We have a lot of these vans on the road and I must say that they are quiet fun to drive. The parking brake pedal is too high which will cause some occasional kicking against the dash. The manual shifted version sometimes hurt my fingers while shifting in fifth gear and my right knee has some space-trouble with the transmission-wobble in the dash. Besides that the van is nice to drive.
The engine is different to that of all MB models. The engine is not installed in the length (as in all MB models), but is installed in the width (90 degrees rotated). The V230 has a 2,3 liter engine and there are 2,3 (turbo) diesels available for this vehicle as well.
Until now I have not heard of any overwhelming problems with the rear suspension and I know nothing about a 2002 E class replacement.
Any other questions?
with a minor 600+k