Mercedes-Benz eVito review

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

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Brilliant breakdown + serious savings

Mercedes has updated its all-electric Vito. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

Ten Second Review

Mercedes likes to set a trend and this model, the eVito, certainly did. It was the brand's first EV commercial vehicle - and our market's first mid-sized electric van of any kind. Competitors quickly caught up though, so the 2023 model year upgrade that brought us the improved, bigger-battery eVito model we're going to try here was much needed. There still isn't quite the range you'd get from some rivals, but operators should like this model's traditional Mercedes virtues - high quality, strong residuals and impressive standards of safety and media connectivity.


What might a fully-electric Mercedes van be like, we wondered, as we entered this century's third decade. The 2020 announcement that the third generation version of the brand's mid-sized Vito model would also feature a full-EV variant prompted great expectations, bolstered by the introduction at much the same time of a people carrying MPV version of the same design, badged the EQV and featuring a 100kWh battery and a 213 mile driving range. As it turned out, the earliest eVito model was some way off that kind of capability, offering only a battery only 41kWh in size and a subsequently modest driving range of just 92 miles between charging sessions.

This wasn't a particularly high bar for competitors to aim at and, sure enough, the eVito was quickly overtaken in EV technology by a wide number of freshly introduced full-electric commercial competitors in the mid-sized segment. The next generation electric Vito van will properly address this competition, but Mercedes couldn't wait for it given the rapidly developing market, so for the 2023 model year, the eVito was given a much larger 66kWh battery, which nearly doubled its operating range to 162 miles: which is the model we'll be testing here.

Driving Experience

On the move, you'd expect it to be uber-refined and of course it is. Acceleration is quite eager, thanks to a 116hp electric motor with up to 360Nm of torque. But you might also expect this Mercedes to go further on a single charge than it actually does. The 66kWh battery manages up to 162 miles. Those who take the plunge into eVito ownershp will quickly need to assume mastery over the various provided drive settings if they're to maximise the range possible. There are three eVito drive programs, accessed via a little 'Dynamic'-badged button on the centre stack - 'E' (for 'Economy'), which is the default setting, plus 'C' (for 'Comfort') if you want a little more accelerating punch. That's probably unlikely (the top speed is limited to 75mph anyway); you might prefer to extend range capability, for which you'll need the final setting, 'E+' ('Economy Plus').

At the same time, you'll be using the provided steering wheel paddles to cycle through four brake recuperation levels, which are badged 'D-', 'D', 'D+' and 'D++'. With 'D-' (the default setting), you get so much braking resistance when you come off the throttle (1.5-metres per second) that you hardly ever have to use your left foot. At the other extreme, in 'D++', the eVito will coast with virtually no off-throttle resistance at all.

Design and Build

There's very little to differentiate an eVito from a diesel-engined one, unless you spot the charging flap or the special badging. As with an ordinary model, the wide door opening and well placed step mean that getting in is a simple enough manoeuvre and once seated aloft, you'll find a cab that's immaculately constructed and typically functional. The smart black 'Caluma' seat fabric looks nice; and the brand has standardised an 8-way-adjustable 'Comfort'-spec driver's seat. Plus there are smart 'turbine'-style air vents and a large 7.0-inch cetre-dash infotainment screen including 'Apple CarPlay' / 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring. You get the usual two-person passenger bench seat but there are no fold-down tables or pop-out clip boards of the kind competitors offer. Still, the instruments you view through the classy three-spoke steering wheel are clear and concise and build quality is class-leading.

On top of the dash, there are cupholders to the far left and the far right and in between lie three large open stowage areas, each partly covered at the top to prevent windscreen reflection. Open cubbies flank the ventilation controls on the centre console, with a further open stowage area beneath the gearstick. The door pockets are spacious and versatile too, with a small shelf halfway up for little items and a bigger one further down that can take larger things like drink bottles of up to 1.5-litres in size.

Market and Model

The eVito is offered only with this model line's two longer body lengths (L2 and L3) and offers a choice of two trim levels - 'Progressive' or, as in this case, 'Premium'. At the time of our Summer 2023 test, prices were starting from around £48,000, excluding VAT and the available £5,000 OZEV government grant contribution. That's for the L2 body length: you'll need just under £600 more to upgrade to the longer L3 model. It'll cost you just over £3,500 more to get this plusher 'Premium' trim level.

You may not feel the need to. Even the base 'Progressive' version is reasonably well equipped. Standard equipment includes TEMPMATIC air conditioning, an 8-way-adjustable heated 'Comfort'-spec driver's seat, heated powered mirrors, heat insulating glass and a 'SPEEDTRONIC' variable speed limiter with cruise control. Infotainment is taken care of by a 7.0-inch 'Audio 30' central infotainment screen, complete with a DAB tuner, Bluetooth and 'Apple CarPlay' / 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring, plus a useful feature that direct rivals will make you pay more for - a rear view camera. As usual in this class, a three-person front bench comes as standard, but you can replace that layout with two individual seats if you really want to. For the load Bay, there's twin sliding side doors, a tough TPO plastic non-slip floor and a proper full-sized spare wheel to go with the 17-inch steel rims.

Upgrading to the 'Premium'-spec model gets you 17-inch light alloy wheels, painted bumpers, metallic paint, a chrome grille, adaptive brake lights, front and rear parking sensors, power-folding mirrors and front fog lights. Inside with 'Premium'-spec, you get a leather steering wheel and four-way lumbar support for the driver's seat.

Whatever eVito you choose, you'll find a decent portfolio safety features. Unlike some rivals, Mercedes doesn't make you pay extra for a passenger airbag. And there's an 'Active Brake Assist' autonomous braking system with pedestrian detection. 'Attention Assist', an auto-dipping 'Headlight Assistant', Tyre pressure monitoring, an ESP stability system, Hill start assist and an Adaptive speed limitation function also make the team sheet. As does an emergency call system which alerts the rescue services to your location in the event of an accident.

Practicalities and Costs

The all-electric eVito gets a 3.2-tonne Gross Vehicle Weight as standard and delivers a payload capacity of up to 807kg (including a 75kg driver). It comes in two forms; an L2 variant which gets 6.0m3 of load volume and 2,831mm of length. Or an extra long L3 version, which gives you a spacious 6.6m3 and 3,061mm of loadbay length.

This eVito model's 162 mile range reading is a combined figure. It would rise in urban use, but fall on the motorway. All these eVito mileage stats are based on use of the eVito's balanced drive mode 'E'. There's also a range extending 'E+' drive mode, which is supposed to help facilitate a longer range when combined with an anticipatory driving style. To achieve the quoted results, you'll also need to make proactive use of the various provided brake regeneration modes, principally the two most severe ones 'D' and 'D-'. From a charging point, to replenish the 65kWh battery. Mercedes quotes an 80% recharging time of 35 minutes at a rapid charging point; it's six and a half hours using an 11kW wallbox; or 20 hours from a domestic plug.

You'll also want to know that there's an unlimited mileage three year warranty with 12 years of anti-perforation cover. The electric drive battery pack gets its own warranty, which lasts for 8 years or 99,500 miles. This guarantees that the battery will still have around 70% capacity by the end of this period. Plus you get the unique Mercedes-Benz MobiloVan UK package with offers 24hour roadside assistance cover for up to 30 years, providing you get your vehicle regularly serviced at one of Mercedes' franchised dealers.


In many ways, we like the eVito; it's well made, the media and safety systems are impressive and the carriage capacities remain pretty unaffected by the battery installation. It's hard to ignore that still relatively restricted 162 mile driving range though. If all your business does is low mileage urban deliveries, that may not matter - which is certainly what Mercedes is gambling on with this variant.

Given that the brand already has the battery technology to do much better though, you can expect to see things change quite quickly and if we were choosing, we'd probably hold off until that happens. Those who do take the plunge though may find lots here to like.

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