When it comes down to commercial vehicles, work vans in particular, there are two that stand out: the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Ford Transit. They both have outstanding features, but which one deserves the number-one spot?
Cab comfort is becoming more of a focus for van buyers, and both score well. Ford went with a more stylish, funky approach whereas Mercedes-Benz went for functional and smart-looking. The Transit has a more “car-like” look, with a low seating position and unusual entertainment and info centre system. The Sprinter, on the other hand, has more storage space and an elevated seating position. This gives the driver a better view from all positions.
Both have about the same leg room for both driver and passenger, and the same number of cupholders. The Transit’s seats are a tad more comfortable (although this is subjective) and the glovebox is deeper.
From the passenger compartment the Transit is a lot quieter on the road while cruising a long but is louder than the Sprinter when pulling away from traffic lights.
The differences between the two commercial vehicles become more obvious when we move to the cargo area. The Sprinter is definitely more versatile with four different load lengths, three roof heights, a larger load volume, and higher GVWR range. The Sprinter also has a better maximum payload but the Transit has a wider laid width and width between the wheels. The side load door widths are the same on both.
Although the Mercedes-Benz version, on record, has a higher loading height, it is actually much lower than the Transit because the Transit’s loading height was calculated by measuring to the step rather than the load floor.
These two vans differ quite a bit when driving; the Ford Transit has more car-like characteristics whereas the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter’s handling is more utilitarian. The Sprinter cushions potholes and bumps a lot better, but the Transit tends to feel more precise when it comes to steering.
Performance-wise, they have similar sized engines and horsepower ability, but the Sprinter performs better due to power bands and wide torque.
Cost and Value
Sprinters have been well-known for their durability and reliability since they first came off the line, and enjoy the highest residual values, so even though they are similar in price, someone looking to sell a used Sprinter will likely receive more than from a used Transit.
Sprinter Feature Overview
Standard features of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter include BlueTec intercooled turbo engine, 5- or 7-speed automatic transmission with overdrive (depending on model), 4-wheel ABS, air conditioning, 16” wheels, tilt steering wheel, driver door bin, remote keyless entry, telescoping steering wheel, dual heat recirculation, illuminated entry, 1-touch window down, Crosswind Assist electronic stability, power locks and windows, passenger door bin, beverage holders, and side seat mounted airbags. They come in a variety of colours to suit any taste.
The basic warranty for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is 36 months/60,000km. There is also a corrosion perforation warranty of 60 months or 160,000km. The power train warranty is 60 months or 100,000km. Roadside assistance coverage is offered for 60 months or 100,000km.
Learn more about the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at the Sprinter of Windsor website.