2003 Mercedes-Benz Vito 110 CDI 2.2 turbo diesel from Australia and New Zealand


A collage of parts that turned out to be a loyal workhorse!


Faults due to MB:

- Central locking.

- Climate control electronics - fan speed 1 and 3 won't engage, have to tap the air conditioning panel to turn the backlights on; heat is sometimes supplied even when the coldest

temperature has been set.

- Power mirrors packed up.

- Tie rods quit easily.

- Squeaky body.

- Flooded rear light lenses, rusted the light circuits and killed off the fog lamp.

Faults on my part:

Filled up with biodiesel once. Clogged the 4 injectors ($200 each) --> engine couldn't start well --> fried the starter motor ($600 aftermarket) and killed the fuel pump ($1100).

General Comments:

Overall very happy with the vehicle. Used it as a daily commute, delivery vehicle, and it's excellent for touring! It currently gets around 7.5l/100km around town. On occasional spins in the hills, I once got 6.8.

The clutch is very stiff, and 1st and 2nd gear might be jerky if you can't balance it properly.

Acceleration is so-so, but then this car is already yesterday's technology.

The cabin is spartan, and it is hard to believe MB put an open parcel shelf as the glove box. The air conditioning does not seem to cope well, and the demister takes quite a while to clear the windscreen. Perhaps it is time to change the AC filter, which I read online that the pedals' connecting rod has to be removed to access.

The van seems to be a backyard project by MB, as the overall design flow is rather haphazard and not well thought out. Although you can see that 'euro flair' in the design, it seems to miss out on the simple reliability and practicality of the Japanese vans. (Nothing seems to fail on an albeit pig sluggish Hiace).

The engine bay is very tight, and I've heard that changing the clutch is a very major exercise. Nonetheless, I have not experienced many of the horror stories (fingers crossed) of the many posts here and maintenance (and running) costs have been quite economical. I probably only had about 2 tyre and brake changes since new, and the clutch is still holding well.

Apart from the biodiesel disaster, there have been no other major maintenance items on the van. However, the panel work is now very battered, and I would like to do it up some day!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th August, 2011

17th Mar 2012, 11:27

Update: 300,000 kms on the odo, did 1010 kms with 67 litres of diesel on a work commute. That's 6.7L/100 km. Very pleased.

2003 Mercedes-Benz Vito CDI 2.2 from South Africa


Still a good looker


Left disk warped @ 20000km.

Injectors replaced @ 61000km.

Diesel pump replaced @ 105000km, again @ 220000km.

Brake shudder has been a problem from day one (apparently because of water getting in contact with the brake drum). It has become so bad now that I fear to drive in the wet as the whole vehicle starts shaking because of the shudder caused by the front brakes. Please help me as I don't trust the dealers. I think it is a manufacturing error.

General Comments:

A very nice spacious vehicle with incredible fuel economy for its size. Just a pity this square model was dumped in South Africa before the new model was imported.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th March, 2010

2003 Mercedes-Benz Vito 111 CDI 2.5L turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Great looks but very poor quality


Premature wear on front tyre edges.

Rust developing on all panels at bottoms & sides.

Plastic front valance fixings broken.

Rear wheel ABS/ESP sensor shorted out within 3 months.

Side doors & tailgate do not shut properly (from new) & alignment of both is poor.

Vehicle dashboard digital display is so faint that it cannot be read in daylight, & is only clearly visible at dusk or nighttime.

There is no temperature gauge for the engine.

Passenger window opens half way at random & can only be closed by fully opening & closing making sure to keep positive upward pressure on the window switch until fully closed!

Turbo charger pipe became disconnected within two months - eventually discovered it had never been connected when built, large jubilee clip was fully open & hanging on the rubber pipe. Pressure in the pipe had blown it off the turbo...

Knocking from steering, sounds like the rigging on a man of war when turning the van at low speeds...

General Comments:

The vehicle looks great & drives comfortably but it is no power house.

Despite the early promise of quality from a brand like Mercedes it has become clear that this van is not top quality, they have clearly cut quality to obtain profit.

MB & their dealers know about the inherent problems with this model & its various reincarnations, but choose to deny them as if yours was the first problem they've encountered.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th June, 2008

3rd Jan 2009, 05:45

I have owned over a period of time many Mercedes cars and vans, from a 190e to a CLK 320 AMG.

Mercedes has lost its name of quality and stands well below other names like Ford, VW and Citroen. Its name can never be revived. I will never buy another Mercedes.

27th Oct 2015, 21:44

I would never ever buy another Vito. Nothing but trouble and rust. Stay away.