Base vehicle: Mercedes Sprinter Price from: £71.348 Berths: 2 Travel seats: 4 Length: 6.91m Width: 2.27m Height: 2.96m Gross weight: 3,500kg Payload: 370kg
Words & photos: Peter Vaughan
Weinsberg has always been known for offering great value combined with German quality, but never before with a Mercedes chassis. It’s a small sign that the Knaus Tabbert Group is reducing its independence on Fiat (along with the Knaus Van Wave on page 32). There’s only one Mercedes-Benz model so far, but it comes in the best-selling Pepper Edition trim, which means lots of extra spec as standard.
Under 7m long, this model is slightly narrower than the coachbuilt norm, at 2.27m, although it is wider (as well as longer) than the Fiat-based Pepper Edition (2.20m), which is still available.
It’s a smart-looking motorhome, with a large rear garage featuring full-sized loading doors on either side and internal headroom of 1.18m, plus a 150kg load limit. There’s a wide habitation door, too, for easy access into the vehicle but the Premium door shown here (with window, coat hooks and a large handle to aid closing) is a £580 option. You’ll need to find extra cash (£750) for the show model’s flush side glazing, too.
Stepping on board, there is a raised lounge floor to bring the half-dinette up to the cab’s level. A large skylight, opening overcab sunroof and decent-sized side window let in plenty of light and allow for good ventilation in hot climates. The TV (which is included in the Pepper spec, along with a satellite dish) is located on the washroom wall, so viewing will be best from the swivelled front seats.
Further back, the kitchen has the same stylish copper finish on the top lockers as seen in the lounge. There’s a small amount of work space between the sink and three-burner hob, but a good-sized folding worktop by the door enhances the chef’s zone. Two super-sized drawers provide plenty of storage, but this will be reduced if you opt for the oven. Alongside, the 142-litre fridge should be more than big enough.
Opposite, the washroom door opens to reveal a cubicle incorporating a separate shower as well as the superior Dometic toilet. A neat bit of design allows the basin to simply slide into the shower when you need to use the loo. There’s adequate worktop around the basin and a mirror-doored cabinet above offers storage.
The rear single beds are a key feature, especially as they are each a generous 1.95m long. They have two wide steps up and, if you want to convert the area into a huge double, there’s a very neat slide-out base with ladder attached. The centre section of the bed then extends from 0.96m to 1.61m long with the addition of an infill cushion. The unusual, long and thin, rooflight over the bedroom is a £477 option.
Beneath the beds, tambour doors reveal a large shelved cupboard on the offside and the wardrobe (760mm hanging height with a very long rail) on the nearside. Above, there are three cubbyholes on each side (two with retaining straps), as well as three fixed lockers on the rear wall, which will make sitting up comfortably in bed a challenge.
Much of the design here is well proven from the Fiat-based Pepper Edition (see March issue), so it’s the Mercedes badge that will most likely get your attention – especially at this sub-£70k price point. It’s a 150bhp Sprinter as standard, with the six-speed manual gearbox, but the nine-speed automatic and 170bhp motor are available as upgrades, as is a 4,200kg chassis.
Included in the price are keyless start, all-season tyres, double armrests on the cab seats, and a leather steering wheel. If you feel you need a few more bells and whistles, specify the Hot Pepper Package (£2,936) for an electric parking brake, distance assist, traffic sign assist and the Mercedes MBUX multimedia system with 10.25in display, DAB+ radio, sat-nav with three years of map updates and a reversing camera.
With an ultra-keen headline price, decent spec and Merc chassis, the latest Pepper Edition has few real rivals – and in standard spec it can even be driven on a normal car licence.
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