2003 Mercedes-Benz Vito CDI 112 from South Africa


Expensive and not profitable for business


I am the owner of a small business.

In Sept. 2003 I purchased a Mercedes Benz Vito 112 CDI.

A month later the car began giving problems. It failed to start. I called the dealership; they came out and said it was a flat battery. I was astounded; I had just bought the car. But nevertheless I paid them over a thousand rand to recharge the battery. They did this by jump starting.

Anyways, a few months after the battery incident, the real problems began. The injectors were blowing all the time. My last repair in February this year cost me a staggering R22 000.00. This was done at another dealership. When my driver picked up the vehicle, he got stuck a mere 5 km from the dealership. He called them and told them. They told him to bring vehicle back to dealership. He did so, and upon arriving there, he learnt that they forgot to put the fan belt on.

Today 2 months later my Vito refuses to start. It only starts when we push start it. I have done less than 2000km from my last repair. I am frightened to take it in to the dealership for fear of being presented with an absurd bill.

I wish to bring to your attention that the Mercedes Benz Vito is not an economical commercial vehicle. In all over the last 3 years it has cost me over R50 000 to maintain. I am at a loss for words to express my rage in believing your reviews on this vehicle.

This is what one motor car review site wrote on 21 Feb 2002. "Mercedes-Benz has launched a new compact delivery van in South Africa. Smaller than the hugely successful Sprinter, the Vito 1-ton panel van is aimed at the small business and delivery market."

I will never believe a reviews promote again. It seems they get nice kickbacks to sweet mouth crap products.

This vehicle has been a true liability and huge expense that was negative to my business and not positive.

General Comments:

Do not buy this car. My blood boils when I look at it.

If you wish to buy it. I will sell it 15% below the trade book value. Just take it from me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th April, 2008

1st May 2008, 10:50

It is truly unfortunate that MB has some unscrupulous dealers in its network. I suggest you take your vehicle to a small independant garage that will appreciate your business. The differences in price and service may leave you astonished. I know from personal experience. Good luck!

7th Sep 2008, 03:57

You cannot blame this website's reviews.

People here tell you of their own experiences, and then you have to take the useful parts and use them to your advantage when buying a vehicle.

If you don't have the common sense or intelligence to do this, then I would recommend you take a knowledgeable mechanic along with you when you buy.

And EVERYONE knows that main dealers charge the earth.

2003 Mercedes-Benz Vito 108 CDI 2.2 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Can of the year


From day one the electric windows have a mind of their own, and you may have to close them several times on one journey.

The rear courtesy light falls out of the fixing, and is impossible to refit. We have brought a new unit from the dealer, but it still happens, and it's often found hanging from the wire. This is after being fitted by the main dealer.

At 30000 miles we found that when braking on a corner, the van would jump and lunge, and the traction light flash on the dash. When investigated by the dealer, they found rear wishbone had come loose, and would require a full four wheel alignment, which they did not offer. Upon completing this work, we tested the van and the same fault was present. Again back to the dealer for yet more investigation; this time we were told that the rear suspension had to be replaced. This has fixed the fault.

We are now on our fourth set of front tyres and associated full wheel alignment. This I believe is quite a common practice.

The fault this month is the gear box now jumps out of first gear, and the advice from the main dealer is we need to replace the unit. However the van is two months out of warranty, and after a fruitless and pointless conversation with Merc CUSTOMER RELATIONS, they are not prepared to assist with any of the costs.

General Comments:

This vehicle should be used for flower or pizza delivery, or to take the dogs out, and no way be used by any one who wishes to use it every day and expect many miles between services. The down time we have lost would have paid the extra cost toward a Volkswagen Transporter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th November, 2007

15th Mar 2009, 08:07

My advice, keep clear of all Mercedes. I bought a Vito CDI 108 new, and for all the right reasons, running cost, reliability and resale. I received none of the above and worse, and have been let down by the Mercedes dealerships and Daimler Chrysler. Never, never again Mercedes.

Ordered with a few options, 1 piece of glass ordered as genuine on delivery was fitted with non genuine. Mercedes did not want to know.

Heavy on steering, brakes and front tires.

Then it hit 40,000Km, injector trouble - repaired under warranty. Then another injector failure - replaced under warranty and then another one. 3 different injectors replaced under warranty.

Doors had come loose, fixed myself by re-tapping the threads all the way allowing bolts to be fully tightened.

Blown globes, so a great idea, to replace then with LED units. Not a good idea, when pressing the brakes, brake lights activate causing some feedback and engine dies. Back to normal globes.

All the time the only dealer has serviced it.

Glow plugs failed under warranty, faulty relay? Replaced now OK.

While in getting a service, 3 seats were torn and a mag wheel went missing after the dealer had fitted the spare steel wheel without authority. Mercedes told me, after I picked up the car and discovered the problem that they were not responsible for the vehicle, while it was in their care. I had to contract a solicitor to get a replacement/repair of parts.

The foam pad under the floor mat in the front disintegrated in the heat. Mercedes finally replaced this under warranty. Big argument to force them to accept this claim (as polystyrene does not break down with heat - just ask them).

Returning it again as I found cables, including a 4 gauge wire to my amp, squashed under a bolt to the seat-box. Again back to Mercedes, I watched as I assume the apprentice worked on it. Easy fix, just reef the cables out (no tools required). Absolutely sick of it.

Finally it's out of warranty, injector failure. Mercedes tell me the whole set need replacing. Bugger this, had it towed home and ordered some second hand units from Germany. In replacing, the injectors were corroded in, a 6mm bolt broken and 1 retaining bolt to an injector was broken, only holding by 1.5 turns. Made a mandrill, drilled it and tried to easy-out the bolt. Would not move, drilled it larger and water. Finally got it out, to find corrosion all over the broken bolt. So re-tapped it to 10mm and made & fitted a stainless (threaded) sleeve. all together again, won't start. Had the injectors cleaned, but they could not pressure test (not rebuildable anyway, as they cannot be dismantled). Pulled them apart myself, cleaned and reassembled. The car starts. But over time won't start, will start on airo-start though.

Now I've found air bleeding into the fuel lines when stationary, but no fuel leaks. Tried to trade it, guess what. The offer was lesser than the residual of the loan. I should have bought a donkey.

13th Feb 2010, 09:29

I have problem with my 108 CDI Vito being unable to pick speed up, and it won't go over 70 mph. Any suggestions please, as you have had your share of the problems with your Vito. Thanks.