The new-generation Mercedes-Benz Valente is priced at $56,380 plus on-road costs, which is a $1790 hike over the existing model ($54,590 plus on-road costs), but that version had less standard gear.
That pricing puts the new Valente higher than its van-based diesel people-mover contemporaries – the Hyundai iMax (SLX CRDi: $41,490 plus on-road costs) and the soon-to-be-replaced Volkswagen Caravelle (TDI340: $50,690 plus on-road costs) – but Mercedes claims the Valente “rules the roost” in terms of comfort, safety and style.
In terms of kit, the new Valente has items such as a 5.8-inch media screen with USB input and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, but satellite navigation remains optional.
With glass all around, dual sliding doors and a liftback tailgate all standard, the Valente is designed for buyers with big families, or those who may use the multi-purpose vans for business travel purposes.
And because this model is all about moving people, it has eight seats as standard (2+3+3), but buyers can option a nine-seat version (3+3+3) if required, which adds $690 to the price. There are also optional dual electric sliding doors ($2490).
Other spec highlights include climate control air conditioning with rear air vents, while safety equipment fitted to the Valente model includes an advanced stability control system with Crosswind Assist and six airbags including full-length curtain airbag protection for the first time, as well as front-side and dual head airbags.
However, there's a range of optional safety kit, too, which Mercedes-Benz is aiming to sell in package bundles.
The Parking Package ($1700) adds that Active Parking Assist system with parking sensors front and rear, as well as a reverse-view camera.
The Technology Package costs $2400, and builds on the Parking Package by adding Becker Map Pilot satellite navigation.
There’s also the Driving Assistance Package at $1600, which has collision prevention, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance and a leather steering wheel.
The Lane Tracking package is a $1300 proposition, and deletes the collision prevention technology from the above pack.
While the new model has a bit more kit, it has smaller wheels – the previous Valente had 17-inch alloy wheels, where the new model has 16s. You can option 17-inch alloys, though ($690). And if you like the look of LED lighting, the Intelligent Light System with auto high-beam and cornering lights is a $2800 option.
The passenger-focused Valente model uses the same 116BlueTEC 2.1-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engine from the Vito range, producing 120kW of power and 380Nm of torque – 20Nm more than its predecessor.
The rear-wheel-drive Valente comes with a seven-speed automatic gearbox as standard, and there are even steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters.
Fuel use for Valente is claimed at 6.3L/100km – down from 8.2L/100km – and there are three drive modes to choose from (Comfort, Economy and Manual).
There are two non-metallic paint finishes (Arctic White and Jupiter Red), and seven metallic hues which add $1490 to the price (Rock Crystal White, Brilliant Silver, Flint Grey, Indium Grey, Obsidian Black, Dolomite Brown and Cavansite Blue).
2015 Mercedes-Benz Valente pricing, plus on-road costs:
- 116BlueTec automatic - $56,380
2015 Mercedes-Benz Valente standard equipment:
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Colour-coded bumpers
- Six airbags (dual front, front-side, full-length curtain)
- Driver drowsiness detection
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Auto-dimming side mirrors with folding
- 5.8-inch colour media screen (no CD player)
- Bluetooth phone and audio streaming
- USB and auxiliary inputs
- Auto headlights
- Auto wipers
- Cruise control with speed limiter
- Eight seats
- Climate control air-conditioning with rear air vents