The Mercedes Benz Viano | Part Nine

Much importance was attached to creating a stowage system which fulfilled customers' numerous and varying wishes and requirements. A new feature is the stowage compartment with lid located on top of the instrument panel, which can even accommodate documents in A4 format – an important addition given the wide range of possible uses for the Viano. Additional stowage areas are positioned on the right under the headlamp switch, in the lower part of the instrument panel and in the area around the radio. Plus, there is the 11-litre capacity of the lockable glove compartment with pen holder and integrated stowage space for the cigarette lighter. A cup holder is located on the passenger side of the cockpit as well as in the generously sized centre console, which can also accommodate a cassette box or CD insert, for example. A glasses box in the overhead control panel and large compartments in the driver's and front passenger doors, which can also accommodate a 1.5-litre bottle, round off the range of stowage facilities in the front of the car.

The driver's seat console is fitted with a ruffled pocket, whilst the on-board tool kit can be found in a polystyrene box in the area of the rear side panelling. The passenger compartment is equipped with folding multifunction units offering a can holder, ashtray and a holder for drinks glasses, and - in the rear - with a 12-volt power socket.

The seats

The driver's and front-passenger seats are adjustable for reach and fully adjustable for height, backrest angle and seat cushion angle. A swivel seat can be ordered as an option, as can an electrically adjustable seat with memory function.

The battery is housed in the console of the driver's seat. The optional CD changer is located in the front-passenger seat console. In addition, the seat consoles in the passenger compartment also serve as stowage areas.

There are numerous different ways in which the variable seating in the passenger compartment can be configured, including individual seats, two and three-person bench seats, and a face-to-face configuration. The individual seats with integrated 3-point seat belts, 4-way head restraints and armrests weigh only 29 kg.

Similar to the construction used in aircraft interiors, the seats are anchored to guide rails with quick-release locks and can glide along the rails to the required position. This allows the seats in the Viano to be adjusted or removed remarkably easily and the interior to be adapted quickly to changing requirements. In addition, the rail anchorage system allows the seats to be moved up and down the vehicle. The rails have closely spaced steps (2.5 cm) which mean that a table, refrigerator box or – with the seats removed – load retaining elements can be attached to them as well.

The luxurious individual seats are designed to provide comfort over long distances and are fitted with integral 3-point seat belts, armrests on both sides and 4-way head restraints. They can also be reclined to 38 degrees and converted into a table (with the backrest folded forward). The individual seats come with velour covers as standard, whilst leather upholstery is available as an option (standard in the AMBIENTE). In addition, they can be put into a "package" position – where the seat cushion and backrest are both folded vertically – and stowed away in this position without taking up much room. One of the features lifted from the predecessor model is the unique locking mechanism, which enhances safety for the passengers. Here, the backrest can only be unfolded again when the seat anchorage is locked firmly into place.

Where bench seats are fitted, the nearside seat on the second row tilts forward to allow safe entry to and exit from the vehicle onto the pavement – and away from traffic.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

The TREND and AMBIENTE variants are fitted as standard with the TEMPMATIC air conditioning system. TEMPMATIC boasts a five-stage blower, automatic temperature control, a dust/activated charcoal filter and a residual engine heat utilisation function. Available as an option, meanwhile, is the THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control system, which has a fully adjustable blower and allows the quantity and distribution of the air to be controlled automatically.

The passenger compartment is well served by a front-to-rear vent with side-mounted outlets as well as a centrally-located air duct in the floor unit. The TREND and AMBIENTE variants are also fitted with a rear heater, which can also be ordered as an option in the other models and consists of a heat exchanger with three-stage blower. The heat exchanger is integrated into the water circuit of the front heater. The rear unit is operated using controls in the rear of the vehicle. An air conditioning system can also be ordered as an option for the rear of the Viano, which keeps the temperature at a constant, comfortable level. Ventilation ducts in the roof lining along the top of the windows are fitted with four adjustable vents and ensure efficient indirect climate control for the rear passengers.

Information and navigation

The SOUND 40 PRO system with integrated navigation function and Internet access via the Mercedes Benz Portal is a new feature in the Viano. This innovative communications centre offers access to e-mail, fax and SMS and thus to numerous traffic information services. The business user can take advantage of a host of communications devices which they may previously have had to do without when on the move.

In addition, the Viano can also be ordered with a range of other radios and navigation systems, such as COMAND APS, which have become a familiar and trusted part of Mercedes Benz passenger car model series.

Equipment packages

The BIKE equipment package turns the Viano into a practical service and transportation vehicle for bicycles. It includes a rear-mounted rack for two bicycles (can be extended to hold four bicycles as an option), a socket for connecting up the carrier (a removable trailer coupling is available as an option) and a high-quality tool set with open-end spanners and Allen keys as well as bicycle tyre-repair materials.

The LIFE equipment package is full of things which make travelling all the more pleasant. A second sliding door, for instance, helps enhance the comfort levels, whilst a practical folding table and stainless-steel vacuum flask with carry strap are handy details. The refrigerator box and rubbish box are the perfect companions for a long journey and the umbrella is within easy reach to keep the Viano passengers dry when they venture outside. The LIFE package is available for the compact and long versions.

The BUSINESS package transforms the Viano into a company car for discerning individualists. The professional control and display system COMAND APS, mobile phone pre-wiring and elegant luxury details, such as the secure office bag for a laptop computer, make the Viano both the ideal companion on long business trips and perfectly equipped as a comfortable customer shuttle bus.

Please note: The information in this release is for the international market. UK-specific details will be announced nearer the Viano's launch.

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. © 2018