Can I drive a Mercedes sprinter van?

                                                     

In this article we take a look at Mercedes Benz sprinter vans and find out the answer to the question Can I drive a Mercedes Sprinter van? And what are the different uses of the Mercedes Benz sprinter van?

Can I drive a Mercedes Benz sprinter van?

Yes, Mercedes Benz sprinter vans can be driven by anyone with a valid driving license. Mercedes Benz sprinter van is a light commercial vehicle used for transport of the cargo or used as a people mover. In some countries, it may be required to get a special license if a sprinter van is used as a minibus of a people carrier and the total weight exceeds 3500kgs.

The first generation of Mercedes Benz sprinter started in 1995 and it was voted as international Van of the year. The Mercedes Benz sprinter van replaced the ongoing Mercedes Benz TN van and from 2019 Mercedes Benz sprinter is in its third generation. Mercedes Benz sprinter has a wide range of technology and comfort features similar to Mercedes Benz passenger vans.

Sprinter van is primarily aimed at business owners and it can be configured in following different types of van 

  • Cargo van– cargo van line up starts with the wheelbase of 144 inches and extended wheelbase of 170 inches with a high roof is also available. It can be used to deliver goods to clients.
  • Crew van– similar to cargo van it is also available in standard and extended wheelbase. The crew van has additional windows on the sliding doors and rear AC vents for climate control.
  • Passenger van– sprinter passenger van can be used to transport up to 15 people. There is also a dedicated commercial air conditioning unit for the passenger area. Passengers can control the airflow from air vents, a seven-speed setting is available for the blower motor.
  • Cab chassis- sprinter cab chassis can be used to create recreational vehicles like RVs, ambulances. It has a gross vehicle rated weight (GVRWs) of 11000 pounds. The cab chassis is flat and unobstructed to create any type of frame.

Driving a sprinter is almost like driving a regular car thanks to its independent suspensions and rack and pinion steering design. The complete turning radius is 47 ft for the standard wheelbase and 54 ft for the extended radius model.

The standard-wheelbase sprinter is much lighter and easier to drive compared to the extended wheelbase. It also makes it easier to park especially on city roads and it is more fuel-efficient.

 Driving a sprinter can be a little tricky for someone not used to driving vans. It is more prone to direction changes due to crosswinds on highways. The turbo diesel engine is very responsive but the throttle response can change depending on loads in the cargo area.

Driver assistance systems in  Mercedes Benz sprinter van

  • Collision prevention assists– it is a radar-based proximity warning system. A driver is warned visually and audibly if any vehicle is nearby. The brake pressure in the system is also increased to assist the driver and avoid rear-end collisions.
  • Lane keeps assist– it uses the same radar sensor responsible for collision prevention assist. A multifunctional camera in the windshield also checks the lane markings in the road. If the driver steers away from the lane, a warning light is activated in the instrument cluster and an audible tone is also used to alert the driver.
  • High beam assist- Multifunctional camera in the windshield, monitor the traffic in front of the vehicle and activate the high or low beam to provide the best possible illumination. High beam assist can also toggle between high and low beams when there is oncoming traffic to reduce light glare.
  • Parking package with the 360-degree camera– parking package is an optional extra. It consists of 4 cameras located on the vehicle to assist the driver while parking. A parking package with only a reverse camera can be installed on the vehicle as most sprinter vans have no rear visibility and drivers must rely on outside rear view mirrors. 
  • Active blind spot assist– active blind spot assist uses a warning light in the outside rearview mirror to warn the driver if there is a vehicle in the blind spot. A short-range radar sensor located on both sides of the vehicle scans for vehicles or pedestrians in the blindspot of the vehicle. Blindspot assists also work when the vehicle is stationary, occupants are warned if an object is present in the blind spot by a warning tone and flashing indicator lamps before opening the doors.
  • Active braking assists– if the driver doesn’t slow down and the vehicle is too close in the front. Active braking assist warns the driver by an audible beep and proceeds to a[pply brakes if the driver doesn’t slow the vehicle. Early, a medium and late range for active brake assist can be set through the command system.

Engine and transmission in the Mercedes Benz sprinter

The Mercedes Benz sprinter has inline 4 cylinder and V6 cylinder turbocharged diesel engines mated to a 9 g Tronic gearbox. The latest sprinter van has rear-wheel drive however, some older models had a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. The V6 petrol engine is no longer used since diesel is more popular as it is cheaper to run and has a superior load capacity. 

The Mercedes Benz sprinter has 5 engine versions 314 CDI, 319 CDI, 416 CDI, 419 CDI AND 519 CDI. The 319 CDI 419 and 519 CDI versions are powered by a V 6 cylinder OM642 engine. Om642 diesel engine is a 3.0-litre capacity engine producing 190 horsepower. 314 CDI and 416 CDI are powered by OM 651 inline 4 cylinder diesel engine producing 143 horsepower. 

The OM 651 and Om 642 will be replaced by newly developed OM 654 and OM 656 diesel engines respectively. OM 654 and OM 656 are inline 4 and six-cylinder engines with special aluminium alloy crankcase, this helps in the reduction of the overall weight of the engine. Adblue injection system with selective catalytic reduction exhaust after-treatment is standard on all engine variants.

To provide a full spectrum of choice to the customer, a full electric EQV van was launched in 2019. It is based on the V class platform and can accommodate 8 passengers. The electric motor produces about 200 horsepower and a 90kWh battery pack can ensure a WLTP range of 400kms.

Conclusion

As Mercedes Benz sprinter is a light transport commercial vehicle it is possible to drive with a full driving license or category B driving license. Van rental companies can impose special age restrictions for driving the sprinter van. High capacity variants of Mercedes Benz sprinter will require a special license in some countries.

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