The third-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is finally here, replacing the second-gen model that has been in production for 11 years. The latest iteration of the light commercial vehicle (LCV) continues to be highly configurable to meet numerous needs, but also adheres to Mercedes-Benz Vans strategy of adVANce.
Visually, the Sprinter doesn’t diverge that far from its predecessor, with a new face being the most noticeable change upon first glance. There’s now a larger grille with three horizontal slats, flanked by a pair of slimmer headlights.
The interior also gets an upgrade with influence from Mercedes’ passenger car range, featuring the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system that is available with a 7- or 10.25-inch touchscreen display.
The Sprinter’s modular structure allows it to be configured to suit every possible requirement, with the carmaker saying there are more than 1,700 different variants. This is based on just the vehicle body (six types), powertrain, cab design (two types), wheelbase length (3,250 to 4,325 mm), tonnage (2.5 to 8.75 tonnes including trailer) and load compartment height. Taking into account paint finishes, air-conditioning or even seat configuration (one to 20 people possible) further increases the level of individualisation.
Mercedes-Benz has also added front-wheel drive variants for the Sprinter, which joins the previously available rear- and all-wheel drive options. A OM651 2.1 litre four-cylinder turbodiesel is offered in three different states of tune – 114 hp, 143 hp and 163 hp (177 hp on FWD variants). The most powerful output is reserved for camper vans.
Should you want more power, there’s also 3.0 litre six-cylinder diesel powerplant that makes 190 hp and 440 Nm of torque. In Europe, a new six-speed manual transmission is offered alongside a 7G-Tronic Plus automatic, but in the United States and Canada, there is a nine-speed automatic available (FWD only) plus a petrol engine option.
Moving forward, electric drive systems will be added to the mix in the form of the eSprinter in 2019, after the eVito. The zero-emissions Sprinter is primarily designed for inner-city operations and perfect for those looking to electrify their commercial fleet.
A big feature of the new Sprinter is the Mercedes PRO connect system, allowing fleet management tasks like control and communications to be made much easier and more efficient. A total of eight different packages will be available, each meeting the needs of different customer segments and business sectors.
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