Chris Dillon gets behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter to find out if this van could be right for your business

With its four-metre-long load compartment – high enough to stand up in – the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is effectively a stock room on wheels. The Sprinter can easily fit four pallet stacks, with a left door wide enough to fit one through. If you’re looking at making the most of your cash and carry’s latest deals, then this is the van for you. 

The Sprinter can also come with a variety of additional features, such as a reversing camera (£440), electrical parking brake (£260), air conditioning (£970) and blind spot assist (£440). Digital radio, 5V USB socket, heat insulating glass and double passenger seat comes as standard. Owners also benefit from access to free roadside assistance every hour and day of the year.

Driving test

Despite its hefty size, I found the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter remarkably easy to handle. At times it was easy to forget that I had four metres of van behind me as it was so easy to fly around. 

Driving around the narrow roads around where I live in north London was a squeeze at times, but other road users tend to be pretty quick to give way when they spot a 5,000kg vehicle making its way. I did find a couple of turns quite tight, but after I got used to it, working out how much space to give became second nature. 

In regards to parking, I would have found it incredibly difficult without the help of the rear parking camera. A reverse bay park was a real challenge, not least because space to swing out was at a premium.

Verdict: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Mercedes-Benz is famous for reliable equipment and this van really was a joy to drive, but less of a joy to park. This is a great van for retailers out in the country, but for inner-city stores, those tight manoeuvres will always be a challenge. If you’ve got more than one shop, you should be able to fit in a wholesale top-up shop for several stores, but if you’re a smaller operation, you may find that you don’t need that much space.  

Expert view

Neil McIntee, editor of VansA2Z.com

“Powered by a 163hp 2.1l turbodiesel, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316 is a prime example of a latest-generation panel van. Rear-wheel drive, it comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but the seven-speed automatic option is well worth considering, especially if the van’s main use is around town. 

“Three wheelbases are up for grabs – medium, long and extra-long – with load space ranging from 9.0m3 to 15.5m3 and payloads starting at 1,014kg. 

“Kitted out with the latest driver comforts, infotainment and active safety features, the Sprinter is highly recommended.”

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Fast Facts

Model: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316 Panel Van

Price: From £24,350

Doors: Two rear, one left sliding door

Load compartment length: 4.3m

Height: 2.4m

Features

  • Fits a full pallet
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Cruise control