Van and Commercial Vehicle Awards 2022: Electric Van - Best to Drive
With sharp handling, impressive refinement and a truly brilliant regenerative braking system, the Mercedes eSprinter is a breeze to drive...
Priced from £51,950 Range 96 miles CO2 emissions 0g/km Load space 11m3 Payload 731kg Power 114bhp Torque 218lb ft
Mercedes has really mastered the finer points of driving an electric van with the eSprinter, giving it multiple driving modes and regenerative braking settings. That might sound like a simple thing, but the choice of settings makes you feel more involved in the driving process.
There are four levels of regenerative braking: two coasting modes, plus the choice of a small amount of power regeneration or a much larger level. If you plan ahead, they increase the vehicle’s range by clawing back power as you slow down or letting you freewheel without using energy.
The regular diesel-engined Sprinter is a well-balanced and comfortable van to drive, so it’s no surprise that in electric vehicle (EV) form the eSprinter outperforms the Renault Master E-Tech and Maxus E Deliver 9 when it comes to refinement. It also beats them with its sharper, more direct handling, which is helped by its low-slung batteries.
So while the eSprinter’s claimed range of 96 miles is not the best in the class (the Maxus offers up 219) and its maximum payload capacity could be better (a Master e-Tech offers almost double), its intelligent drivetrain and impressive refinement gives it the most driver appeal.
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