Review: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2006 – 2013)
Excellent refinement and supple suspension, high quality cabin.
Basic design is beginning to age, have a bit of a reputation for rust.
Recently Added To This Review
As well as a new-look front end with a more upright grille, the revised model gets new safety system and engines that meet Euro VI standards with the most economical version able to average a claimed... Read more
A Seat Belt Warning System and Secure Engine Start are now standard on all Sprinter models. The Seat Belt Warning System sounds a buzzer if an occupant has not buckled up, while the Secure Engine Start... Read more
Kumho to supply OEM tyres for the Sprinter. Kumho will supply its Radial 857 commercial van tyre in size 235/65R16C 115/113R for Sprinter models up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight manufactured at Daimler’s... Read more
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2006 – 2013): At A Glance
- On average it achieves 88% of the official MPG figure
If there’s a supercar of the van world, it’s the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. It offers performance, power and economy, so it has the jump on more orthodox supercars, and it can also carry plenty of equipment or cargo in its generous load bay.
As well as the turn of speed from the Sprinter’s potent engine options, they also meet Euro5 emissions regulations and have done since 2009.
It’s also a very wise choice for any other van buyer thanks to Mercedes-Benz vast choice of different configurations. There are different wheelbases, body lengths, roof heights, weights and specifications to pick from, giving the customer the opportunity to pick the van they really want and need.
Perhaps the only downside of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is another thing it has in common with supercars - price. It’s not as affordable as much of the competition, though it can be argued the Sprinter repays this with strong residual values in the used market and a warranty that lasts for three years and unlimited miles where most rivals limit this to 100,000 miles.
With this in its favour, plus a reputation as being one of the best vans in its class to drive, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter deservedly sits at the top table alongside the very best.
Used Buying Guide - Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Few brands can lay claim to the breadth and strength of Mercedes-Benz. The three-pointed star features on the grilles of everything from super-luxury saloons to the bin lorry that collects your rubbish or the bus that takes your kids to school.
What does a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2006 – 2013) cost?
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2006 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?
As you would expect of a vehicle with the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star on the bonnet, the cabin is a classy, comfortable and quality affair. All of the cab’s plastics feel very tough and durable, and this has proved to be the case with Sprinters that have covered high mileages over the years. It’s the same story with the seats, which seem a little firm at first but offer good comfort and support.
The driver’s seat in the Sprinter has height adjustment and, if you choose it as an option, the steering wheel can also be altered for height and reach. Electric door windows add to the sense of luxury and quality inside the Sprinter, as does the simple, clear instrument cluster. They also help when moving the Mercedes-Benz in confined spaces, and you can also choose reversing sensors that have a distance marker in the door mirrors and on the dash.
The double passenger seat has a storage compartment underneath the base cushion and its backrest can be folded down to make a table that turns the Sprinter into a very useful mobile office. A Bluetooth connection allows the Sprinter’s driver to make hands-free mobile phone calls, while remote central locking is another standard feature for the Sprinter that not all of its competitors offer. With plenty of other storage around the cabin, including bottle holders, there’s never any excuse for having items rolling around loose in the Mercedes.
As for safety, the Sprinter comes as standard with a driver’s airbag while a passenger airbag can be fitted as an option. Another option is integrated satellite navigation, which sits in the dash’s centre console.
Moving to the load bay, there are three wheelbases, four body lengths and three load compartment heights to help configure the Sprinter in just about any way you want. There are also dropside, crew cab and minibus versions in addition to the panel van model that is most popular. A maximum load length of 4.7m and height of 2.14m means the Sprinter can carry up to 17.0m3 of cargo and even the most compact model can hold 7.5m3 of goods. The maximum payload of the Sprinter varies from 734kg all the way up to 2515kg depending on the model you choose and access is through side-hinged rear doors and sliding side doors.
The side doors of the Sprinter can be ordered in lengths up to 1.3m and there is also the option of electric opening and closing for them. As well as just opening and closing the side doors electrically, they can be stopped in any position to add greater versatility. On top of this, there is the option of Keyless Entry and Slide, which allows the driver to open or close the side doors as you approach or walk away from the van.
The rear doors open to 180-degrees as standard to reveal a large cargo opening and these doors can be optioned to open all the way flush with the sides of the can and lock into position. Further up the load bay, there are a variety of bulkhead options, including glazed panels or with a sliding door.
To hold loads in place, there are standard load securing rings and the option of lashing rails in the floor, sides and roof. Mercedes-Benz also offers its load rails in the floor as an option which let you fix securing lugs where you need them along the length of the floor. There is also the option to clad the sides with plywood for added protection for the bodywork.
What's the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2006 – 2013) like to drive?
Mercedes-Benz comprehensively revamped the Sprinter in 2009 with Euro5 emissions compliant engines. The most common engine found in the Sprinter is a 2.1-litre turbodiesel that comes in 95PS, 130PS and 165PS forms, while a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel offers 190PS and underlines the Sprinter’s reputation for being one of the swiftest vans money can buy. Mercedes-Benz also offers a 1.8-litre petrol engine that can be run on either premium unleaded fuel or, much more cost effectively, on compressed natural gas.
Badged as the Sprinter NGT, this emissions of 240g/km and official economy of 20.6mpg but the big attraction is that it can be registered to qualify for a full 100% Alternative Fuel Vehicle grant and that means no London Congestion Charge, so this petrol motor makes a lot of sense for some potential Sprinter buyers.
However, it’s the diesels that are the big sellers and the popular 130PS model offers strong pulling power from almost tickover all the way through its rev range. It makes the Sprinter the ideal van for mixing urban and motorway driver, which is more representative of real world use. However, thanks to the urge of the Mercedes-Benz engines, the Sprinter also acquits itself well when tasked with more rural driving. This is aided and abetted by steering that is light yet has plenty of response to help it negotiate corners with confidence. The steering also works with a tight turning circle to make the Sprinter agile in confined spots.
As well as its sportier side, the Sprinter has a supple ride that lets the driver get on with the business of concentrating on the road ahead rather than hanging on for dear life when trying to keep to schedule. It makes the Mercedes-Benz a very useful, able work horse and mobile office.
As well as the spread of engines, Mercedes-Benz offers Sprinter buyers the choice of rear and four-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearbox. Plus there’s the further option of a seven-speed auto for the 2.1-litre turbodiesel engine range. Unlike some others in this class, notably the Fiat Ducato’s slow-witted Comfort-Matic gearbox, the Merc’s auto transmission is a sound choice thanks to smooth, quick shifts that make the van a pleasure to drive. The manual ’box has a reasonable shift action, though it’s not as good as a Ford Transit. Cruise control and a speed limiter are both standard for the Mercedes-Benz though.
The Sprinter’s refinement is up there in the same class as the Ford Transit thanks to excellent sound insulation keeping most noises out of the cabin. Again, this makes the Sprinter the ideal van for those who travel long distances every day.
Real MPG average for a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2006 – 2013)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their vehicles could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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