What to look for:
Sprinters are capable of huge mileages, and if you are buying less than three years old, there is nothing to worry about as all items are covered by the excellent Mercedes benz Bumper to Bumper 3 year warranty, however if it is an import it will only have a 1 year warranty.
LWB Sprinters can take a lot of abuse as they are often used for pallet work and can be very tired after 120,000 miles or so. But a well mantained sprinter is capable of huge mileages.
- Check for slackness in the gearbox, sprinter gearboxes are nice and tight - even at high mileages
- Wear on the steering wheel is common and they start to rub down after about 40,000 miles.
- Most Sprinter CDi's will need new injectors at some time after 60,000 miles - so check this has been done.
- The rear door hinges can drop, these are about £90 each to replace.
- The Heating vents are brittle and are often broken
- Make sure the turbo does not have any excessive hiss to it.
- Try driving the sprinter in a higher gear like 4th at about 25-30 mph and make sure it does not jump out of gear.
- LWB models are likely to have had paint to the sides as they are a big vehicle and can often get clipped here and there.
- Merc Sprinter paint is wafer thin, and rust spots will show around the wheel arches and the bottom of the sliding door arm and also at the bottom of rear panels. This is nothing to worry about as it is normally just cosmetic.
- If you can avoid 208 and 308 models - they are a bit flat, the 311 is the best compromise between power and economy and if you can afford or find one go for a 313 or a 316 - but watch out for the speed cameras.
A Mild Facelift And A Smattering Of Technological Upgrades Did Little To Alter The Mercedes-Benz Sprinters Standing In The UK Panel Van Market. It Remains Amongst The Best And Most Popular Big Vans .
You can see why tradesmen, courier firms and van operators of all descriptions are so keen on Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. The vehicle is prodigiously reliable with an unfussy design geared to stand-up to the rigours of the daily grind. Then theres the reflected cachet gained from that three-pointed star and the esteemed standing of the Mercedes-Benz car range. A factor thats magnified by the continuing insistence of other prestige manufacturers on giving the CV market a wide berth.
Power outputs of 82, 109, 129 and 156bhp are available or theres a 143bhp 2.3-litre petrol engine. Transmission is through a dash-mounted lever employing 5-speed manual or Sprintshift sequential automatic systems.
On the road the Sprinters penchant for high-speed cruising is evident. Motorways and dual-carriageways bring out the best in the engines and the suspension set-up with only limited noise and vibration making its way into the cab. Around town, the vehicles manoeuvrability depends very much on the model you choose. The smaller designs manage an 11m turning circle while the long wheelbase proved much more of a handful with its 14m arc and huge rear overhang.
Generally, youll struggle to better the Sprinters combination of ride, performance and handling elsewhere in panel van land. ASR stability control with ABS brakes is standard through the entire range. The drivers seat is another Sprinter strong point, its adjustable in no fewer than four separate directions, so you can set it to your own personal taste. The rest of the cab is simple and robustly constructed without matching the variety of storage solutions offered by competitors: too many clever cubby holes allow items to rattle or escape when youre on the move anyway. The controls are confined to areas within easy reach on the centre console and the gear change is easily mastered. Full-size airbags for driver and passenger are standard and there are optional window bags for added side-impact protection. Its going to take a sizable step forward by the rest of the UKs large panel van contingent to overtake the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in terms of engineering and desirability.