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Mercedes Sprinter 2014 Review

Don’t drive a new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter fitted with an automatic transmission and a blind-spot warning system unless you are prepared to buy it. Why? Because it will spoil you. Driving a van all day can be hard work, but this one, when fitted with those two options, makes life behind the wheel so much easier.

The Sprinter isn’t cheap, our mid-spec model cost $53,690, while the automatic transmission added another $2790 and the blind spot warning was part of a safety pack that costs an additional $1800.

The automatic transmission is a torque convertor type, similar to the Mercedes road cars, and is therefore much better than Automated Manual Transmissions (AMTs) that can be lethargic and unsure at low speed. It works extremely well with the 316 CDI engine variant, a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel that produces 120kW at 3800rpm and a handy 360Nm from 1400rpm through to 2400rpm.

DRIVING

The end result is an entirely practical large van that is refined, comfortable and safer than most. The engine is nowhere near as refined as a Mercedes passenger car engine, but is by no means rough.

Working Wheels was able to test the Sprinter with a load full of furniture. It is nowhere near the 1470kg payload limit, but was still a reasonable weight and yet the Sprinter still moved along briskly. The automatic is especially welcome in low speed situations, such as the stop-start crawl of big city traffic.

A trip across town in the same conditions with a manual transmission would leave the driver with a well-worked clutch foot, but there is no such worry with the automatic version. The newly facelifted Sprinter has been made available with a range of cutting-edge safety gear. Our van was fitted with the blind spot warning system, a lane keeping warning system, light and rain sensors and a high-beam assist system.

The blind spot warning system is a brilliant feature for a big van. The Sprinter has excellent visibility and the mirrors are well designed, but it is almost six metres long and that means the blind spot is considerable.

Having the system flash a light on the wing mirror when a driver is lurking in the blind spot is especially handy. It doesn’t mean you can give up looking in the mirror, forget about indicators and change lanes without due care, but it might just help should you be briefly distracted and not notice a motorist moved into your blind spot.

The lane departure warning system lets the driver know if they are drifting out of the lane. It could help wake up a drowsy driver, but it does go off quite a bit during everyday driving (maybe that says something about my driving).

The optional headlight system senses a car coming the other way and, if you have your lights on high beam, will drop them automatically. This writer happens to think the manual use of high beams is still the best way, because the driver can best decide when they should be used.

The Sprinter also comes with a new system that senses when the vehicle is being pushed around by harsh wind and used the Electronic Stability Control to straighten the vehicle. Apart from adding the new safety gear, Mercedes also gave the Sprinter a new nose.

It doesn’t look all that attractive, but hey, it’s different. The dashboard has been upgraded too and there is a new crisp display screen and features such as Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, which is welcome to most people who spend a lot of time behind the wheel. Mercedes has also improved the surface quality and it now matches some of the more affordable cars on the market.

2014 Mercedes Sprinter van
Price: $53,690
Engine: 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel, 120kW/360Nm
Transmission: 7-speed auto, RWD

Pricing Guides

$25,990
Based on 19 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$21,888
Highest Price
$37,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
310 CDI MWB 2.1L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO No recent listings 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2014 310 CDI MWB Pricing and Specs
310 CDI SWB 2.1L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO No recent listings 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2014 310 CDI SWB Pricing and Specs
313 CDI LWB HI ROOF 2.1L, Diesel, 7 SP AUTO $18,990 – 36,990 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2014 313 CDI LWB HI ROOF Pricing and Specs
313 CDI MWB 2.1L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $21,888 – 26,990 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2014 313 CDI MWB Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

Lowest price, n/a

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