The What Van? Road Test: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2019)

Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2019   |   Author: Steve Banner




Service intervals are set at up to two years/37,000 miles for RWD Sprinters. A three-year/unlimited mileage warranty is provided and roadside assistance is available free of charge for up to 30 years, believe it or not, subject to certain obligations and exclusions. Deep side rubbing strips should help protect the Sprinter against minor damage.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316  CDI L3 H2 RWD

Price (ex VAT)    £35,650
Price range (ex VAT) £25,550-£52,050
Gross payload     1,078kg
Load volume     14.0m3
Load length     4,307mm
Load width (min/max)     1,350/1,787mm
Load bay height     1,940mm
Loading height     785mm
Rear door aperture     1,565x1,840mm
Side door aperture    1,300x1,820mm
Gross vehicle weight    3,500kg
Braked trailer towing weight     2,000kg
Residual value     23.2%*
Cost per mile      65.2p
Engine size/power    2,143cc, 163hp @ 3,800rpm
Torque     360Nm @ 1,400-2,400rpm
Gearbox     6-spd
Fuel economy     37.2mpg (combined)
Fuel tank     71 litres
CO2      199g/km
Warranty     3yrs/unltd miles
Service intervals     2yrs/37,000mls
Insurance group     43E
Price as tested      £40,780

*after 4yrs/80,000mls; source: KwikCarcost

Options fitted

Tempmatic semi-auto aircon      £1,000
Parking Package with reversing camera    
Satellite navigation    
Tenorite grey metallic paint    
Blindspot assist inc. heat/elect. adjust. mirrors
Load space trim    
Electric parking brake     
Load securing rail system     
Shelf above cab     
Radiator grille frame in body colour   
Grab handles for driver and passenger doors   
Grab-handle for middle seat     
Smoker’s Package     
In-cab coat hook     


Ford Transit
Price (ex VAT) £26,235-£38,600
Load volume     9.5-15.1m3
Gross payload    872-2,169kg
Engines     105hp, 130hp, 170hp, 185hp  2.0 diesel, 130hp 2.0 hybrid diesel

Verdict: Going on sale at the time of writing, the latest version of the all-conquering Transit comes with a mild hybrid diesel powertrain, a new 185hp version of its 2.0-litre diesel, a revised front end and a new interior. It’s bound to be yet another UK success story for Ford, and the one all its rivals will have to beat. Look out for the 10-speed automatic transmission scheduled for rear-wheel drive models in early 2020.

Peugeot Boxer
Price (ex VAT) £23,980-£33,875
Load volume     8.0-17.0m3
Gross payload    1,125-1,570kg
Engines    120hp, 140hp 2.2 diesel

Verdict: An often underrated but surprisingly competent package, the Boxer has recently been revised, with a new engine plus new trim levels. Its near-identical Citroen Relay stablemate has received the same changes, and electric versions of both were unveiled at the CV Show earlier this year. Sharing the same basic design, Fiat’s Ducato has been upgraded too, and all three are worth further investigation.

Volkswagen Crafter
Price (ex VAT) £25,385-£42,485
Load volume     9.3-17.5m3
Gross payload 735-2,573kg
Engines 102hp, 122hp, 140hp, 177hp 2.0 diesel

Verdict: A solidly constructed and well thought-out alternative, it too is marketed with front-, rear- and four-wheel drive, and is available with a comprehensive package of safety features. Front assist with city emergency braking is a potential life-saver on busy city streets. An electric e-Crafter should be here next year. The Crafter is also marketed by MAN as the TGE.

The Final Verdict




A stress on wi-fi hotspot and connected services is important.




Comfortable and roomy, with lots of storage, 



Unladen ride is choppy but improved once some weight went in.



No rattles thanks to high build standards. Engine noise is muted.

Load area


Roomy and easy to access, with plenty of load tie-down points.



Former’s dependable; latter offers smooth acceleration. 



Flexible, frugal engine is a bit let down by not so crisp gear change.

Standard equipment


The basics are there.

Operating costs


Long service interval, decent mpg and hopefully strong RVs.

What Van? subjective rating


Connectivity and safety are the two key characteristics. 

Overall Rating = 78/100


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