The Mercedes Vario has been around a long time as the Transporter and Transporter 2 but received its current Vario name in 1996. Since then it has continued to evolve and adapt to new needs. It could fairly lay claim to being one of the most versatile trucks around. Its name is testament to the ‘various’ formats the truck comes in, such as chassis cab, panel van, tipper, bus, box body, pickup and bus. It is also a common platform for motor homes and is well known as the basis for the familiar UPS delivery vans. Cabs come as standard or crew cab.
The Vario is perhaps more properly referred to as a heavy van, but its DNA is firmly truck. The chassis and cab are manufactured separately and then joined together at the end of the process, exactly like the construction of a truck. It also uses the OM904 four-cylinder engine that drives the Mercedes Atego. At 7.5 tonnes GVW, it remains the largest panel van you can buy in the country.
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Mercedes-Benz Vario 613D
2007-57 Mercedes Vario 613D Minibus, 4x2, Automatic, Wheel Chair Access, Direct From Council Vans Buses Cars
The design of the Mercedes Vario could be called functional. It has few, if any, cutting-edge design lines and instead has a boxy, no-nonsense look. A distinguishing feature is the short snub nose, but the light clusters and grille are unremarkable. Factory-fit dropside versions have aluminium load areas of 6.92 to 14.79 square metres and a payload capability up to 4.2 tonnes. Various trailer tow hitches are available as a useful factory option.
The interior of the Mercedes Vario follows the lead of the exterior design by being functional to the point of drabness. The long, flat dash extends across the cab without any attempt at interesting design and blends into the fascia in the passenger area. The plastics, however, are extremely durable and the build quality is excellent — qualities that more than make up for the lack of fancy design elements. The instrumentation is refreshingly simple and it is undoubtedly one of the clearest layouts you will find anywhere. There’s lots of space for three in the standard cab and seven in the crew cab. Surprisingly, however, storage space is somewhat lacking. Seats are basic but the driver’s version is fully adjustable and somewhat more comfortable. From this elevated position, visibility is excellent and the mirrors are huge and well positioned.
The four-cylinder diesel engine is direct-injection and comes in three power ratings of 95, 115 and 130hp. It is paired with a choice of five-speed manual or six-speed auto box. It is a good punchy engine with lots of low-end torque for pulling purposes. It is also extremely efficient and later versions meet Euro 5 standards with SCR. The standard Mercedes Vario comes in rear-wheel drive but permanent four-wheel drive is available for those who need it. This has a selectable off-road ratio and lockable differential. A variety of suspension systems are available, depending on intended use, and the air suspension is particularly comfortable. The Vario is aptly named and is an extremely versatile and competent performer with great engines, huge cabs and excellent payloads
The Vario is indeed a versatile beast. It started life in 1986 as the Transporter II and then got its new name when that wagon got a facelift in 1996. It has permissible gross vehicle... Read More
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