Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the T-Class, its all-new premium small van that will compete against rivals such as the Renault Kangoo and Volkswagen Caddy.
Not a commercial van?
Although it resembles a commercial van, the T-Class is not meant for commercial use. Mercedes says the model is aimed at "families and active leisure enthusiasts".
Underlining this position are repeated references to the T-Class competing in the "private small van segment", as opposed to the commercial one.
Indeed, the T-Class' dimensions - 4498mm x 1859mm x 1811mm - reflect this.
Mercedes offers a wide breadth of practical touches for the T-Class as well. For instance, all four-passenger seats (including the front one) are child friendly, with the front passenger and two outer rear seats equipped with ISOFIX points. The middle rear seat can accommodate a booster seat.
While the current variant only sits five, a long-wheelbase version with up to seven seats is on its way.
To facilitate item loading/unloading, the cargo sill is just 561mm above the ground. Boot capacity is 520 litres, but once the 60:40 split-folding rear seats are folded away, this increases to 2127 litres.
The T-Class' design reflects its purpose as a premium van for private users. It comes with Mercedes' chrome-plated grille and body-coloured wing mirror housings, along with flared wheel arches. The number of lines on its body has also been reduced for a cleaner look.
Beneath those arches are 16-inch light-alloy wheels, with 17-inch rims available as an option. The T-Class will be available in ten different colours, which include the hues seen in these photos: limonite yellow metallic and rubellite red metallic.
Apart from its styling, Mercedes says that the T-Class' amenities are on a par with those of the brand's compact models. Inside, drivers will find the MBUX infotainment system displayed on a seven-inch touchscreen, multi-function steering wheel, and an instrument cluster with a 5.5-inch colour screen.
On the higher "Style" and "Progressive" trim levels, the van will have interior ambient lighting with eight selectable colours.
Mercedes' full suite of safety and driver's assistance systems will also be available to various degrees based on the options selected. As a baseline, drivers will get advanced features like a fatigue warning system, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist.
The T-Class will also boast seven airbags, including a centre one between the driver and front passenger that inflates in a lateral collision.
In terms of powertrains, the van's platform is designed to accommodate both combustion engines and battery-electric drivetrains. As such, a pure electric variant called the EQT will eventually join Mercedes' other two electric vans: the EQV and eSprinter.
For now, the most powerful variant is the T180, which has a turbocharged 1.3-litre petrol engine that churns out just over 129bhp and 240Nm of torque.
This article was first published in Torque.