Mercedes-Benz Sprinter benefitted from several new safety systems, a minor cabin lift, a new front end and a fully Euro 5 engine line-up. Our medium-wheelbase Sprinter 316 CDI test vehicle has a 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel with 120kW and 360Nm, the urge fed to the rear wheels via an optional seven-speed auto.
Sprinter 316 CDI equipped with a 2.1-litre four-cylinder engine in its most powerful ratine (120kW/360Nm). Only the Sprinter’s flagship 3.0-litre V6 engine is more powerful, at 140kW/440Nm.
The vehicle on test is fitted with a seven-speed automatic transmission (a six-speed manual is standard) Lane Tracking Package (blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, high-beam assist, and auto lights and wipers) and satellite navigation.
There are no A-pillar grab handles but cab access is aided by small handles on the door and a relatively low seat height (only the Transit’s seat is lower).
The head unit’s 5.8-inch TFT display isn’t a touch-screen and the menu system isn’t as intuitive as some, while the older-style cruise control/speed limiter stalk remains. Once you know your way around the Sprinter’s systems there are no issues, but if you’ve never sampled one it takes a little time to familiarise yourself.
The Sprinter blitzed the opposition in our acceleration runs despite the wet conditions. On the road it pulls hard from just off idle, with excellent response and linear urge through to 3800rpm, at which point the 7G-TRONIC (seven-speed automatic) transmission smoothly hooks the next ratio with speed and precision.