The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is now available to order, for delivery from June onwards. Prices for the new Sprinter model will start from £24,350 +VAT.
The new van breaks new ground for Mercedes and also for the van industry, with a string of firsts:
- First Sprinter available with front wheel drive
- First van model fitted with 9G-TRONIC 9-speed automatic transmission (FWD models)
- “Most advanced connectivity solution ever fitted to a van” — Mercedes PRO will provide 18 connected services customers can choose from at the time of launch
- Sector-first safety features, including Active Brake Assist with pedestrian protection
- MBUX – Mercedes-Benz User Experience. Carried over from the firm’s cars, the new Sprinter will get a 7-inch touchscreen as standard with features including DAB radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and steering wheel touch pads.
Range & Powertrain
The new Sprinter will be available in three wheelbases, four vehicle lengths, three roof heights and chassis van models.
There will also be a tourer (minibus) and a tractor head model for motorhome converters. This is basically a cab + front wheels with no chassis or rear wheels, allowing for a purpose built motorhome chassis to be fitted to the rear. It’s a sign that Mercedes is trying to go head-to-head with FIAT, whose Ducato model dominates the growing motorhome market.
Buyers will be able to choose between four-cylinder and V6 diesel engines, in line with the current engine lineup. FWD models will be available with the firm’s nine-speed automatic gearbox, while RWD models will have the option of a seven-speed auto.
Safety, Comfort & Connectivity
The firm has also raised the bar in terms of comfort. Keyless Start, multi-function steering wheel, the Mercedes MBUX infotainment system and improved storage. Personally I like the look of the new cab and drivers choosing the automatic option will get plenty of walk-through space from the driver’s seat – great for motorhomes.
There are big steps forward on safety, too.
One of the flagship safety features of the new van will be Active Brake Assist with pedestrian protection. This can brake the van automatically to avoid rear-end collisions and pedestrian collisions.
Other new features include Attention Assist (drowsiness detection), an Emergency Call system that dials 999 in the event of a crash and Rear Cross Alert, which brakes the van if an obstacle is detected while reversing.
Features aimed at fleet operators include built-in telematics services such as Eco Monitoring (fuel consumption) and Theft Management, which monitors the alarm and pre-defined geofences. Location data and servicing parameters can also be monitored.
Still the best?
It seems very likely to me that the new Sprinter will remain the class of the field in terms of safety, performance and quality. It will be interesting to see how many front-wheel drive models are sold — will operators abandon rear-wheel drive to cut weight and lower the floor?