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Mercedes launch the 3.0 V6 diesel Vito.
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What’s the best way to get yourself and a pile of windsurfing kit from home to beach?
This is a topic of endless discussion to windsurfers new and old, and for those in the know there is only one answer - get yourself a van!
For many, cheap and cheerful is the ticket, and a rusty ex-builders-skip-on-wheels will do just fine for getting all your salt encrusted toys to the coast.
For others, the van may become your main mode of transport for windy fun, work and family life, and many look for the best van that will drive most like the car that they now find too small.
The good news is that there are vans out there that in fact drive better than many cars, and one of them - the new Mercedes Vito - has just been launched with a new engine, boasting performance figures that would make most boy racers get excited.
How does this sound? 0-62mph in 8.8 second in a diesel van!
Not to be outdone by VW’s Transporter 174 (which up to now had the reputation as the most powerful and fastest diesel van around), Mercedes decided to shoe-horn their new 3.0l V6 diesel engine from the new generation Sprinter van into the already quick Vito 115 (150bhp), and while they were at it, tweak the settings up to 204bhp as standard.
The Vito 120 comes with Air Conditioning and Automatic Tiptronic gearbox as standard, and with features like airbags and Adaptive Esp (7 types of traction control) also standard, you can easily forget that this is a van at all. Add some more options from the long list of available extras like heated captains chairs, and soon you will wonder why you ever drove a car at all.
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For the Jeremy Clarksons among you, here’s the figures:
| Van || Power || Torque || 0-62mph || Top Speed || FuelEcon |
| VW 174 cdi Man 6sp || 174 bhp ||295 lbs ||12.2 ||117mph ||34 mpg |
| Vito 115 cdi Man 6sp || 150 bhp || 330 lbs || 13.3 || 115mph || 31.67mpg |
| Vito 115 cdi Auto 5sp || 150 bhp || 330 lbs || 11.3 || 115mph || 31.67mpg |
| Vito 120 cdi Auto 5sp || 204 bhp || 440 lbs ||8.8 || 125mph || 30.62 mpg |
| Vito 123 Petrol A5sp || 230 bhp || 345 lbs ||9.3 || 125mph || 21.85 mpg |
So there you have it; a diesel van with more power pulling power and better economy than most petrol cars. It eats motorways for a living with enough room for all your toys and the kitchen sink.