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Vanta Claus

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Vanta Claus

With the world population now at an estimated 7.1 billion, Santa is having to cover more miles with more gifts than ever; and with his reindeer looking a little long in the tooth, we thought it was about time he had an upgrade.

Could a Modern-day van, such as the impressive Mercedes Vito, do a better job than Santa's sleigh and reindeer?

Speed

Reindeer

37-50 mph

Vito Van

125 mph (Sport X)

With 224bhp, the Vito Sport X takes the prize for speed; and with around 212 million miles to cover, every little helps

Winner: Vito Van

Fuel

Reindeer

Lichens, moss and carrots

Vito van

Petrol / diesel

While fuel may generally cost a little more than a bag of carrots; the Vito, with a 78 litre tank and around 22mpg, could take Santa further without stopping than any reindeer.

Winner: Vito Van

Navigation

Reindeer

Migrate up to 5,000 miles per year

Vito Van

Optional APS navigation system

Large migration patterns show that reindeers have a strong memory, but they have nowhere to plug in a Satnav. The Vito, however, has the distinct advantage of a power source, up-to-date maps and traffic alerts.

Winner: Vito Van

Comfort

Sleigh

Open top, bench

Vito Van

Air con with optional heated seats

In the middle of winter, all that stands between St. Nick and the elements is his trademark red coat - modern air conditioning and heated seats would be an unheard of luxury in the North Pole. Also, we suspect the warm air coming from the Vito’s vents are likely to smell better than what comes from the reindeer.

Winner: Vito Van

Visibility

Reindeer

Low-spectrum UV vision

Vito Van

Standard manufactured headlights

UV vision might help Rudolph find food buried in the snow 364 days a year, but will be of little use to Santa, straining in the sleigh with a spotlight, searching for his next chimney.

Winner: Vito Van

Style

Sleigh

Bright red, open top with super-cute animals

Vito Van

Optional tinted windows, alloy wheels and a range of colours and body styles

In the winter, the reindeer’s fur changes to a nice creamy colour, keeping their look fresh. It’s a matter of taste, but we think Mrs Clause would rather a ride home in an all-red Vito Sport X.

Winner: Vito Van

Entertainment

Sleigh

Lovely bird's-eye views below (and reindeer behinds in front)

Vito Van

Radio/CD player with Mp3 connectivity

We don’t believe that Santa could deliver iPods to millions of children without treating himself, and modern vans are generally ready for them, keeping the Christmas tunes going all night long.

Winner: Vito Van

Payload/Capacity

Sleigh

2.0 cubic metres / 1,088kg (based on 1 reindeer able to pull 300 pounds, x8)

Vito Van

Up to 7.4 cubic metres / 1,055kg

Sticking with his sleigh for hundreds of years indicates that Santa Clause may be more of a man of tradition than a slave to fashion, but the practicality of modern vans poses an interesting argument.

Winner: Vito Van

Magic

Santa and his sleigh

Vito Van

Everyone knows Santa and his sleigh are powered by magic and while van owners have been known to rave about the gadgets and smooth transmission offered by the Vito, Santa wins this round hands down.

Winner: Santa

The Result

The fact is that with 212,030,000 miles to travel, the choice could all rest on whether St. Nick’s magic works as well on a van as it has on his red-nosed beasties.

Even the impressive Vito from Mercedes would struggle to meet the demands of Christmas Eve. However, aside from a little Christmas magic and some driving lessons for Santa, the van matches up well against the famous one-horse open sleigh.

Brought to you in partnership with: ipostparcels.com

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reindeer (University College London reindeer sight study)
http://nationalzoo.si.edu/SCBI/AnimalCare/News/25daysreindeer.cfm (reindeer facts)
http://mentalfloss.com/article/29470/11-things-you-might-not-know-about-reindeer (reindeer facts)
http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/409/20121218/10-fascinating-facts-reindeer-beyond-christmas-photos.htm (reindeer facts)
http://people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/holidays/santas-sleigh1.htm (Santa article)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/8188997/The-science-of-Christmas-Santa-Claus-his-sleigh-and-presents.html (The science of Christmas)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/6859529/Father-Christmass-Christmas-Eve-in-figures.html (Santa’s Christmas in figures)