Mercedes-Benz Vaneo (2002–2005)

What's good

Stretched A-Class 4.2 metres long with voluminous rear (3,000 litres) and removable kombi-style second row of seats aimed at families and small businesses and tradesmen who want one vehicle for both work and domestic use.

3rd row of child seats offered as an optional extra, making it a 7 seater.

Lots of other useful options including a slide-out luggage compartment floor to aid loading. Will have ESP, Brake Assist and the sandwich floor design of the A Class, but should be inherently more stable due to its longer wheelbase.

Four star 2003 NCAP crash test rating; two star pedestrian safety rating.

What to watch out for

News from Germany in April 2002 that the launch date was put back due to build quality problems which Mercedes wanted to rectify before the Vaneo went on sale.

Starter prices are £5,500 more than a Berlingo Multispace Forte HDI 90 on offer at £9,000 which some people might find had to justify for a vehicle actually names the 'Vaneo'.

Recalls

September 2005: Recall of A Class and Vaneos built April 2002 - April 2003 because cracks in the recess for the plastic covers of the wiper arms can cause the wiper arms to become detached. Replacement of wiper arms where necessary is free of charge.

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