The three-point star on the grille of a commercial-use Mercedes-Benz Sprinter may spell extravagance to the uninitiated, when in fact; these vans are common workhorses on European roads, reliable vehicles for hauling freight and moving goods. Compared to American vans, the Sprinter has unique attributes that make it one of the best in its class.
The Mercedes Sprinter is tall with a low load floor. Someone who is over 6 feet talk can walk around inside the van upright. The largest configuration has a storage capacity of more than 500 cubic feet. In its Passenger configuration, the Sprinter can ferry up to 15 passengers in 5 rows.
It may seem long and wobbly, but once driven, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is highly maneuverable owing to its high-end chassis design. Compared to the domestic V8s of its class, the Sprinter has an economic turbodiesel VC engine that works best in urban and suburban settings with 188 horsepower and 325 lb/ft torque.
Different Configurations for Different Needs
The Sprinter is a full-size van that comes in different configurations:
Cargo—has two front seats and a massive 500++ cubic feet storage capacity
Passenger—features 4-5 rows and can carry up to 15 passenger (MiniBus model)
Crew—similar to the Cargo configuration, but has a 2nd row bench seat
All Sprinter models are offered with two wheelbase lengths—144 inches and 170 inches. The Cargo vans are available in 3500 style with an extra payload capacity.
The standard features on Sprinter vans include a wooden cargo floor, 16 inch wheels, full air-conditioning, rear doors that open up to 270 degrees, telescopic and tilt steering wheels, traction and stability control, two-speaker radio and front airbags.
A wide array of options are available for owners who wish to customize their vans according to their needs, including parking sensors, upgraded front seats, rearview cameras, rear air-conditioning and heating, and rear sliding door on the driver area. You can also have a roof rack or a fixed sunroof installed on your Crew or Cargo vans.
Nothing Fancy, Plenty of Quality and Functionality
Notwithstanding that the brand is often tied to luxury, Mercedes-Benz Sprinters are not equipped with leather, wood trim or bolstered seats. Designed for commercial use and big families, there are no magic seats, power liftgates and numerous cupholders in these vans that you would commonly expect to find in SUVs or minivans. What you’ll find is a modern interior built with quality that will last a long time.
How Do You Find the Sprinter for Your Needs
Buying a vehicle can be stressful, especially if you have to decide whether to buy a new or used Mercedes Sprinter. Here is a quick guide that could help you.
There are a few things in life better than driving a new vehicle. The fresh smell of the interior, the seamless driving experience and the feeling of buying a new van are enough to quicken your pulse. Whatever your motivations are, you just don’t walk into a Mercedes-Benz dealership and drive away with the first Sprinter you see. Here are a few tips to remember to make sure that you find the right one for you.
Assess your budget—stick to the number in your mind. The salesperson will most likely upsell you, so stay focused on your budget and stick to it. Haggle with the dealer until you arrive at the price that you will both be happy with.
Research—do your due diligence and read up on what you can about Sprinters, just like what you are doing now as you read this post. What are your purposes in buying the van? If you are purchasing one for your business, will it fit what you need to load in it? Can your tools fit? Know more about the different configurations and how your needs can be answered by your best choice.
Do not skimp on questions—ask every single question you have in mind to get the most information out of the dealership. Before you sign or pay for anything, you have to be absolutely confident that the Sprinter you are buying is the one you want and need. Do not buy from a salesperson who does not know his/her stuff. Ask technical questions and let the salesperson demonstrate what he/she knows about the van you intend to buy.
Sometimes, there aren’t a lot of differences between a new van and a used one, except of course the potentiality of getting a better deal. But you also run the risk of not knowing exactly what you are getting with a pre-owned van, so it is important to ask and check everything before making the purchase.
Check and double-check—look for scratches, dents, chipped windows, worn tires and any indication of a previous accident.
Pop the hood and investigate—if you know your stuff, you will see telltale signs of deterioration easily. Check the hoses and belts; make sure that there are no cracks and heavy wear on them. Be on the lookout for engine block leaks or corrosion. Check the oil level with a dipstick. It is also important to inspect the timing belt because a snapped belt can result to engine damaged. If you don’t know anything about what’s under the hood, bring a knowledgeable friend along.
Test drive—this is the only way to find out whether the van is any good on the road.
Check the service maintenance log—the service history will let you know of any problem the used Sprinter may have had.