Mercedes T-Class Debuts As Posher, More Expensive Renault Kangoo
Two four-cylinder engines are available. The light commercial vehicle segment in Europe has been expanding rapidly in the last few years. Many mainstream brands, including Renault, Ford, Volkswagen, Peugeot, and Citroen, now have interesting compact vehicles that can be used by both the business and families with active lifestyles, depending on the trim level. This segment is now joined by a premium model coming from Stuttgart.
The new Mercedes-Benz T-Class debuts based on the bones of the all-new Renault Kangoo, which made its debut in November 2020. The French company unveiled two families of LCVs at the time – the new Kangoo, based on a new platform, and the new Express, basically a refreshed and modernized version of the Dacia Dokker, which is no longer available in Europe. The T-Class, in turn, follows the debut of the new Citan from last summer.
The new van is a posher, more luxurious, and more expensive alternative to the Kangoo, featuring a more premium overall appearance and additional tech options. The visual resemblances, however, are evident especially in the side profile of the two vehicles. The model from Stuttgart comes with a redesigned front fascia, different wheel designs, and different color options, though.
Many small and compact cars in Europe are now sold with three-cylinder engines but the T-Class has a range of four-cylinder turbocharged units. The base option is a 1.5-liter diesel engine with 95 horsepower (70 kilowatts), followed by a more powerful diesel with 116 hp (85 kW). Two gas motors are also available – both with a displacement of 1.3 liters, respectively generating 102 hp (75 kW) and 131 hp (96 kW).
The two diesel engines, as well as the more powerful gas engine, can be optionally had with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The standard gearbox is a six-speed manual. A fully electric version will be added to the lineup later during the model's life cycle.
The standard equipment of the new T-Class includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen display with smartphone integration, multifunctional steering wheel, keyless entry and engine start, air conditioning, and interior LED lighting. Two equipment lines are available – Style and Preogressive, each with a different take on the interior and exterior trim, different options list, and different styling elements. Seven airbags can be found in every single new T-Class, regardless of the trim level.
Mercedes will have the new van on sale soon with prices starting at just under €30,000, or about $32,000 with the current exchange rates. The base T160 comes with a 1.3-liter gas engine and a manual transmission. For reference, the base Renault Kangoo costs around €20,000 ($21,357) in Europe.