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Long Wheelbase vs. Short Wheelbase – What’s the Difference?

25 Jul 2022

When looking for your perfect van, you will have considered what cargo you will be carrying and the types of location you will be visiting but have you considered what wheel base best suits your requirements? The wheelbase of any vehicle is the distance between the centre of the front wheels and the centre of the rear wheels.

Long wheelbase and short wheelbase are the two main options for you to consider but what are the differences? We have highlighted the advantages of each wheelbase option and how they will benefit your drive, whether it's for business or personal use.

Long Wheelbase (LWB)

Larger storage area

Of course if you’re buying a longer vehicle, you’re going to have a larger area in the back for storage. You may be planning on using your van for your business and need the availability to carry large tools and equipment from A to B.  

A bigger space out back is also a massive bonus if you’re planning on converting your van and making it a home from home. A LWB vehicle means more room for a bed, kitchen and all the gear you need when out on the road.

A more comfortable drive

The wheels on a LWB vehicle are further apart so when you hit a bump in the road on your journey, the duration of time between the front and rear wheels going over an uneven service will be longer. This will make the overall drive a smooth and comfortable ride.

Short Wheelbase (SWB)

Easier to manoeuvre

A vehicle with a SWB means it's easier to get around tight spaces and create less of a turning circle if you miss your stop! If you’re planning on taking your van on a road trip down country roads, getting down those narrow lanes and through the traffic will be a much simpler journey. Similarly if you’re planning on an adventure which involves off-roading, a SWB is a much safer option to avoid getting stuck!

A sportier drive

Tighter handling around corners and feeling like you can zip up and down the lanes means driving a SWB can be a lot of fun giving it a sportier feel when on the move. Choosing which wheelbase is best for you is really down to personal preference, but things to consider when making your decision are what cargo you will be carrying, how you would like the drive to feel and the types of location you will be taking your van to.

Here at Mercedes-Benz South West, we're here to keep your van moving. We sell a wide and versatile range of Approved Used vans, as well as providing service and maintenance care to keep your van every bit Mercedes-Benz.

If you have any other questions about our approved used vans then please contact your local dealership, our friendly LCV experts will be happy to help.


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