The T-Class is certainly Mercedes' last attempt to drive the Citan high-roof station wagon into the hearts of the luxury target group. Based on the new Renault Kangoo, people in Stuttgart have worked hard to bring the flair to the city titan that is commonly used from the star. But is that enough?
The Mercedes Citan never really buzzed. The city delivery van, which was created in cooperation with Renault and is based on the Kangoo, was always more French than a real star bearer, despite all the efforts of the Stuttgart company. The original McGyver, who hit the advertising drum in commercials almost eleven years ago, did not help the city titan, according to the idea of the name Citan.
But also the guy who defuses a bomb with a paper clip and opens a door with superglue. Or was it the other way around? It doesn't matter, even he couldn't prevent the Citan from really rolling on the road to success. Especially not as a family-friendly high-roof station wagon with the nickname Tourer. In this respect, Mercedes strikes a last blow before the cooperation with Renault ends, makes the Citan the T-Class and puts the whole thing under the slogan "Life gets big".
Which actually only means that the new T-Class offers space for the whole family and that - you'll be amazed - up to three child seats can be attached to the back seat. Exactly, other high-roof station wagons can do that too, and in this respect it really doesn't distinguish a T-Class from the much cheaper competition. Because, be careful: For such a Pampers bomber with a star, the interested family has to pay at least 29,315 euros.
So what is it then that sets the T-Class apart from Kangoo, Berlingo and whatever they're called? For example, there is the standard MBUX infotainment system, which is presented on a rather modest 7-inch central display, but is far above what is customarily installed here by other manufacturers. The electric parking brake, the 17-inch wheels, the keyless access, the ambient lighting and the seat cushions in man-made leather are fine additions that suit the star well. But the interested party must be aware that we are talking about the fine things from the option list, all of which are subject to additional payment.
To briefly open a number: The extra ingredients mentioned here - except for the 17-inch model - are available together with fine decorative elements and decorative seams as well as electric windows in the sliding doors for 3633 euros. You don't have to invest in security anymore. Mercedes has worked extensively here and already installed tire pressure monitoring, the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system and numerous driver assistance systems as standard equipment. These include Hill Start Assist and Crosswind Assist, Drowsiness Warning, Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Speed Limit Assist.
If you want a distance assistant and an adaptive lane departure warning system, you'll have to wait a bit, this function will only be available later this year. If you don't like parking and parking, you can book the parking assistant with reversing camera in the T-Class for an additional 1107 euros. LED headlights are available for 988 euros and trailer stabilization for another 676 euros, because up to 1.5 tons can be hooked. If you take all that with you and then perhaps also opt for the really smart bicycle locking system, which is simply hooked into the folded rear seat backrests, you will easily pay 36,000 euros for your luxury high-roof combination.
Oh wait, and we're still talking about the 160 models here. So the T 160 d, the diesel with 95 hp, and the T 160 with 102 hp. Two engines that are likely to be significantly underpowered in view of the use of a T-Class, which is more suitable for transport than for solo use. This assumption also results from the first test drives with the T 180. It draws 131 hp from the same 1332 cubic centimeter displacement of the four-cylinder and generates a maximum torque of 240 Newton meters. With the more powerful engines, the power can either be distributed manually via a six-speed gearbox or via a really charming seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
But that also cannot prevent the start with a sprint time of at least 12 seconds at country road speed from being quite sluggish. In addition, the response of the engine to gas commands is very restrained and the dosing via the right foot is very indifferent. And if you're in a hurry, you have to be patient. Because the T 180 is specified in the data sheet with a top speed of 183 km/h - but before that is reached, it needs a run-up of a few kilometers.
It is better to be content with Tempo 160, because with every km/h there are definitely no more reserves. In addition, the engine develops a background noise that cannot be ignored from 130 km/h, which, in combination with the rolling and wind noise, is not really pleasant on long journeys. Incidentally, the engines all come from Renault. Which in the end doesn't explain why consumption in the first test was a whopping 8.3 liters despite a very restrained driving style around Lake Starnberg.
However, the family transporter deserves a compliment for its chassis. This also takes the weight from the high-rise construction well with faster corners and then lets the T scurry around corners very quickly. The steering is also rather enjoyable compared to this class. It's direct enough and really guides the van to where the driver places it directionally. And in the end, of course, the following applies: A high-roof station wagon is not a sports car and does not have to drive like one.
More important is a storage space of up to 2390 liters, which can be equipped either with the two side sliding doors or the tailgate that swings wide open. And in addition to the many shelves and the folding tables in the second row, which is blessed with ample legroom, the transport and leisure systems specially developed for the Stuttgarter make such a car so appealing. In addition to the bicycle transport system already mentioned, there is a suitable dog box, a picnic table with four integrated stools or space for a surfboard. And if something really doesn't fit into the T-Class, it can also be buckled up thanks to the roof rails.
But whether that is worth an additional charge of more than 3000 euros compared to an almost identically equipped Renault Kangoo, which costs 33,250 euros with all the chicanes, is something that the interested party has to decide for themselves.