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Dubbed as 'the perfect vehicle for everyday life', the T-Class is aiming to convert families and sports enthusiasts by combining functionality with style.

27 Apr 2022 | International News : Germany

A few weeks after teasing its digital premiere, Mercedes-Benz has properly pulled the covers off the T-Class, an all new premium small van that is set to take on the likes of the Renault Kangoo and the Volkswagen Caddy. 

But make no mistake; this really isn't supposed to be a van for commercial use. Mercedes expressly states that the T-Class is aimed at "families and active leisure enthusiasts" - people who require a practical ride, but also want to travel in style and comfort. Underlining this position are repeated references to the T-Class' position in the 'private small van segment', rather than commercial one. And small it is indeed, with its minute measurements of 4,498mm x 1,859mm x 1,811mm (L x W x H).

Merc's signature chrome-plated radiator grille, on full display on the all new Mercedes-Benz T-Class
Mercedes has taken care to service its target group well with a wide breadth of practical touches for the T-Class. For instance, all four passenger seats, including the one up front, will be child-friendly; the front and two side rear seats will get Isofix anchorages, while the middle rear bench seat will be able to accommodate a booster seat. While the current variant only sits five, a longer wheelbase version with up to seven seats is on its way. 

The loading sill is also just 561mm off the ground - to increase the ease of loading items in - while those van-like sliding doors mean that getting in and out of the rear seats will be a breeze. For cargo-hauling days, the 60:40 splitting rear seats can also be folded away entirely to create a virtually flat loading area with the luggage compartment floor. Boot capacity, as default, stands at 520 litres, but can be expanded to a whopping 2,127 litres.

Mercedes-Benz is aiming to convert families and sports enthusiasts with not just the utility, but style and comfort of the T-Class
Naturally, as a premium van for private use, the T-Class has to be appealing beyond its utility. Body-coloured side mirror housings and the marque's signature chrome-plated radiator grille thus come as standard. To create a slightly muscular appearance, Merc's designers have also given the T-Class flared wheel arches, and reduced the number of lines on its body for a 'sensual surface design" (we're not sure, though, that that's the word we'd use). 

16-inch light alloy wheels will be fitted as standard, although 17-inch items can be specced as an option. Drivers will get a range of 10 colours to choose from, six of which will be metallic. The golden-ish hue seen in the pictures here is called limonite yellow metallic, while Mercedes says an "elegant" rubellite red metallic will also be available.

The MBUX infotainment system, paired to a 7-inch touchscreen, will come as standard equipment
The story of style and comfort continues with the interior, which Mercedes says is on par with its compact car offerings. The modern MBUX infotainment system, paired to a 7.0-inch touchscreen, will be fitted across the range, offering smartphone integration, a multi-function steering wheel, keyless start, and an instrument cluster with a 5.5-inch colour display. On the higher 'Style' and 'Progressive' trim levels, interior ambient lighting will even be at the driver's disposal, allowing him or her to choose between eight colours. 

The German marque's full suite of safety and driver's assistance systems will also be available to various degrees based on the options selected, but as a baseline, drivers will already get advanced features like a fatigue warning system, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist. Meanwhile, the T-Class will boast seven airbags, including a centre one between the driver and front passenger that can inflate during lateral collisions. 

The most powerful engines on offer currently will be found in the T180 (petrol) and T180d (diesel)
Quite crucially, the T-Class' platform was designed to accomodate both combustion engines as well a battery-electric drivetrain as part of Mercedes-Benz's steady pivot towards a zero-emission fleet. As such, an all-electric variant, the EQT, has been confirmed for release sometime in the future. This will follow in the footsteps of the EQV and eSprinter vans. 

As for now, diesel and petrol engines will power the T-Class, the most powerful of which is a 1.3-litre petrol engine in the T180, churning out just over 129bhp and 240Nm of peak torque. Fingers crossed that this sneaks into Category A when (or if) it comes to us, pretty please...?

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