, improves traction and assists the driver when moving off, especially on slippery road surfaces), EBD electronic brake force distribution (prevents overbraking at the rear axle) and the hydraulic Brake Assist system (builds up full brake pressure under emergency braking, cutting stopping distances) are integral parts. The Electronic Stability Program ESP(r) can brake individual wheels separately in critical driving situations, thus nipping oversteer or understeer in the bud.

The steering

The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering in the Viano stands out with its sensitive and comfort-oriented setting. Even small movements of the steering wheel are translated onto the road, allowing extremely precise driving. Little effort is required from the driver when cornering, parking or manoeuvring, with rear-wheel drive keeping the turning circle small – 11.8 metres in the case of the standard-wheelbase variant and 12.5 metres with the longer-wheelbase model. Added to which, the steering shaft is constructed with two telescopic elements, allowing the steering column to "give" by up to 60 mm in the event of an accident.

The steering wheel can be adjusted for reach by up to 40 mm and for tilt by four degrees. The four-spoke steering wheel is easy to reach and, with a diameter of 390 mm, contains a full-size airbag. The steering wheel can be trimmed in leather and/or ordered as a multifunction variant as an option (fitted as standard in the AMBIENTE). The multifunction steering wheel allows the driver to carry out a range of functions without taking their hands off the steering wheel, including operating the radio, scrolling up and down the menu in the multifunction display and operating one of the telephones available as an accessory.

The interior - Your wishes are granted

The Viano leaves little to be desired with an extensive range of standard equipment. There are also the BIKE, BUSINESS and LIFE equipment packages to consider - and, of course, a host of optional extras which the customer can request to add a personal touch or two to their Viano, whichever variant they have chosen.

The driver and front-passenger area

Spaciousness starts in the front in the case of the Viano, which sets new standards in terms of ergonomics. The driving position has been set out for a 1.94-metre-tall man, in accordance with internal Mercedes Benz design standards. A wide range of adjustment for the seats, a height and reach-adjustable steering wheel, a comfortable pedal arrangement and the optimum positioning of all controls within easy reach ensure a relaxing and, indeed, quite majestic driving experience.

The cockpit

The newly designed instrument cluster of the Viano has been further refined to offer flawless ergonomics. It houses three analogue displays – speedometer, rev counter and fuel gauge – a multifunction display and 24 indicator lights and, like the controls themselves, reflects in both form and function the philosophy of Mercedes Benz passenger cars.

On the right of the steering wheel is the characteristic Mercedes Benz rotary-type headlamp switch and the headlamp range adjuster. The radio system is located centrally in the middle of the cockpit just above an open stowage compartment. Above it are ventilation outlets and rotary-type switches for the heater and air conditioning system. On the left is an illuminated glove compartment, complete with recesses on the inside of the lockable lid designed to hold cans of drink and coins for car parks.

continues... | Part Nine
Published 27 June 2003 Melanie Carter

The information contained this Mercedes Benz news article may have changed since publication on the 27 June 2003. Our car specifications, reviews, and prices may only apply to the UK market. You may wish to check with the manufacturer or your local Mercedes Benz dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce our car news in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019