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September 06, 2022 at 8:59 PM

Ford produced the first personal vehicle in 1903. Ford is originally an American brand. Mercedes, founded in Germany, followed in 1926. Over the years, these two brands have batted heads and produced several vehicles that have revolutionised the industry. These two companies also provide very reliable vans and transport vehicles. This article will uncover the history of Ford and Mercedes and their most popular pick-ups and vans.

The History of Mercedes-Benz Vans

Mercedes-Benz strives to be the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer. Here’s a timeline of Mercedes-Benz vans.

1896: A "combination delivery vehicle" or a van-style delivery vehicle based on a motorised carriage was invented by Karl Benz.

1929: The Mercedes-Benz L 1000 Express Van was introduced. As its name implies, it was capable of carrying 1,000 kg or 1.1 tons.

1956: A new generation of light trucks was introduced by Mercedes-Benz in the form of the L 319.

1967: Mercedes-Benz unveiled the all-new L 406 D large-capacity van, equipped with the OM 621 prechamber diesel engine.

1977: A new Mercedes-Benz van line-up, the TN or T1, was launched.

1986: Mercedes-Benz presented the T2, available in minibus form.

1995: During its launch in Europe, the first-generation Sprinter Van won the title ‘International Van of the Year.’

2006: A new generation of Sprinters was introduced to the European market.

2013: The Sprinter evolved, creating new standards for efficiency, safety and handling. A significant accomplishment of the van was its fuel efficiency of 43mpg in UK specifications.

The History of Ford Vans

Among the most successful vans in Europe, the Ford Transit has been the top seller in the UK for over four decades. Let’s examine the Ford Transit van history.

1965: Ford launched its Transit van. It was known for its spaciousness, offering significantly more cargo space than its rivals. UK customers seemed to like its vast body and square shell. The Transit offered buyers various options: pick-ups, minibuses and panel vans powered by diesel or petrol.

The first generation of Transit vans hardly changed for 12 years until 1978, when it underwent an extensive makeover, including an updated exterior and interior. A complete overhaul of the vehicle's mechanics was also completed, and the first automatic transmission was installed.

1986: Second-generation Transit received a new appearance. Due to its unique slanting windscreen and box-like design, it was a notable vehicle on British streets. In short wheelbase models, independent front suspension improved ride and handling. Engines were kept the same, but access and visibility were enhanced.

Nine years after its introduction, the second-gen Transit was given a welcome facelift. Ford added climate control, airbags, electric windows and electric mirrors. With its increased space and comfort, Transit became more than just a commercial vehicle. It also made a great private van.

2000: The third-generation Transit came in either front-wheel or rear-wheel drive. With this, buyers had the option of additional interior space and reduced loading heights or better towing and loading capabilities. With three wheelbase lengths to choose from—standard, medium and long—Transits become more suitable for professional courier work.

The 2006 facelift of the third-gen Transit introduced several changes and improvements. Interior improvements were made in addition to the exterior makeover.

Sport Vans were introduced during this period with a stylish body kit, racing stripes and prominent alloy wheels. A high percentage of working professionals favoured this generation of Transit due to its new TDCi engines, which were more efficient and less polluting.

2013: This generation's Ford Transit offered a double cab chassis. It can accommodate approximately seven people and provide a 10.6-cubic-metre load area. Buyers can choose from a selection of medium and extended wheelbases.

The new Transit has a sleeker look with swept-back headlamps than earlier vans. It has been fine-tuned to make it Ford's safest, most reliable commercial van.

Transit offers four different models: the Courier, the Connect, the Custom and the full-size Transit.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vs Ford Transit

Two names stand out among premium-quality heavy vans: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit. Here’s a look at how each one measures up against the other.

The comfort of the cab

Van buyers increasingly place a high priority on cab comfort. In this regard, both vans perform well. The combination of fun and style is Ford's approach. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz opts for a functional and intelligent design.

The seating position is low on the Transit. It also has a much more comfortable seat and a much deeper glovebox. On the other hand, the Sprinter offers more storage spaces and a much higher seating position, so it has better visibility from every angle. As for legroom and cupholders, both vehicles score equally well.

Security features

In response to the rise in van theft, the Transit and Sprinter offer enhanced security. As a standard feature, the Transit has a Category 2 immobiliser, and an optional Thatcham Category 1 alarm is available. Reinforced mountings also protect power door deadlocks on this van.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinters are equipped with anti-theft alarms and double-lock doors. Mercedes Pro Connect is similar to Ford's system in that it can alert drivers to move and provide location information.

General Advantages

For the Mercedes-Benz:

  • More comfortable driver's seat and more sophisticated steering system
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Diesel and 4WD options are available.
  • The cargo space and payload are larger.
  • Having been in production longer, used versions are more readily available.

For the Ford Transit:

  • Factory 4x4 is now available.
  • It has a much higher interior height.
  • Smoother rides are what you get.
  • Repair parts are easier to find.
  • Maintenance costs are much lower.

Looking for Second Hand Vans for Sale Near Me?

Transit vans and Sprinters are both high-quality commercial vehicles suitable for various uses. That is why many people want to buy Mercedes-Benz vans or Ford Transits. Both offer plenty of options, making it easy to find one that fits your needs.

In search of used van dealers offering great deals on a Ford Transit for sale, a panel van for sale, fridge vans or used pick-up trucks for sale? Luckily, Big Van World can help you out. Check out our used van inventory today.


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