Our week with the Mercedes – Benz Valente

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.


  1. jocelyn says:

    Have just seen one this am while out doing the groceries and It caught my eye. We need to turn our oddessy over and need six seats. Im not sold on the new oddessy. My husband drives a BMW and we love it from a safety comfort and performance aspect. This will be on my to look at list.

  2. Great review Corrie, I’m impressed at you reverse parking the van. I’m pretty hopeless with parking and have been known to keep driving until I find a better (ie bigger) spot

  3. Hi Corrie, am happy you found a vehicle you like but I need to clarify ANCAP ratings which I know unfortunately from first hand experience of having had our 9 year old son seriously injured last year. He was sitting in the rear passenger seat of a stationary vehicle which was waiting to turn left at red lights when they were hit by a speeding driver who was doing 170km/hr. Without going into details, we had the children’s medical research institute contact us for permission to go and inspect the totally destroyed car our son was in as ancap ratings do not assess rear seat safety but this is where kids and grandparents sit. Children’s medical research insitute have or are about to change their name, are doing research to include rear seats in ANCAP ratings as this is where our precious kids sit. Needless to say I’m very wary of ANCAP ratings with respect to rear passenger safety as this where the kids sit. Den xxx

    • Gosh I am so sorry to hear about your son. That must be any parent’s worst nightmare. Thank you so much for sharing that information with us and you are right it is about our precious kidsxxxx I hope he is ok.

  4. I’m impressed with your reverse parking too. I have a Grand Carnival, and will drive around looking for bigger spots. I hate parking it. I can parallel park it fine though – go figure.

    I do like the look of the Valente, but we aren’t in the market for a new people mover for a few years yet. Our (2011 entry level) Grand Carnival has the bluetooth phone through radio and answering controls on the steering wheel, and I know the more expensive models have the automatic door feature. It definitely hasn’t got the three full seats in the back though, more like two and a half.

    • well you win because I can’t parallel park and yes you are right about the back seat. I can get 2 carseats and a little person squished in the middle of a kia but not 3 carseats:)

  5. I love that the seats move backwards and forwards. Every people mover I’ve owned has been useless on rear seat leg room, meaning that the shortest adult has to sit in the back row – me!

    I’d say that if Retro Daddy liked all the gadgets that cost extra, shop around because reversing cameras and bluetooth would be standard on all cars now (including my tiny hatchback). I could also add a camera for $1,500 or sensors for $400 on my Honda.

    How big is the boot?

    • Oh I know all about the shortie getting the smallest seat:) :) The boot was a great size and fit the double mountain buggy which is always a test and easy to get it in and out:)

      I just need a car with sensors as when I drive an older car without one I’m just reversing away waiting for those sensors to go off:) :)

  6. Interesting! We are going to look at one in the next few weeks after looking at the multivan and caravelle recently. We are (only!) expecting 3 and 4, so are considering taking two seats out of the caravelle giving us a very large boot. But it’s a very long car! How do you manage to go on trips and fit everything in?

    • You wouldn’t need a caravelle if you’re having 3 & 4 as it really is long, a 7 or 8 seater would be great for you. We’ve done trips to victoria and qld in the van and pack up the boot, instead of taking the big mountain buggy double which usually lives in the boot we take a smaller pram that goes at the feet and remember you can slide seats forward so for day to day use we have the seats more forward and it gives us a bigger boot. It is such a big decision choosing a car and can’t believe we are going to do it all over again with the 6th baby coming:)

  7. It sounds like a wonderful family car. We currently have a Chrysler Grand Voyager and I love it. It has a great boot space and also has auto sliding doors (I love these when it’s raining!) that can be controlled from the doors, the front console or the remote.

    • I really need those sliding doors in my next car! it feels like such a luxury whenever I’m driving a car with them!

      • It seems that we are getting to the point where we will need to turn over our car. As much as I love our Grand Voyager I’m now going to look at the Valente! Thanks for the review Corrie.

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