Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van Review
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at a glance
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has deservedly gained a legendary reputation in the van sector, not only for its versatility and ardent suitability for different commercial uses but also for its constant technological innovation, with Mercedes always trying to push the boundaries of what a van can be. Since the Sprinter was first released in 1995, it has been the most popular light commercial vehicle in Europe, and, winning multiple awards, the new version continues Mercedes’ vigorous demand for mechanical innovation, boasting a new front-wheel drive system and refined Distronic adaptive cruise control.
The Sprinter’s versatility, being readily available in multiple variations, suits it to a variety of different commercial uses. From a reliable van outlet such as Van Sales UK, it is available with short, medium, long, and extra-long wheelbases, as well as high and low roof panels. Dropside and Tipper versions are also available with both single and crew cabs, as well as in a Luton trim paired with a tail lift and even electric e-Sprinter versions.
Every demand from a light commercial vehicle is covered here, with Mercedes’s adaptability once again putting it at the forefront of a consumer’s needs. The impressive virtue of this versatility is how the Sprinter’s new technological features are carried between models; the grippy front wheel drive functions just as effectively in a Luton as it does in a model with a shorter wheelbase and lower roof panel.
Engines and Spec
The 2022 Sprinter models are fitted with 2.0-litre turbodiesel engines, replacing the 2.1-litre options of the 2018 generation. There is little change to power and torque output, which continues to range from 114hp to 190hp and 300Nm to 440Nm, but, being much smoother and quieter, the comfortability of the driving experience is significantly improved.
The marquee addition to the Sprinter is the availability of front-wheel drive, a system which helps improve the fuel economy from previous versions, resting somewhere around 25mpg. Whilst not staggering fuel efficiency, the Sprinter’s adaptability and innovation make up for this. The compact transmission of the front-wheel drive system makes it a lighter vehicle and helps the van have a staggering turning circle at low speeds. Whilst the lightness of its steering can seem a bit too papery at mid-range speeds, the electric power steering adds solidity when you’re driving at around the national speed limit on motorways or dual carriageways.
Mercedes’ signature technological advancements in the Sprinter include Distronic adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist. This feature enables the van to go to a complete halt in stop-start traffic and then set off again without any pedal usage from the driver. Whilst this is staggeringly impressive, not to mention useful, the cruise control has certain drawbacks when used on motorways, as it reacts slowly to changes in traffic speed, and then overcorrects itself by braking harshly. This being said, there are creative additions that make up for this slight impracticality, such as the driver fatigue detector, which when detecting a lane change without the indicator being activated, the steering wheel gently vibrates to alert the driver.
Mercedes have made this version of the Sprinter much more luxury-inclined than its previous models, with improved soundproofing, a flock finish to the interior, and plywood lining, all establishing the cab of the van as a zone of comfort. When plastic is used on the interior, it feels textured with satisfyingly tactile switches and buttons, causing the Sprinter’s interior to feel significantly more refined than a standard van. It’s practical too, featuring large open areas, and whilst it lacks a glovebox, there is additional space around the gear stick, a space enlargened in automatic versions of the Sprinter.
The mix of comfort and practicality is further compounded by the sleek dashboard layout, which boasts a new navigation system, Bluetooth as standard, and voice control capabilities. Impressively, Mercedes-Benz created its own version of a digital assistant (like Siri or Alexa) for the van, but the only issue with this is that they lacked the creativity to call the feature anything other than ‘Mercedes’, meaning that any time you utter ‘Mercedes’ the voice command responds, something that grows increasingly irritating over time.
Another helpful feature of the Sprinter’s interior set-up is the 4G Wi-Fi internet connectivity, which comes as standard and is integrated into the Mercedes Pro Connect telematics system, a system that gives greater transparency of the van’s maintenance and improves communication with the manufacturer.
Pros & Cons
- Versatile van options
- Grippy front-wheel drive
- Exciting technological features
- Steering can feel too light at mid-range speeds
- Cruise control is unreliable at higher speeds
- An erratic voice command system
You can never really go wrong with a Mercedes Sprinter, it always brings impressive technological improvements and exciting features to the forefront, and is versatile in adapting the model type to your specific needs from a light commercial vehicle. The new Sprinter has not only succeeded in providing both innovation and versatility, but it has refined the van’s interior comfort, making it a quieter, more luxurious vehicle, with greater ease of use.
Not only this, but the addition of front-wheel drive, providing a remarkably grippy attachment to the road, has made the driving experience a joyful, effortless pleasure. Although some of the Sprinter’s modern features don’t entirely pay off, they still have certain uses and applications – the Distronic adaptive cruise control, for example, might not be effective at high speeds, but the traffic-jam assist is useful and reliable.
The only reason the Sprinter appears to have drawbacks in certain areas is the fact that it tries to do so much as a vehicle. It reaches for everything, and, impressively, it almost succeeds. In trying to do more, and attempting to innovate more than other van manufacturers, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is an unparalleled choice, whatever your needs are from a van.
If you need a new, used, or electric van, Van Sales UK have a huge range of options for you, including the magnificently innovative and versatile Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Call us at 0117 205 1446 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.