Fleet News

Rivals head for new battle royal

BRITAIN'S two top-selling panel vans - the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - are both relaunched this month, setting the scene for a battle royal in the sector as both struggle to gain market share. Ford revealed prices this week ranging from £18,250 to £19,000.

The new Sprinter CDi has prices ranging from £13,700 to £25,960. All are ex-VAT. Direct comparisons are not easy, however, as the whole Transit range will not be rolled out until later this year. In the meantime, old versions will continue to be built to fill in for models not available. The Sprinter sports a brand new common rail turbodiesel engine, while airbags are standard for drivers on Transit but a £186 option on Sprinter.

And while the Transit offers a one-year unlimited mileage warranty, the German manufacturer tempts fleets with a three-year guarantee. Sample prices are (ex VAT): Ford Transit - 2.4TD 73bhp medium roof £18,250, 2.4TDi 88bhp medium roof £18,500, 2.4TD 73bhp high roof £18,750, 2.4TDi 88bhp high roof £19,000, 2.4TD 73bhp chassis cab £17,650, 2.4TDi 88bhp chassis cab £17,900. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter - 208CDi 82bhp £13,670, 308CDi 82bhp £17,260, 211 CDi 109bhp £15,160, 413CDi 129bhp £23,160, 216 CDi 156bhp £18,160, 416CDi 156bhp £24,460, 314 pet 143bhp £18,660.

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