Valente expands M-B shuttle fleet

Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific is set to challenge the established passenger market with the latest addition to its fleet, the Valente

Valente expands M-B shuttle fleet
Valente expands M-B shuttle fleet

By Gary Worrall | April 5, 2012

Configured from the ground up to be a luxury people mover, the new Mercedes-Benz Valente is an 8-seat wagon, using the underpinnings of the current Viano wagon.

Head of Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles in Australia, Dr Kolja Rebstock, says the Valente is a designed to carry a full load of passengers plus luggage, something many of the current entries are unable to achieve.

The Valente uses the same 2.2-litre four cylinder turbo diesel of the Vito and Viano models, producing a healthy 120kW and 360Nm of torque, driving the front wheels through a 5-speed auto transmission.

Importantly for transfer operators, the Valente is also fitted with a full suite of Mercedes-Benz safety technology, including six airbags, ABS brakes, ESP, ASR (anti-skid response) and BAS brake assistance.

Passenger comfort is taken care of with dual zone THERMOTRONIC air-conditioning, a fully carpeted passenger space, rear privacy glass and optional powered sliding doors.

An optional satellite navigation system is also available, which includes a 6.5-inch TFT colour screen and a reversing camera, as well as Bluetooth telephone connection, along with AM/FM/MP3/CD/DVD compatibility.

Diane Tarr, general manager of Mercedes-Benz Vans, says she is targeting tour operators, to provide an economical option for small groups, without sacrificing comfort or luggage space.

A brief test of the Valente around Melbourne’s outer suburbs showed it to be a more than competent entry in the class, offering excellent driving dynamics, while the typical Mercedes-Benz build quality and safety system added a sense of solidity to the vehicle.

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