Their nine-seat New Vito 119 BlueTEC Tourer Select is one of the first vehicles to be delivered by Hughes since the Dealer secured approval to supply disabled people and their carers through the Government-backed Motability scheme.
The couple, who live in Milton Keynes, are now enjoying getting out and about together again, and looking forward to taking short holidays in the UK.
Mrs Sheward has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 30 years but recently her symptoms have worsened. Her husband explained: “Jacqueline uses two wheelchairs, a manual one and a large electric off-road version which is very stable for mounting kerbs and the like, but cannot be dismantled and won’t fit in a car. With the New Vito, however, I can take out the rear seats and get her wheelchairs into the back of the vehicle using ramps.”
Launched last spring, the New Vito has raised the bar for mid-sized vans. It is also available as a panel van or crew van, with second row of seats, and comes in three lengths and at three gross weights.
As a Select model, the Shewards’ Long-bodied van came with eye-catching 16-inch light alloy wheels and colour-coded bumpers. The vehicle is also air-conditioned while passengers get comfort seat benches with armrests and adjustable backrests and headrests; thanks to the rail system and quick-release mechanisms, seating arrangements can be varied.
Their van has an advanced 2.1-litre engine, the first low-emission Euro 6 powerplant in its class, which is paired with a standard-fit, smooth-changing 7G-Tronic Plus transmission, the world’s only automatic gearbox for vans with a torque converter and seven gears.
As well as planning a long-anticipated break in Scotland, the couple use the Mercedes-Benz to visit their three daughters and five grand-children – “The kids already have me down as a new taxi service,” laughed Mr Sheward. Its arrival also means that Mrs Sheward is able once again to accompany her husband on trips to the park when he walks their dogs.
“The New Vito is fabulous,” enthused Mr Sheward. “It’s a joy to drive and clearly built to an exceptionally high standard with top-quality fittings, just as you’d expect of Mercedes-Benz.” He continued: “Hughes’ Van Sales Executive Ben Smith was fantastic too. Over the years we’ve acquired several vehicles through the Motability scheme and his service was the best we’ve had from any dealer, by a mile. “Ben was very diligent in gaining an understanding of our requirements and helping us to choose the right specification, then kept us fully up to date all the way through, until the vehicle arrived a couple of weeks early.” He added: “We’ve changed our previous Motability vehicles every three years, but we’re so pleased with our first Mercedes-Benz that we’re intending to run it for twice as long.”
Hughes of Aylesbury won an important stamp of approval from the manufacturer earlier this year when it achieved accreditation as a Mercedes-Benz Van ProCenter – this demanding standard of excellence reflects the industry-leading quality of its people and sales procedures. Van Sales Manager Emma Cale and Ben Smith have recently undergone training that qualifies them to retail vehicles through the Motability scheme, which enables disabled people to lease a new vehicle on attractive terms using their Government-funded mobility allowance.
To speak to a member of our Sales Team, call us on 01296 321734