Outside of Germany, the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will have a maximum speed governor, at the request of the US, which will limit it to 80 mph. In Germany, you can see the Sprinter, the van of choice for the parcel delivery company whose fleets work hard, storming down the autobahn at speeds approaching 100 mph, so considerations of reliability, driving quality and efficiency are high on the list of the van buyers.
In the UK, Mercedes-Benz have for the last five years stolen a march on their rivals where a van is operated by customers that have to stay on the road and expect high quality are concerned. Mercedes have a bespoke van servicing set up in most garages. This means it operated 7 days a week, 24 hours a day with late and over night servicing and carries much higher levels of stock for surprise repairs. They also operate a larger fleet of courtesy vans. Mercedes were also first to extend the servicing mileage beyond 20,000 miles per annum and also include a two-year factory warranty. Additionally, if one of your staff puts the wrong fuel in a Mercedes van, Mercedes customer services will come to an in warranty van and drain the fuel free of charge.
Following its early 1996 launch, the Sprinter has dominated the parcel delivery market in the UK, but year on year, Ford, Renault/Vauxhall and Citroen/Fiat have been catching up with increased economy, improved warranty and servicing arrangements plus driving ergonomics that are car-like.
Mercedes-Benz up the stakes again
Ready for this launch, Mercedes have developed an all new 2.1 litre four cylinder diesel van engine. It puts out within 20 bhp of the existing favourite V6 and 265 lb-ft torque. That’s enough for any full van or a van and trailer. First tests and Mercedes fuel figures suggest the new 2.1 being a really economical unit and it is expected to have high mileage servicing requirements.
The Sprinter has always suited those who carry pallets, because its tall enough to carry cargo on top of a pallet in standard guise, higher roof models can stack two pallets. Mercedes-Benz fitted stability control, ESP, to vans before all their rival, it’s a complex and well sorted system that stops drivers from driving irresponsibly. They will be offering cross wind stabilization, a blind spot system and even a car-like lane departure system on the new Sprinter. Being Mercedes-Benz, its reasonable to expect the systems to be really effective.
Prices are yet to be announced, but the Sprinter has always carried a premium over its rivals in the past, I don’t expect that to change.