The multipurpose vehicle (MPV) market has dwindled since the popularity of models such as the Renault Scenic and Toyota Verso in the 1990s and early 2000s. Many have opted for SUVs instead, but where once we had the humble but practical minibus, some manufacturers have adopted the term MPV for their more luxurious versions. A prime example is Mercedes-Benz. It has its Vito-derived minibus, a practical no frills multipassenger vehicle, and the V-Class. It’s more luxurious and so Merc calls it an MPV. We’ve just driven the latest version at its international launch outside Barcelona in Spain and it should be in South Africa in the third quarter of 2019. The latest V-Class is more a facelift than a new model and sadly SA won’t get the thing Mercedes is shouting about the most, the inclusion of the diesel engine offering 176kW power and 500Nm torque in the V300D model — and Mercedes SA won’t say why. It’s odd because the same engine is used in other models in SA so it doesn’t really ...

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