Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Research

The Car Connection Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Overview

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a tall-roof commercial van available in a wide array of body styles. There's a Sprinter for just about every conceivable need. 

Like many other vans including the Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz offers the passenger van finished inside, with two to four rows of seating for up to 12 passengers.

A new Sprinter van made its debut in early 2018. The van's proportions and utility don't change, but the powertrain will. Alongside a diesel-powered Sprinter, a gasoline engine will be available in the U.S. An electrified version is reportedly in the works as well.

The new Sprinter should go on sale in the U.S. in fall 2018.

MORE: Read our 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter review

The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter made its debut in February 2018.

The big cargo van is nearly indistinguishable from the van it replaced, except under the hood. Mercedes-Benz didn't specifically outline the powertrain configuration that will make it to the U.S., however it's clear that the automaker will bring a gas-powered version to the U.S. Previously, a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel and 2.1-liter inline-4 turbodiesel powered the van in the U.S. A 7-speed automatic will be fitted to diesel-powered vans, the gas version may receive a 9-speed automatic.

Upfitters and overlanders may appreciate the all-wheel-drive system fitted to the new Sprinter. The Sprinter in the U.S. will be standard with rear-wheel drive, however a front-wheel-drive version will be sold outside the U.S.

Like the vans before it, the Sprinter will be available in myriad configurations and three different wheelbases. Cargo and passenger configurations will be available in a range of sizes.

The new Sprinter largely turns toward tech with an available 10.25-inch touchscreen, fleet telematics system, and connected apps that virtually connect the van wherever it may roam.

Sprinter history

The Sprinter nameplate has been around for more than two decades. It launched in Europe and has since made waves in the American van market. Offered here over the years as both a Dodge and a Freightliner, the latest versions are badged Mercedes-Benz and are sold through that brand's dealerships. Yes, it's a little odd to think that a Mercedes-Maybach sedan worth over $200,000 shares showroom space with a work van, but that's just a taste of the depth and breadth of the Mercedes nameplate globally.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter passenger van shares its powertrain options with the more work-oriented versions, including a 2.1-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder and a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6. The 4-cylinder engine generates 161 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque thanks to a two-stage turbocharging system, and uses a 7-speed automatic transmission. The larger V-6 is rated at 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. Both engines use Mercedes-Benz's BlueTEC system, which injects Diesel Exhaust Fluid into the exhaust to reduce oxides of nitrogen emissions, resulting in output that Mercedes claims is as clean as a modern gasoline engine.

Available only in the 2500 weight rating (rather than the heavier-duty 3500 rating available on cargo models), the Sprinter passenger van can haul up to 2,422 pounds of payload or tow up to 5,000 pounds. Two roof heights are available on the 144-inch wheelbase version, including a 65.0-inch interior height model and a 76.4-inch version. The long-wheelbase (170-inch) model is only available in passenger configuration with the 76.4-inch roof height.

For the 2014 model year, both the exterior and interior were redesigned, bringing sharper new looks to the front end of the Sprinter, and a more modern, luxurious feel inside the cabin. Among the upgrades to the interior are a 5.8-inch color display for the infotainment system, USB connectivity, and a standard Audio 15 head unit with iPod connectivity. More supportive front seats, a revised gearshift lever, and other aesthetic upgrades were also included in the 2014 model.

Those looking to put some more consumer-oriented touches on their Sprinter passenger van can opt for a number of packages, including the Driver Comfort package, which includes a 12-volt output in the driver's seat base; a hinged-lid center bin; upgraded front seats; and more. The Active Safety Plus package brings power heated exterior mirrors; a multi-function steering wheel; light and rain sensors; blind spot monitoring; collision prevention assist; active lane control; and a number of other safety and convenience features. Mercedes' Parktronic parking aid system can also be added, as well as a number of premium appearance features inside and out.

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