Beyond the addition of LED lighting with ‘eagle wing’-design daytime running lights Mercedes has made few exterior changes to the Sprinter from the previous generation. It remains a robust, handsome van with a sweeping windscreen that affords a wide view of the road.
It’s a different story on the inside, which has been redesigned to strike a balance between functionality and comfort with a range of equipment available to suit individual requirements.
A modular storage system means compartments can be closed or provided with cup holders, for example. Keyless entry and start comes as standard across the range but it should be noted that although the standard spec level is high you’ll have to fork out extra for much of the new kit on offer.
Included on UK Sprinter models is the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. This comes with a 7.0in touchscreen as standard but a 10.25in unit is optional, as is satnav. Mercedes claims it is self-learning, so picks up the driver’s routines and automatically presents their favourite features.
It also enables two phones to be paired via Bluetooth simultaneously – business and private, for example – and can store multiple user profiles to cater for several different fleet drivers. MBUX also has a voice-recognition device that responds to simple requests, much like Apple’s Siri smartphone system.
Our van came with the 10.25in touchscreen, with satnav, that’s both attractive and intuitive. It’s easy to use via the steering wheel, which features buttons for operating the screen on one side and controls for the instrument cluster menu on the other.
Optional climate control kept the temperature how we like it and the soft plastic finishing is of the highest quality you’ll find in the class. Seats are comfortable and supportive meaning you feel refreshed and relaxed even after long trips. Mercedes has also designed them to be easy to hop in and out of – a boon for multi-drop delivery drivers.
Storage provision is decent with three trays atop the dashboard, overhead compartments and central cupholders.
The auto transmission is handily operated by a stalk located next to the steering wheel rather than by a more conventional gear lever in the middle of the cab.
Other standard specification includes Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, Crosswind Assist, automatic headlights, keyless start, and a multi-functional steering wheel with touch control buttons.
The load bay is reached by twin rear doors and a nearside sliding door. We had a plastic floor lining but bare metal or heavy-duty lining is also available. Usefully, the wheel arches are boxed in with load-bearing panelling and the walls are ply-lined.
Mercedes-Bens Sprinter 314 CDI FWD Auto
Price (ex VAT) £30,405
Price range (ex VAT) £24,350-£44,275
Insurance group tbc
Warranty 3yrs/unlimited miles
Service intervals 24,500mls
Load length 3,272mm
Load width (min/max) 1,350/1,787mm
Load bay height 1,719mm
Gross payload (est) 1,335kg
Load volume (est) 10.5m3
Engine size/power 2,143cc/143hp
Combined fuel economy 36.0mpg
The new Sprinter is comfortable, refined, packed with safety features and points the way forward for fleets with its connectivity kit. With front-wheel drive added it is now a more compelling choice than ever.