The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter finishes first (or second) place when it comes to the big-van race (& it's even more affordable on a lease). But you're probably wondering exactly why it's a winner... Vanarama Van Expert Tom Roberts is here to report.
A backend that can carry a bulky payload, tech-defying trim, versatility & it drives like a dream! Can we just take a minute to give Mercedes-Benz a MASSIVE round of applause for creating a truly brilliant van?
Mercedes Sprinter Gets Top Marks For Tech
Now, Mercedes really has gone all out when it comes to the Sprinter's tech spec & it puts other vans on its par to shame.
There is no way you will be disappointed. How could you be when it speaks to you? Seriously! The conversation starts with you saying, "hey Mercedes" & the response (composed in a very delicate but assertive tone) is "how can I help?" So, it's not the longest conversation you'll ever hold but it gets the job done.
The voice control system is part of Mercedes-Benz's MBUX technology set (Mercedes-Benz user experience) & it is DEFINITELY an experience, it's like something you would see on Back to the Future. Mercedes even label it as 'state-of-the-art', which it certainly is.
It gets better. The MBUX tech kits you out with a 7" infotainment touch-screen, but this isn't any ordinary display, there's a built-in web browser. Which by the way you should only use when parked! Mercedes has even put your entire driver handbook into the 7" screen, but if you're not happy with that you still get the bulky book for your service stamps.
Other futuristic features include:
- Keyless start - they're not the first to have it & they won't be the last, but the point is there's no keys needed.
- Push-of-a-button breakdown assistance – which can easily be mistaken for the cabin light (this happened to me).
- Multi-function steering wheel, kitted out with buttons to control EVERYTHING in the cabin.
So, think of the Sprinter as a sea captain & other large vans as the sailors being made to walk the plank. Who would you want to be?
A Huge Loadspace
The load space in the Mercedes Sprinter isn't bad either, actually its great. The L3H2 version we reviewed measures in at over 4 meters in length & 1.7 meters in width!
If you don't need a loading bay as big as this one, the Sprinter has 3 more sizes you can choose from. Ranking from smallest to biggest - L1 (short), L2 (medium), L3 (long) & the biggest being L4 (extra-long). There's a range of roof heights to: H1 (standard) H2 (high) & H3 (super-high). Additional interior accessories for the cargo bed are:
- LED light strips
- Lashing rail system
- Wall anchoring system
- Rachet and restraint belts
- Multifunction storage box
Right, so the backend is brilliant, but what's it like to drive?
Our tried & tested 6-speed manual model revs up to 112bhp. The Sprinter takes to the road like a duck in water & its weighty body doesn't hold it back. In fact, it feels more like you're driving a car than a large van. Its pulling power is seamless when you change gear & its engine is softly spoken.
When you're in the driving seat it's like you're in a translucent glass box, its massive windows with minimal trim mean there's visibility everywhere. The large door mirrors help accommodate the range of road too.
The only thing we can criticise is the size of the cupholders, they are ridiculously small. The suspension is slightly spongey when carrying light loads, but it's bound to be so I'm not knocking off points, just flagging it up. This 3.5t van also has 3 more engine outputs to choose from: 143bhp, 163bhp and 190bhp.
There's no question about it the Sprinter is big, so its going to have a bigger engine. Automatically you think bigger the engine bigger the emissions but its EURO 6 engines mean emissions are reduced.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter runs past its contenders in the large van race, so there's no wondering why it's called the Sprinter. From the bonnet to the backend it's an all-round winner. We think Mercedes have created a truly impressive van that is first to the finish line when it comes to its tech & dimension spec. Definitely one to watch.