The naysayers will say that the Mercedes Sprinter II isn’t as good as the previous gen, but the reality is that you have to move on with the times.
The official car of the European parcel delivery enters the Almost Cars ring. The Mercedes Sprinter II has continued to ride the highways of the first Sprinter and has done its job with dignity and lots, lots of rust. But at least Sprinter II established its image as the official collector car in Europe and stayed there, like a civil servant who has been in the same job for 3500 years and doesn’t want to quit or try anything else. Mercedes Vito / Viano took their slice of the cake in the airport transfer sector, VW Caravelle / Transporter in the 8+1 shuttle transport and holiday travel area, Renault Trafic in the supply area, Iveco Daily in the building material carrying area and Ford Transit in the service depot.
And this can be seen from the satellite in the case of the Mercedes Sprinter II. We have motorway engines, made for fuel economy and reliability. We also have reliable automatic transmissions and interior space that is good for carrying passengers and parcels but insufficient for the real craftsmen who buy an entire DIY department on a weekend. Sure, many people will say they’d instead buy the first Sprinter than the Mercedes Sprinter II, but the same goes for the VW Transporter T4 and Transporter T5. The old ones are more reliable, but they also appeal to those who don’t know or can’t make the difference between potato sacks and passengers. Those who only think about money and who have no interest in passengers, because the front seats on the Mercedes Sprinter II are top of the class. Mercedes Sprinter II – the official “if I’m ok, screw the rest” car. And yes, it’s still a 3 million-mile car. Or 226000 km on 2007 models, according to the sales ads.
Mercedes Sprinter II Engines
- 1.8 Kompressor of 156 horsepower – Arriving somewhere around 2014 with the latest facelift and has a bigger existential crisis than someone who just graduated and now doesn’t know where to go next. On top of that, you also get bonus timing issues, timing which is obviously at the rear of the engine.
- 3.5 V6 of 272 horsepower – Reserved only for those who find a Viano far too small for them, the Mercedes Sprinter II with this engine is already going into the VIP transport zone and possibly the AMG / Brabus conversion zone. This is good because the thousands of euros you have to spend to change the balance shaft on the M272 won’t hurt you much, since you own a Sprinter with a 3.5 V6 petrol engine and 272 horsepower.
- 2.2 CDi of 95, 129 and 163 horsepower – The evergreen, ancient Mercedes’ 2.2 diesel is still going strong on the Sprinter. Great for parcel delivery but slightly underpowered for passenger transport. Just because it was good enough for the E Class and even the S Class, doesn’t mean it was good enough for the Sprinter. Plus the one on the S Class has 2 turbos.
- 3.0 CDi 190 horsepower – That’s kind of the opposite of the 2.2 CDI. Very good for the highway, but the downside is that it doesn’t necessarily adapt for the city. The issues however are the same. Also, don’t forget the classic oil cooler issue, mainly that it’s seals need to be changed. Not much of a cost in terms of parts, but the labor will kick you in the nads, as the cooler is sitting deep inside the V of the engine, and that means that alot of parts need to come out.
Mercedes Sprinter II General Issues
- I’m going to skip straight into the issues of the diesel engines. Very good on the highway, but very poor in town. The injector seals and seats crack over time, and if you ignore them long enough you’ll have diesel running around and through the engine in what is affectionately called the “Black Plague”.
- I haven’t left so I’m not going back, and I’m sticking with diesels except now I have a specific issue related to BlueTEC engines. The AdBlue installation is not the most reliable in the industry and is recommended to be filled only with AdBlue from Mercedes dealerships because it is more demanding than a employer looking for employees on minimum wage.
- The 6 speed manual gearbox is ok, but you must be careful which automatic you choose. You have a choice between the old 5G-Tronic which is slower but more durable and the new 7G-Tronic which is more efficient but more fragile. Ideally, you should go for the old 5G-Tronic.
- Rust is a big concern with the Sprinter and Mercedes’ commercial division in general, and the Mercedes Sprinter II does not escape from the fury and oppression of rust.
- Special mention for the 4×4 and lifted editions. No, there’s nothing wrong with the 4×4 system on the Sprinter, you just need to check the undercarriage for dents and other signs of damage.
Mercedes Sprinter II Verdict
I always have a saying – if a car is good enough for a taxi, then it’s good enough for you as a private user. Same with the Ford Focus and Renault Megane – if those cars are good enough for sales agents, they’re good enough for you. And if the Mercedes Sprinter II is good enough for Amazon and UPS, then it’s good enough for you to do Debrecen – Luton every week, departing every Tuesday at 6 am in the Lidl parking lot.
What engines do I recommend? For petrol power, clearly 3.5 V6 272 horsepower because maintenance doesn’t matter anyway and for diesel my pick would be the 3.0 V6 CDI 190 horsepower unit.