Mercedes has just unveiled the T-Class small van, as a more premium and stylish approach to the They quote LCV that was unveiled last year. Just like the Citan, the T-Class shares its underpinnings with the Renault Kangoo and will be available in both ICE-powered and fully electric (EQT) variants, while offering higher levels of comfort, tech and safety equipment than traditional van-based MPVs.
The T-Class Is The Citan Tourer’s Well Dressed Twin
At first glance, the T-Class can be easily mistaken for the Citan Tourer which is the passenger version of the Citan Panel Van. A closer look however reveals subtle design changes bringing it closer to the design language of Mercedes’ passenger vehicle range. These include a set of optional 17-inch alloy wheels (standard 16-inch wheels), thinner chrome bezels on the grille, a slightly altered black area in the front bumper that no longer houses the foglights, and body-colored mirrors.
Still, the exterior is toned down compared to the futuristic EQT concept which will evolve into the production-ready EQT coming shortly as the electric derivative of the T-Class. Judging from Mercedes’ strategy with the electrical counterpartsthe EQT is expected to get redesigned front and rear ends compared to the T-Class (like is the case with the EQA / GLA and the EQB / GLB).
Back to the ICE-powered MPV, the T-Class is 4,498 mm (177 inches) long, 1,859 mm (73.2 inches) wide and 1,811 mm (71.3 inches) tall, with a wheelbase of 2,716 mm (106.9 inches). Those dimensions place it below the larger V Class in the Mercedes’ range, while in the near future the automaker will offer a long-wheelbase T-Class with up to seven seats.
Spacious Cabin With Modern Features
Similarly, the interior is identical to the higher specs of the Citan Tourer, besides a little bit of aluminum-style plastic on the center console. The T-Class gets more standard features in the available Style and Progressive lines, including the MBUX infotainment with a 7-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay / Android Auto compatibility. Don’t expect to find a fancy digital instrument cluster though, since the T-Class only gets a 5.5-inch screen between analogue gauges.
Features include remote services, voice assistant, keyless-go, ambient lighting, Neotex imitation leather and Artico man-made leather upholstery. Potential Mercedes buyers won’t probably notice it but the climate controls are shared with several Renault, Nissan and Dacia models. In terms of safety, the T-Class comes with seven airbags and various ADAS. The latter are enriched with the optional Driving Assistance Package which includes the Active Distance Assist Distronic and Active Steering Assist.
The tall body results in a spacious cabin for its rather compact footprint, making it a great choice for families, leisure and sports enthusiasts who don’t want or don’t need to be a part of the SUV crazy. The minivan has sliding doors on both sides, providing easy access to the rear bench which is wide enough to accommodate three child seats. Rear passengers also have access to folding tables or pockets on the seatbacks.
The boot has a low loading area while the rear seats can fold flat transforming the T-Class into a proper van. The T-Class comes standard with a regular tailgate but buyers can opt for a two-section rear door with an up to 180-degree opening.
Petrol and Diesel Options, EV Coming Soon
The T-Class is available with a small range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, at least until the EQT arrives with its fully electric powertrain. The 1.5-liter diesel produces 94 hp (70 kW / 95 PS) and 230 Nm (170 lb-ft) of torque in the T160d or 114 hp (85 kW / 116 PS) and 260 Nm (192 lb-ft) of torque in the T180d. The latter has an “overpower and overtorque” function which increases output to 119 hp (89 kW / 121 PS) and 295 Nm (217.6 lb-ft) for a brief period of time.
For those who prefer petrol, the smaller 1.3-liter produces 101 hp (75 kW / 102 ps) and 200 Nm (148 lb-ft) of torque in the T160. On the other hand, the T180 is the most powerful guise of the T-Class with 129 hp (96 kW / 131 PS) and 240 Nm (177 lb-ft) of torque. All engines are combined with a standard six-speed manual, while the diesels and the more powerful petrol can be had with the optional seven-speed DCT automatic. In any case, power is sent to the front wheels.
Pricing and availability
The new Mercedes-Benz T-Class will start from just under €30,000 ($32,024) for the entry-level T160 with manual transmission in its home market of Germany. Naturally, that’s more than the Citan Tourer which starts from €26,418 ($28,214) although it comes with lesser standard equipment.