Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which shares much with the VW Crafter is perhaps one of the most recognised vans on the road, second only to the Ford Transit. Well renowned for very strong engines and good build quality these vans are capable of being run for many years and into the hundreds of thousands of miles (when properly maintained).
Whilst the strong engines offer excellent performance, there are few people who havent been overtaken by a Sprinter doing well in excess of 80mph and down on its axles, and the build quality is good, the sacrifice is payload and price.
The most expensive van on the road, the Sprinter starts off at around £23,000 but more importantly the discounts on these vehicles are not as strong as on its competitors which makes it, in real life, a more expensive proposition. This is justified though by virtue of the excellent build quality and strong engines to boot.
As mentioned above, the compromise of good build quality is noticeably reduced payload, with the most payload efficient option, the SWB Medium Roof at up to 1,403kg which is just under 200kg less than the equivalent Citroen Relay, reviewed here. The smallest sprinter does however offer a little more by way of load length with a usable 2.6m and load height of 1540mm and 1350mm between the wheel arches which is relatively standard. The largest Sprinter will give you an impressive 4700mm usable load length and 2140mm internal height, although it is worth mentioning the load height is only 1840mm. The payload however is only a maximum of 1065kg.
As mentioned before, one of the key selling points of the Sprinter is the engine. Available as a 2.1d with between a woeful 95hp, more respectable 129hp (most likely the most commonly ordered), or strong 163hp, the 4 cylinder power plant is versatile with good torque on the latter two. However, if you feel you need even more oomph, the 6-cylinder 3l diesel produces and impressive 190hp and massive amount of torque. 0-62mph times are almost never released for vans, but you could be assured this would be leaving just about any other van behind.
Looks wise, well¦ like any other van, its a tin box on wheels. The front end does look a little dated compared to the likes of the Citroen Relay and who really cares¦ On the inside, the Sprinter shares much with its (brother from another mother) the VW Crafter with the dash etc all being the same (just the radio and steering wheel look different really). The seats are firm and you can be sure they will stay just as firm in years to come. The typically german trait of firm, less comfortable than the competition, but ever-lasting seats is clearly apparent here too.
Tech wise and safety wise, the Sprinter is on par with things like cross-wind assist, Bluetooth Hands Free, DAB Radio/SD (sorry no CD player anymore), multi-function steering wheel, cruise control and speed limiter.
Overall, if you are not sensitive on price or payload, the Sprinter is a worthy contender and starting at around £23,000 and going up to around £35,000 for the largest, most powerful, but lowest payload option. From a financing perspective, the price there is still a premium with contract hire pricing being north of £400 for your typical long wheelbase medium roof on a 3+35 covering 10,000 miles per annum. Typically though most just HP such a vehicle in the knowledge it will be worked hard so this is less of an issue, but residuals will be a little stronger than the likes of a Renault Master and at the end of the day it is not uncommon to see a big, rusty old Sprinter still flying past you on the M1, whilst the the same year Relays et al will have been recycled into goodness knows what long ago.
Payload: 714kg “ 1403kg (up to 3500kg GVW)
Load Volume: 7.5cu.m “ 17 cu.m
Load Length (at mid height): 2.6m “ 4.7m
Load Height (through rear doors): 1.65m “ 1.94m
Load Width (between wheel arches): 1.35m
Vehicle Length: 5.26 “ 7.36m
If you would like to find out more about contract hiring or leasing the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, or any other van