Review Mercedes Sprinter 519 BlueTEC: Smartvan

Mercedes Sprinter
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Mercedes Sprinter is constantly upgraded, because Mercedes-Benz doesn’t need special moments to enhance the components and systems of its largest van. Furthermore we shall present the heaviest and the most powerful version, the CDI 519.

Only last year 160.000 Sprinter units were sold in approximately 130 countries. 15 years ago, the driver received airbags as standard equipment, two years later, Sprinter was standardly equipped with ESP (it reduced with 64% the number of accidents in which any Sprinter vehicle was involved). In 2006, ADAPTIVE ESP appeared and it calculated the load, preventing the car to roll over. The first models with four-cylinder engines, later acknowledged for their low diesel consumption, were delivered in 2009. Two years ago the BlueEFFICENCY notion appeared, and last year delivers begun for the 7-speed automatic transmission. For their time, all of these equipments had set the style in the industry. Due to this approach, even after 20 years since the first launch, Sprinter has been permanently one of the most advanced vans in the world.

The most powerful version CDI 519 is used both by those who have large cargos to transport or those who are converting these vans into minibuses. It surely is Vario’s replacement – another famous long-lasting transporter, but it was no longer fitted for our times.

With an interior volume of 17 mc, the cargo compartment’s length of 4.8 m and a height of 2.14 m, this Sprinter is more of a small studio. Usually studios does not have three entries but this van meets this criteria – an important advantage for those who must load or unload the van especially in the neighbourhoods where very few manoeuvres are possible. If you think about it, most studios don’t even have a KEYLESS entry type, not even a powered door, but a Sprinter offers all these facilities. In Mercedes-Benz characteristic style, Sprinter comes equipped with some cargo anchor points. But the safety equipments have just begun.

  • High level Safety
  • Powerful engine
  • Advanced transmission


  • Not all combinations of wheelbases and heights are possible
  • Limited storage compartments for drivers

The huge V6 CDI engine has no rival in Europe, as it is intended also for non-European markets. 190 HP are more than enough not only for the 5-tone Sprinter, but they can tow as well a trailer of 3750 kg. It was really a challenge for us to manually load at least half of its transport capacity.

With this level of power, OM 642 engine is similar to Atego’s features. It helps the driver to cover both difficult roads and city streets, thanks to its maximum torque available on a flat range of 1,000 rpm, that doesn’t put too much effort on the gearbox.

With the cylinders lines placed at 72 degrees, this V6 CDI stands out thanks its low level of noise and vibrations, an advantage worth taken into consideration by all the drivers of those tourist minibuses. The 18 litres capacity adblue tank should be enough for almost 6000 km. After the adblue tank runs out of fuel, the Sprinter still continues to go with the same power for another 300 km, and after that the engine power drops to 75% and after another 500 km, the maximum speed is limited to 20km/h.

It’s needless to mention that the 7-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox has no equivalent in the segment of commercial vehicles and it shifts as smooth as in a saloon, which can be seen as another advantage, both around or outside the towns. If the BlueEFFICIENCY packages are added to the gearbox, the diesel fuel consumption drops a few points. The economic power steering, the stop/start function, the intermittent alternator, the fuel pump controlled by the onboard computers or the economic tyres – they are part of the so-called “package”. A radiator fan with variable frequency drive is added to the BlueEFFICENCY package.

At the end of the last century, a van was appreciated in the first place for its endurance, rather than the fuel economy or comfort, and the word “safety” didn’t matter. Watching now the Sprinter, or more exactly, driving it, I realize that our priorities are constantly evolving. From seatbelts and ABS we have now in the standard base level the Crosswind Assist which is based on the ESP. The assistance packages for drivers are constantly being updated with new functions. One of them is the light system taking into consideration not only the van’s load, but also the lighting condition of the road, or the vehicles that are travelling in the same direction or the opposite.

Warning devices to involuntary lane change, assistance to changing direction, warning and assistance at front-rear collision, all of them based on a large number of sensors, perimeter, a multifunctional camera and a radar.

For the new Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz also provides the calculation system of the maintenance. Depending on how the vehicle is operated, it will require technical revisions at 60.000km, good news for those who exploit it intensively. Sprinter is just like a smartphone – we go used to so fast with the mobile phones and it is impossible to conceive a world without them.


Sprinter’s main advantage is that it can adopt technologies and equipments that have been already verified by the car and truck divisions. Practically, it takes the best from two sides, and rivals can hardly surpass the results.

Technical data Mercedes Sprinter 519 BlueTec

ModelSprinter 519 BlueTec
Engine typeV6, turbodiesel
Displacement (cmc)2987
Max.power/revs (CP/rpm)190/3800
Max. torque/revs (Nm/rpm)440/1400-2400
Transmissionaut., 7 sp.
L/l/h (mm)na
Wheelbase (mm)4325
Kerb weight/payload (kg)2565/2435
Combined fuel consumption (l/100 km)8.5
Emission CO2 (g/km)223