The Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer is based on the eVito panel van – but carries people instead of tools.

In a week when I needed to make a 300-mile round trip to a part of the world not blessed with EV chargers, I did wonder if the arrival of an all-electric nine-seater on my driveway was good timing or not.

However, my initial anxieties gradually subsided as the lengthy journey progressed.

Firstly, I was reassured by the fact the range stated on the digital display seemed to be going down at a rate broadly in line with reality. The eVito is good for 221 miles, according to the official stats, and I found myself achieving close to 190 miles with some disciplined driving. Cruise control clearly achieved the best results while, at one point, I turned off the heating and saw a 15-mile increase in potential range.

Somerset County Gazette: Mercedes eVito Tourer

Secondly, a fear that I might spend lots of time sitting in service stations waiting for the eVito to charge wasn’t borne out. Indeed, the vehicle can rapidly charge to 80 per cent in just 40 minutes – around the time it took me for a leisurely KFC and a brew at Scotch Corner.

Lastly, it doesn’t feel like an absolute tank to drive. Yes, it’s a big lump of metal, but the handling and refinement bely its bulk. It’s really quiet and relaxing to drive.

With a 201bhp electric motor and 90kWh usable battery under the floor, the eVito has the power to handle most everyday situations, as well as benefitting from the immediate acceleration you come to associate with EVs.

The Tourer seats up to nine adults, with a flexible seating arrangement that means the two rear benches can be configured in a row or in a more sociable face-to-face layout.

Somerset County Gazette: Mercedes eVito Tourer

The front seats, providing room for three occupants, are in the type of upright commanding position you’d associate with a van. The driver’s seat is separate from the wider bench to the left, allowing it to be manually adjusted upwards, downwards, forwards and backwards to create a more car-like driving position.

Three people can sit on the middle bench with acres of legroom and likewise for the back bench.

There’s also plenty of space behind the back row of seats for luggage, especially in this longer version of the vehicle.

The dash and door inlays are more durable than flamboyant, with plenty of scratchy plastics giving the cabin a workmanlike and practical quality.

The instruments in the driver’s compartment are clearly arranged and all controls are within easy reach.

Somerset County Gazette: Mercedes eVito Tourer

The central touchscreen is nicely integrated into the dash, with several physical dials down the sides for ease of use.

With things like SatNav not coming as standard, it’s a system that’s highly dependent on connecting an Android Auto or Apple CarPlay device to achieve the best results.

Looks-wise, the vehicle has a smart appearance from the front, including a prominent grille and a stylish headlight signature.

Due to its length and need for interior space, the rear of the vehicle is, by necessity, somewhat boxy and unremarkable. Meanwhile, 17-inch alloy wheels are standard.

I was a little surprised to find that some safety features, including lane keep assist and a reversing camera, don’t come as standard in a vehicle of this price.

All in all, it’s a good package, with a useful range, well-built interior and decent driving dynamics.

Starting from £63,640, the price increases sharply depending on which version you opt for. By the time you get to the eVito Premium L3, it’ll set you back £ 84,744.

The quality of the vehicle isn’t in doubt, but the value for money provided by the pricetag might make buyers think twice – especially when options are added.

Mercedes-Benz eVito Tourer

RANGE: 221 miles (WLTP)
CHARGE SPEED: Approx 40 min to 80 per cent at rapid charger
POWER: 201bhp
PRICE: From £63,640