Overview & Reviews
On the surface, a commercial-use Mercedes-Benz van seems like a reckless extravagance. But that's only among folks unaware that Mercedes trucks and vans are sought-after workhorses on European highways, moving goods and hauling freight while its passenger cars ferry the business class. And compared to full-size American competitors, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter actually offers a number of unique design attributes.
For one thing, it's tall. Its load floor is among the lowest for a full-size van, and with the taller of two available roofs, someone 6-foot-3 can walk around upright inside. And in its largest configuration, the Sprinter offers massive storage capacity of 547 cubic feet. In people mover form, the Sprinter can carry up to 15 passengers in five rows in its longest guise.
Yet despite its long and wobbly stance, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter actually feels pretty maneuverable around town thanks to a modern chassis design that feels a lot less trucklike than cargo and passenger vans from Detroit. Its standard turbodiesel V6 also offers better fuel economy than domestic V8s. Horsepower and acceleration, however, are best discussed in relative terms. Despite its name, the Sprinter is better suited to urban and suburban environments rather than the highway.
Current Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a full-size van, available in Cargo, Crew or Passenger configurations. Cargo vans offer two front seats only, while the Crew is essentially a Cargo van with a second-row bench seat. The Passenger van features four rows and can carry 12 passengers. The larger MiniBus model adds a fifth row for a total of 15 passengers.
All models are offered in 2500 styles with two wheelbase lengths (144 and 170 inches). The Cargo is also available as a 3500 model, offering increased payload capacity. Standard features on most Sprinters include 16-inch wheels, a wood cargo floor, 270-degree-opening rear doors, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a two-speaker radio. Stability and traction control come standard, as do front airbags.
A bewildering array of options allows owners to precisely tailor their vans and includes a driver-side rear sliding door, parking sensors, a rearview camera, upgraded front seats, and rear heating and air-conditioning. Cargo and Crew vans can also get a fixed sunroof and roof rack mounting rails.
All Mercedes-Benz Sprinters receive a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 that makes 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. A standard five-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels.
You won't find wood trim, leather or actively bolstered seats in this Mercedes-Benz. And because the Sprinter is built for large families and commercial use, you also won't find power liftgates, "magic" seats, innumerable cupholders and other trappings of the modern family minivan or SUV. Instead you'll find notably better build quality and a more modern interior environment than in other full-size vans. The Sprinter's dash and control layout, for example, makes it feel more like a midsize SUV than its utility purpose suggests.
Used Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter debuted in 2010. Prior to that, Mercedes built the van for Dodge to sell under the same name. Neither the Crew nor the 15-passenger stretched-wheelbase "MiniBus" editions were available for 2010.
For more on the preceding Sprinter model sold by Dodge, read our Dodge Sprinter review.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 10.00
Excellent Family Van - 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By happycamper17 - April 18 - 9:48 pm
Bought this van to tote around our large family (9 kids). We have owned (and worn out) a Chevy Express 3500 and a Ford F-350, both 15 passengers and are very pleased with the Sprinter. More room than any of the competitors and much much better gas milage. Drives like a much smaller vehicle and not at all intimidating, even my wife loves to drive it. Parking is always an issue with large vans, but the visibility in the sprinter is excellent. Heartily recommend.
Sprinter 4x4 Family Hauler - 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By Eric Hibma - October 29 - 6:34 am
We sold our 2012 Mercedes Sprinter, which we loved, for a 2015 Sprinter 4x4. We needed the 4x4 as we live on a hill that gets icy and snowy in the winter. With 2wd there is so much torque coming from the turbodiesel that even with Blizzak snow tires we had trouble getting out. With the 4x4 this is a true go-anywhere vehicle! We have 7 children, so our family vehicle options are very limited. We drove Chevy express vans and they were horrible! This is the best van available for this size family. It is definitely far from perfect, but still the best available. Pros: -strong, efficient motor -4x4!! -each seat has a head rest -rubber flooring that is easy to clean -comfortable impact-absorbing front seats. -the HID headlights are wonderful for night visibility -heats up quickly in the winter with the auxiliary heater. With the roof height it is ideal for getting the kids' coats off and buckled in their car seats -the crosswind assist is definitely a nice feature that has made driving this on the highway much nicer compared to our 2012 model. -decent towing capacity -good backup camera -great side mirrors with blind spot mirrors. -pass-through cabin so that a parent can get back and forth to help the kids on trips. -finally a USB connection so I can plug in my iphone -excellent gas mileage for such a large vehicle -excellent storage capacity inside the van. Carry-on luggage items fit under the seats! -You can slide large items all the way through the van under the seats (I did have to build a divider to keep our groceries from sliding all the way to the front of the van, but I love that I can fit lumber along the floor of the van even with all the kids loaded up) Cons: -the 4x4 system is quite an antiquated system. When engaged it is awesome, but very hard to get engaged unless the van is on level ground. You need to be going less than 5mph while moving before it can engage (no on-the-fly engaging really). Once engaged this is awesome and we even took this off roading to one of our favorite hikes. It made it through some incredible ruts and washouts that I was not expecting. -the brakes squeal (our 2012 model had the same issue). It is intermittent and not terrible, but still annoying. -only one intermittent setting for the wipers which is just dumb. -there are some rattles as we go down our dirt road. It sounds like a cargo van at times on our dirt road, but still much better than the Chevy did. -radio and sound quality are so-so. Better than the 2012 model. -a very sensitive traction control system. Trying to go through deep snow the van's computer wants to apply the brakes to avoid even the slightest wiggle from the rear end. I want to keep up my speed and maintain forward progress and have to fight the van to go in deep snow sometimes. Now with 4x4 this is much better, and not really an issue any more unless I leave the van in 2wd. Even when turning off traction control if there is rear slippage it will automatically re-engage. This is horribly annoying. -no automatic headlights -I still cannot remove the last row of seating, which is the one you would want to remove the most. The first 2 rows of passenger seating is easily removable with 2 people. The seats are heavy, but they come out through the large slider door well. -we have had intermittent issues of the slider door mechanism freezing in severe cold here in Michigan. It is easy to correct, but it seems like that could be improved. -dealerships are often far away unless you live in a city. The nearest dealerships to us are 1-2.5 hrs away.
Piece of garbage on wheels... - 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By John Paul Daley II - October 22 - 10:00 pm
When I bought my 2015 4x4 Sprinter, I thought it was going to be amazing. By the third day I realized I had made a mistake. The van had a very bad noise coming from the back. It got worse, then the roof leaked. I had to drive it 4 hours to the nearest dealer to get it fixed and I had not even gotten it home yet. I fought with them over a rental as it was less than a week old. Took 14 days to fix while I was stranded and unable to work. the fix's didn't work and I entered into a months long battle to get repairs done. Ultimately the Van spent most of the first 90 days in the shop with no loaner. It is legally a lemon and MB USA agreed to buy it back but that was 30 days ago and they have said nothing since. The people who work at Corporate have no integrity to their word and they refuse to put anything in writing. I paid 55K for a van I have not been able to use. When I did use it, for it's intended purpose cross country trips I was able to get just shy of 20K on the van before the power steering went out on a mountain Switchback. That put it back in the shop for more than a month and they have no explanation for how the hose came loose, and after more than 10K in parts and expenses working on the vibration/noise from the suspension, they come to the conclusion it is natural harmonics of the van. Again, not fixed, and still vibrating and no explanation for how a clamped and secure hose came off. The dealers have drank the kool aid and will lie and back up the Manufacturer on the record. Off the record they say the guys in Germany are a bunch of jerks who won't listen and treat the mechanics Like idiots who can't get it. After being out the van so long and having such horrendous support from both the dealers and the manufacturer, I would not recommend the van. when the first few months of ownership are so bad, you would think they would want it off the road and out of your hands so as to not prove just how bad it really is. Instead, they sent me a letter saying they are going to buy it back and then did nothing. Lawyers have told me they will drag this out as long as they can to save money since their attorneys are staff and they outsource the buyback process to a third party who is commissioned by giving you the lowest price they think they can. In other words they are paid to screw you, Literally. When you sum this up, it's poorly manufactured and they can't fix the problem. Even worse is europeans from sprinter chat rooms are contacting me saying they have the same problems and want to know if I found a solution. They don't love the "natural Harmonics" answer. Worse is the popularity of the ford is killing resale value so I can't even sell it for a fair price and it is a few months old. Best offer is 15K less than I paid for it. 4 months old and a 15K discount.. Pretty Sad.
Best 12 passenger van - 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By ehibma - January 20 - 6:15 am
This is by far the best 12 passenger van on the market! We have put on about 10K miles now. We knew within 5 minutes that we hated the GM/Ford/Dodge vans. Those domestic vans drove horrible and were unsafe. No headrests, kids had to duck under seatbelts. We then found the Sprinter van. This has been wonderful. We get stopped all the time to ask what kind of van we have. The diesel motor has plenty of power and has been smooth up and down hills, with plenty of pickup power. We have found the "lacks power" reviews unfounded. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and we love being able to walk through to the back to help the kids when necessary. A big family delight!
High price to pay for annoyance - 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By Gary Lorenzen - January 16 - 6:56 am
I got this to replace the 3500 express van. I needed a reliable flexible unit. What a joke. You can't take the rear seat out unless you visit the dealer; if you take out the middle seats it requires two people and one of them had better be quite healthy. All the interior panels rattle when chilly outside and reach a horrendous crescendo when cold. The brakes squeal so bad people cover their ears and wince. The transmission has a mind of its own; 25 mph in a small town it won't shift until you speed to get the revs over 3000 then up shifts 3 times and then down shifts to where it should have been in the first place (I was told this was normal...right). DEF issues are normal for this unit - 3 tries and 20 days in the shop before I could travel any distance. Speaking of DEF problems the start countdown can not be trusted for the DEF warning it goes from 13 to 5 or where ever it wants to stop. Dealers recommendation don't shut off the van. Starting issues at times (usually inconvenient) it won't start unless you keep cycling the key (hot-cold- first start- multiple starts just whenever). I paid thousands more for less reliability and only 3 more miles to the gallon. On a plus side the seats, heated mirrors, and cruise control (when not windy) are great. Basically count on this van costing you about $2.25 per mile just to pay for the thing. Got rid of it with only 9500 on the odometer, lost 20k in cash and damaged reputation of not being able to make it. Corporate really doesn't care and one rep kind of chuckled at my dilemma. There is much more like top speed governed, but won't delve into those things now. No wonder FedEx is starting to use Transits.
DTF Light - 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By hothanddd - March 28 - 12:58 am
DTF light keeps coming on when DTF tank is full has done it in two vans now.
complete electrical power loss - 2011 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By fredtboy - May 30 - 9:58 pm
After buying this vehicle new off the dealer lot. after only 6 days on the road I experianced a complete power loss to the vechicle. was 200 mi from home. roadside assistance took 4hrs to approve me for 100% $$ towing back to my dealeer in Reading PA. They had the vehicle all day and still could not find the source of the problem..If they can not find the source of the problem do they expect me to take back the vehicle and wonder when and where it will happen again!..I think not. Will update as soon as I find out ..
Best Van Available!! - 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By Reggie Hammond - January 12 - 4:39 pm
The Sprinter is the Best Van Available - bar none! It has a huge volume of space and runs like a top!
LLM, Our Sprinter - 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By Moji - July 9 - 4:47 am
We were comparing the Sprinter with the Transit Van. Both vehicles offer much for the money. We read that if you stay below 65 mph, your mpg would be fine. We purchased our Sprinter from Nelli, she is great, at MB Laguna Niguel. We checked highway mpg at 60 mph from Laguna Niguel to Oceanside, CA and averaged 29.8 mpg...gotta love that. The Transit diesel on an 18 mile loop averaged 23 mpg. The Transit passenger van includes rear hvac and can be ordered for around $900.00 for other style vans. The Sprinter rear hvac is $3600.00. We purchased a crew van and will put a Dometic 15,000 btu Brisk II heat pump on the roof and carry a portable generator for when we may need it. Also installing two MaxxAir vents to help circulate air while driving. Front air conditioning in Sprinter is more than adequate for first two rows of people. When we finish we will have a very nice travel van. Regarding sleeping in the van or camping out, my wife has told me she is happy to continue camping out at the Hilton. The travel van will make our travels much more comfortable and allow us to take our dog with us. Will be able to sleep in Sprinter if in pinch.
Best Family Van Ever - 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
By Dave D - August 21 - 5:03 pm
We purchased our standard height, 144 WB Sprinter to accomodate our family of 8. Let me just say this is an outstanding vehicle. We purchased it based on the SAFETY and comfort features that MB offers. Also, there is a good 2-3 feet behind the 3rd row, which provides ample space for stollers, and groceries, and suitcases without having to remove the 3rd row. Driving is very comfortable and my petite wife doesn't feel lost behind the wheel on the road. It feels like you are driving a car and you get no hint of the size of the van...until you go to park it. The 144WB is big without being too big and still fits in a parking space, although you take ever last inch of it. A great, great van.