As an executive shuttle or transport for a large middle-class family, the Viano has few rivals.
It has been a favourite in the chauffeur market since the Spanish-build MPV was launched in 2004, and this year Mercedes added the X-Clusive variant to keep interest peaked.
This special edition is based on the top-spec Ambiente trim, which provides four individual captains’ chairs positioned around a foldaway table in the rear, rear air suspension for easy loading, a 12v portable fridge, tinted glass and a luggage net to hold loads secure.
To this, the X-Clusive adds an exterior styling package, metallic black paintwork and anthracite leather upholstery, a silver radiator grille, front and rear parking sensors, chrome tailpipe and 18in alloys.
While all this can never truly disguise its van-like shape, it makes Viano look and feel far superior to the normal crop of MPVs.
It drives well too, with its 3.0-litre V6 diesel providing a decent turn of speed and a sense of stability that defies its size and load-lugging capability.
In long-wheelbase form, it can comfortably host a family of six and enough luggage for a mid-week break.
The parking assistance is very accurate, thankfully, as with its length approaching five metres Viano could easily pick up
parking scuffs from drivers moving up from a normal people carrier.
Large families aside, typical customers are likely to be hotels, private airfields and chauffeur companies.
That’s as long as Viano’s rival – the Volkswagen Caravelle Executive – doesn’t win them first.
Dealers should point out that the VW may be £3,200 cheaper, but it doesn’t quite match the Mercedes on efficiency.