Any commercial vehicle manufacturer that can offer more than 1700 different variants of a single model has to be considered a serious player. And that dizzying number of choices is what Mercedes-Benz is claiming to provide fleet customers with its latest generation (3550-5000kg) Sprinter in the 3501-8000kg GVM heavy commercial vehicle segment.

As a result of extensive consultation with fleet operators, the third generation (VS30) Sprinter, in either van or cab-chassis form, can be tailored to suit the most specific buyer requirements, by mixing and matching myriad body types, body lengths, drivetrains, cab designs, load capacities and load compartment heights. 

Among numerous highlights is the Sprinter’s first front-wheel drive (FWD) transmission, which supplements existing rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) choices. Plus there’s a new nine-speed torque converter automatic which is a first in the large van segment. 

We recently spent a working week in one of the new FWD variants to see how it measures up in one of Australia’s most competitive commercial vehicle markets.