Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review 2024

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter At A Glance


+Huge carrying capacity. Wide range of bodystyles. Easy to drive. Efficient.

-Most of the smart tech costs extra.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter remains the benchmark by which all other large vans should be judged. Easy to drive, comfortable and capable of shifting gargantuan loads, this Sprinter follows the successful trend of its predecessors while also setting new standards for usability, technology and driver safety.

Described by Mercedes-Benz as a ‘toolbox on wheels’, the Sprinter does everything you'd expect of a big van with payloads peaking at an impressive 3150kg. Drivers also get the option of front-wheel drive, along with the traditional rear-wheel and four-wheel drive variants.

All versions boast a workmanlike quality, with a load compartment that measures 1.7 metres wide behind the wheel arches and a maximum floor length of 4.8 metres.

As with previous-generations of the Sprinter, road handling is among the best of any large van and this allows even the most inexperienced of drivers to feel confident behind the wheel. Ride composure is excellent too, which means the van remains comfortable and predictable on twisty and bumpy roads, even when carrying a full load.

Spending a full day behind the wheel of the Sprinter is stress free. The seats are large and have lots of firm padding for back and leg support. All vans get Bluetooth connectivity, air con and a comprehensive array of safety kit, with adaptive cruise control, 360-degree parking camera and driver fatigue monitoring. The infotainment system can also be operated via voice control, which means the driver can say “hey Mercedes, call my boss...” to make handsfree calls.

Under the bonnet the Sprinter uses the same Euro6 engines as its predecessor, with the familiar four-cylinder 2.1-litre turbodiesels offered alongside the powerful 3.0-litre V6. Claimed economy peaks at 41.5mpg while outputs range from 114PS to 177PS for the 2.1 units and rise to a thumping 190PS for the V6.

The sweet spot in the range - in both front-wheel and rear-wheel guises - is the 143PS four-cylinder diesel with its 330Nm of torque providing plenty of low gear pull. Most engines use a six-speed manual gearbox, but a seven-speed and nine-speed torque converter automatics are available as an optional extra.

Owners can keep tabs on the Sprinter with Mercedes Pro connect. The system has been developed in-house by the German vanmaker and sends telematics information on the vehicle’s mechanical condition and economy direct to the operator's computer or smartphone.

It’s also possible to remotely send job information and route destinations to the van’s navigation system. However, with so many aftermarket telematics packages on offer, it remains to be seen if operators will be willing to drop their existing contracts for Mercedes-Benz’s all-new system.

In our opinion, the third-generation Sprinter is one of the most accomplished large vans you can buy, which is impressive given the quality of the competition. Most van operators will be attracted by its big carrying capacity and affordable fuel figures, while drivers will appreciate the Sprinter's rewarding drive and car-like comfort. 

Ask Honest John

Is the Mercedes Sprinter a reliable van?

"I am considering buying a 2020 Mercedes Sprinter. It has FSH and seems to run and drive ok. t is £14,000+VAT and has 99,995 miles on the clock. Are these vans reliable? Will I reach 300k miles if I service it every year?"
Based on the quoted mileage and the age of the Sprinter, it has covered on average just over 30,000 miles a year which is quite normal for a big panel van of its type. We've seen similar-aged Sprinters with much higher mileages and it's the vehicle of choice for all of the supermarket delivery operators, often covering 100,000 miles a year. Keep on top of regular maintenance and there's no reason why it shouldn't see 300,000 miles - there are hundreds of older Sprinters on the road that have achieved and surpassed that but maintenance and regular servicing will be key. If we were looking for a reliable van to do that many miles with, we'd definitely be looking at the Mercedes along with its sister van, the Volkswagen Crafter and potentially the Iveco Daily. The one you mention sounds like a good buy and a fair price if it's in good order.
Answered by Craig Cheetham

Do I need to use a tachograph?

"I drive a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter pick-up for work delivering fence panels. I have passed my B+E licence. My transport manager now seems to think a tachograph isn’t needed whilst pulling our six wheel trailer, which weigh one-tonne unladen. I’m not so sure. What do you think?"
If the trailer pushes the Sprinter's gross vehicle weight (known as the GVW) over 3.5 tonnes then you might need a tachograph. For an in-depth explanation of the rules, see:
Answered by Dan Powell

We want to buy a van-conversion campervan - does the Fiat Ducato have a reliable engine?

"We're buying a new or nearly new van conversion-type campervan in the next year or two, most likely a 6m long Knaus. Most big brands like Knaus are based on the Fiat Ducato and, for 2020, Fiat has just introduced their Euro6 van engine now with AdBlue. What's the industry reliability of the current Fiat van engines (115/130/150bhp) and the likely reliability and perception of the new 2020 Euro's 6 engine range? Also, do you have any comments on Fiat vs the Mercedes equivalent that seem to be highly regarded by motorhome and campervan manufacturers and buyers even when sold at a premium price?"
The majority of Fiat Ducato complaints (we hear about) are gearbox related. This seems to be a problem for many of the larger vans that have either the 2.3 130 or 3.0 157 engines with six-speed gearboxes. It seems that the old four-speed 'box was adapted to five-speed and six-speed but the extra gears are not very well supported and failures are common. Fiat has introduced a new nine-speed automatic to correct this reported issue, but it's too early to say if it's more reliable. We will likely know within the next 12 months and (if we receive any complaints) they'll be listed in the good/bad section of our Ducato review: For us, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the best large van on the market:
Answered by Dan Powell

Are there any electric or hybrid large minibuses?

"Do you know if there are any manufactures that sell hybrid, PHEV or full electric 16/17 seat minibuses?"
As things stand, there are no partial or fully electric powertrains for large minibuses. However, over the next 12/24 months, that will change when the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter and Volkswagen eCrafter go on sale. We've already driven a prototype version of the eSprinter:
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cost?