This post is brought to you by the Mercedes- Benz Valente
With a family of 7 (soon to be 8) we were definitely well suited to test drive the Mercedes-Benz Valente, an 8 seater! We’ve got a bit of experience with people movers but had never driven the Valente before. Our first people mover was a Kia Carnival, then we moved on to a Multivan, and in between we’ve driven a Tarago and Grand Carnival too. So I think there are only one or two other people movers and then I can confidently say that I’ve driven them all. But the Valente I test drove would hands down be the most luxurious that I’ve driven to date.
And the week that we had the Valente it rained non stop………for 5 days. So we well and truly tested it in wet weather conditions…..thankfully on a Sunday afternoon there was a break in the rain where I could dash down to a local park and grab some photos.
For us a car has to be a 7 seater and with our 8th family member due in August we are looking at an 8 seater as our next car………will I be working on getting the Valente? Well you’ll just have to keep reading and see.
In many ways the Valente reminds me of my own current car seeing as they are both made in Germany and having those features that German cars are known for..namely safety. And that is reflected in the Valente being awarded a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. The highest rating awarded. The Valente is solid in construction like my van and you feel that whenever you open or close a door and you won’t feel it when you are driving or opening doors in another type of passenger van. Airbags, front and rear sensors, automatic doors and a reversing camera came with the model we tested and I could get used to that camera and automatic doors which don’t come with my car. The automatic doors can be operated from the front console or there are red buttons on each side of the car at the rear doors. And if you’re worried about safety and little fingers then don’t. The doors have a safety mechanism so that if something obstructs the door then they will stop. Perfect.
School drop off and pick up is a breeze, you can press the side doors to open from the front console and the kids can climb out and walk into school – and as someone suggested that can open a whole new world to you in terms of what you wear to school drop off………….think comfort over style. In the afternoon it was super easy to open the doors and the kids climbed in and I could close the doors when they were safely in. That saved me getting out of the car to do it all and hold up the car line.
The car phone is also a fabulous feature of the Valente as well. Just sync your mobile phone and it operates through the radio system.
The Valente is easy to drive, super easy to park and has a nice tight turning circle which you don’t always get on a people mover – think reversing into spots – mind you I never parallel park so don’t ask how it is to parallel park as I haven’t done one since my license. But I always reverse my van into spots as it’s so much easier to drive out and this was fabulous especially with the parking sensors and rear camera. Love that rear camera which I’m not used to.
The side seat on the passenger side folds down and forward to let people into the back row and the van is very spacious with it’s 8 seats. Some 7 or 8 seaters really squeeze you in the back or don’t let you fit 5 car seats in the back but this is definitely 8 full sized seats. the 2nd and 3rd rows slide forward and backward so you can have less or more boot space and more leg room if needed. Leg room is not an issue for us just fitting 5 car seats in is our biggest issue and it was not a problem in the Valente. I also hope you appreciate the keeping it real photo with some grass and crumbs in there. True proof that a family of 7 tested out this car in a week. Perhaps I should have made a trip to McDonalds part of the test drive and thrown a few fries around the back seat too. Don’t worry. We didn’t but I’m sure you’d find the odd french fry or two in our car.
When retro daddy collected the car from the Mercedes Benz Alexandria dealership he did warn them that this was dangerous as his wife is going to want one of these by the end of the week. But I have to say that it was probably him who wanted it more than me. This was such a great car to drive and definitely has some added features that our current van doesn’t have. With our 8th family member due this year we are in the market for a new car and retro daddy is leaning towards the Valente than me. That is saying something for someone who doesn’t like buying new things.
In terms of price the entry level Valente comes in at around $54,000 which is equivalent to the Multivan entry level model as well. If you want some of the extra features like we had in the model we test drove like the automatic doors and reversing camera then you will pay more and the model we drove as pictured here is about $74,000 on the road. Now our budget for our next car is more like the entry level price and I feel that for the quality, brand and features that you get it makes it worth a test drive if you are looking for a people mover. And especially those of us with large families who want safety and reliability and drive our cars a lot including holidays. I would definitely feel safe and comfortable on the road driving this to Queensland each year just as I felt safe driving this in some really heavy rain on the motorway each day to school and back.
If you’d love a test drive then just get in touch with your nearest Mercedes-Benz dealership, they were super friendly down at Alexandria and who knows…we might be back at the end of the year to get a good deal.