The Mercedes-Benz Vito W638 has rightfully earned its place as one of the finest minivans in the market between the years 1996 to 2003. This top-tier minivan offered a unique blend of practicality, style, and robust performance. Under the series designation ‘108 CDI AT’, Mercedes delivered an automatic transmission beast that could comfortably accommodate eight passengers, making it an ideal family vehicle or a smooth operator in small businesses where transportation is crucial.
Powered by a robust diesel engine, the Vito offered more than just space – it supplied power. The engine was meticulously constructed with an inline cylinder layout housing four cylinders, each having 2 valves per cylinder. With a solid common rail type of injection, the 3.471-inch cylinder bore and a 3.588 mm stroke cycle further optimized the combustion efficiency, boosting the engine’s overall performance. The engine oomph was rated at 82 HP at 3800 RPM which greatly affected the drive-ability and pick-up speed of the minivan. In line with the practicality mantra, the Vito was designed as a front-wheel drive pushing the torque where it was needed the most.
Despite the power it packed, the Vito remained a steady and comfortable ride thanks to its independent, lever, dampers, and helical springs at the back suspension. This ensured that whether the minivan was loaded with passengers or cargo, the ride would remain smooth and with minimal vibration. The automatic transmission boasted a 4 gear system, providing ranges for different driving conditions. Furthermore, it hosted a substantial fuel tank with a capacity of 21 gallons which enabled longer trips before the need for refuelling. As icing on the cake, the robust Vito supported the use of diesel fuel, renowned for its cost-efficiency, making it a practical choice for most users.