2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Preview: More MPGs, More Safety

May 13, 2013
The commercial van market is heating up here in the U.S. with new or heavily revised entries from both Ford and Dodge on the way in the form of the Transit and Ram. But Mercedes-Benz is prepared to take on the competition with a revised Sprinter van lineup for 2014.

Downsizing the diesel

Because it's not primarily a passenger vehicle, the Sprinter doesn't require as much power as it does durability and fuel economy. That explains its new 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, which will be standard on all models. It's rated at 161 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, and almost all of that torque is available from 1,400 rpm up through 2,400 rpm. The engine is matched to a new seven-speed automatic transmission, which Mercedes says is a first in the van segment. 

For those needing more power, a BlueTEC 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine rated at 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque is available.

Upping the safety tech

Mercedes-Benz has upgraded the safety technology that's available on its workhorse. Newly available technology includes Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Static Proximity Warning, Dynamic Proximity Warning, and Brake Assist.

A new standard 5.8-inch color display controls the radio and there's Bluetooth with a telephone keypad. For those seeking different media options there's an SD card slot, USB 2.0 jack, and AUX input.

Unfortunately a backup camera still isn't standard equipment, but it is an option.

On the exterior Mercedes has tweaked the front grille and headlights, with some models sporting LED daytime running lights. In a step towards added safety, Mercedes has modified the hood to improve protection for pedestrians.

Pricing will be set closer to launch this fall. Stay tuned for more updates.

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