Mercedes Viano Problems: Are They Reliable?

The Mercedes Viano is the passenger-carrying version of the Mercedes Vito van. The large MPV first went on sale in 1996 as a V-Class van and has undergone a few facelifts since then as well as the name change in 2003.

Mercedes is synonymous with quality, but older models of the Viano have a reputation for being more unreliable than other vans or cars under the brand.

Is the Mercedes Viano reliable?

Mercedes Viano

The Viano was designed to seat up to six adult passengers, and this large MPV has been popular for those who require larger seating capacities. However, the build quality is not at the same level as Mercedes cars, with more of a van feel than an MPV.

Mercedes Viano problems include cheaper interiors in the older models, although more recent upgrades feel extra plush. Although you can expect the Viano to be more reliable than other makes, you will find that older models can be less reliable than other Mercedes.

Mercedes Viano common problems

You will find fewer problems on newer Vianos, but there are some common problems with the older models. You must be particularly careful when buying older models as they have often been used as taxis and therefore undergone a heavy workload.

Although the Viano gets a 4-star review for safety, you will find that there have been issues, including faulty sliding doors and automatic gearboxes.

2014 Mercedes Viano problems

On the 2014 Viano, you will find that the V6 turbodiesel engine shows its age by being noisy at high revs. The alternative 2.1l turbo is loud from the start, and gear changes are not smooth in either the petrol or diesel options.

The poor suspension also causes problems as it can be an uncomfortable ride.

Mercedes Viano electric sliding door problems

Common Mercedes Viano problems include issues with the electric sliding doors. Many owners find they have trouble with them failing to open fully.

It seems to be a problem with the contacts on the pillar. I have heard that some owners were lucky to solve issues with a wipe-down with WD 40, but many others have needed to look at wiring issues and attempt disconnections from the battery.

Mercedes Viano automatic gearbox problems

Mercedes gearboxes are generally reliable as they make them all themselves, but in older Vianos, there has been a frequent issue with them going into limp mode.

To isolate the exact cause of the problem, you will need to enlist the help of a dealer who can read the fault codes. Replacing the gearbox fluid may help, but the underlying issue, such as the speed sensor, will need fixing.

Mercedes Viano 3.0 CDi problems

Common Mercedes Viano problems include issues with the 3.0 CDi engines, notably on pre-2008 models. Many owners experience their vehicles going into limp mode, causing power loss. The car will still drive but without the appropriate power.

The EGR valve can cause the fault, but you may need to get the codes read to isolate the problem. The turbo often has a defect, but it can also be the catalytic converter.

Mercedes Viano electrical problems

Many owners have experienced disheartening intermittent electrical faults that can cause the Viano to stop when idling. It can take a few attempts to get the van going again.

It is most likely that the relay causes these intermittent electrical problems. Often rainwater gets into the relay, causing corrosion and some shorting of the electrical system.

Mercedes Viano aircon problems

A problem with some Vianos is the gas leaking from an unseen leak in the air con system even after regassing. This would appear to be an issue with the evaporator located under the dashboard.

Most owners find a problem with the evaporator matrix or the supply pipes, and the air-con works as usual once sorted.

Mercedes Viano 3.2 petrol problems

The petrol engine on the pre-2014 Vianos is a 3.2-litre V6 with 218bhp. It gives a smooth drive but requires hard work, meaning it is not very economical.

This engine can also suffer from fuel pump issues.

What is the best year for Mercedes Viano vans in terms of reliability?

The Viano had a facelift in 2010 that produced more fuel-efficient engines and better torque with better reliability. After 2014 it was remodelled as the V-class range, and these models are more reliable than the older ones.

How many miles will a Mercedes Viano last?

Despite some Mercedes Viano problems, it is not unusual to see second-hand ones for sale with over 300,000 miles on the clock. One thing to be aware of when buying an older Viano is that many have been used as taxis. That in itself is not a problem, but some may have had their clock changed to show fewer miles.

Always check the service and MOT history to understand the actual mileage.