People movers aren’t dead, they’re just more true to their American name — minivan — than ever before, with the new Mercedes-Benz T-Class being just the latest offering based on a European van.
Using the Mercedes-Benz Citan as its starting point, the T-Class is distinguished colour-coded bumpers, two sliding rear doors, a lift-up tailgate, and fancier grille treatments.
With badge engineering being the name of the game in the world of commercial vehicles, the Citan/T-Class shares its drivetrains, platform, doors and core body structure with the Renault Kangoo.
Both the Citan and T-Class have completely unique front-end and dashboard designs compared to their more humble Renault siblings.
At launch the T-Class is only available in short wheelbase format. Measuring 4498mm long, 1859mm wide, 1811mm tall and riding on a 2716mm wheelbase, the SWB T-Class has space for up to five people.
A long wheelbase model will join the range in the not-too-distant future, and can accommodate up to seven people across three rows.
The interior comes standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen running the Mercedes-Benz MBUX infotainment system, a 5.5-inch multi-function display, air conditioning, a multi-function steering wheel, rear luggage cover, faux leather surfaces, and an enclosed glove box.
High-end models are dressed up with bright yellow interior trim pieces, contrasting stitching, configurable LED interior lighting, and fold-out tables built into the front seat backs.
On the safety front the T-Class can be had with parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking, fatigue monitoring, and trailer stability assist.
At some stage in the car’s lifecycle an all-electric versions, badged eCitan for the van and EQT for the passenger hauler, will join the lineup.
These two models will likely feature the same drivetrain as the Renault Kangoo E-Tech, which pairs a 75kW electric motor driving the front wheels with a 45kWh battery pack that’s good for a WLTP range of 265km.
The internal combustion versions of the T-Class will likely go on sale later this year across Europe.