2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter review: A very tall luxury car

Yep, that’s a van, all suitable. A tall just one, too.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

You know how a thing becomes practically invisible immediately after you see it typically enough? Which is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in a nutshell. Take some time to appear close to, and you may discover an military of Sprinters crawling your area roadways, irrespective of whether they are offering packages or carrying roofing components to a task web page. These workhorses are ubiquitous for a cause: They’re really, really good at what they do. And with a new era now in the wild, the Sprinter will make an even improved situation for by itself.

Like

  • Versatile and capable
  • Plentiful common protection
  • Great infotainment

Really don’t Like

  • Mercedes-Benz pricing
  • MBUX lacks a couple crucial upgrades

New appear, identical capabilities

Mercedes-Benz’s vans you should not stray too much from the relaxation of the household in conditions of design and style. Most of that is clear in the entrance conclusion, which picks up slimmer headlights that extra closely resemble the peepers on other Mercs. My tester’s unpainted reduced body panels truly appear very manager versus shiny black paint — and moreover, it’s a get the job done automobile, why paint the bumpers if they are just heading to get dinged up? The black metal wheels are very badass, too.

If you feel like a good chortle, enable me to stage out that this van’s Jet Black paint task truly adds $one,015 to the Sprinter’s base line. Which is the Mercedes-Benz we all know and appreciate. It isn’t going to matter if you are the CEO or the man driving the van — the automaker will nickel and dime you without regard for socioeconomic strata. Then again, this is no paupermobile: My 144-inch 3500XD Crew 4×4 product commences at $fifty one,885, but immediately after options, it’s pushing $72,000.


Action up into the Sprinter — I am a tall man, but I certainly emitted Father Groans climbing into and out of this thing — and you are met with a shocking combine of luxury-vehicle bits and proper get the job done-all set trimmings. The ground appears to be easy to hose down, and the overall dashboard is built of plastic that even GM might believe two times about applying in its passenger vehicles, but that’s because these things want to stand up to extended times of abuse. Still, the leatherette seats have the identical feel as people on reduced-conclusion Mercs, and both of those the steering wheel and infotainment display are plucked straight from the passenger vehicle segment, introducing a dose of fancy to an usually utilitarian getup. This unique steering wheel, by the way, is element of a $one,210 Driver Comfort Offer that also adds heated electrical mirrors and blind-location monitoring.

Considering that this is the Crew product, my tester arrives with a second row of seats, but people can be unbolted to make room for more… perfectly, regardless of what. Not like there is not room to spare powering that second row, nevertheless: Hauling a 50 percent-dozen trees and topiaries back from the back garden center leaves gobs of room to spare. These who will really put this van to get the job done will respect the quantity of tie-down spots on the walls and ground, but the upfitting community will be extra than satisfied to move in and include shelving or regardless of what else personnel could want. Entrance-row storage is the tops, too, thanks to overhead pockets, cubbies atop the dashboard panel and two times as numerous cup holders as there are seats.

Drives like a van, rocks tech like a Mercedes

My purpose for my time with the Sprinter is clear-cut: Hauling crops that are too tall or unwieldy for a crossover. Bear in intellect this is modest potatoes on the get the job done-automobile spectrum, but it accomplishes my task with simplicity.

The Sprinter is under no circumstances fully laden for the duration of my time with it, because I you should not have five,000 kilos of components just chillin’ in my yard to max out the payload score, but even when empty, the van is not a undesirable generate. Of course, it’s loud, but that’s because there aren’t any interior panels powering the entrance row. Of course, it’s bouncy, but that’s because my tester rocks the optional 4×4 set up with extra ground clearance and functionality. Of course, it’s slow, but that’s because its three.-liter turbodiesel V6, which is good for 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, is extra concerned about hauling literal tons of things. The steering is gentle and the brakes are assured.

Visibility is superb, as the Crew variant has glass on its sliding doorways and mirrors so you can see just about every thing. And for what you can’t see, the Sprinter packs a roof-mounted backup digicam with remarkable resolution, building precision parking (or parking in normal, if you are not used to vans) a breeze. Blind-location monitoring, element of the aforementioned Comfort Offer, is a savior if you are not used to judging automobile length in a van, but possessing both of those straight and curved mirrors on every single side is a massive assist, too.

Vans under no circumstances feel soft, per se, but the driver’s set up in the Sprinter is very darn good for a get the job done automobile.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

There are some other remarkable passenger-vehicle baubles on the Sprinter, too. The Premium Offer ($one,240) adds automated emergency braking, energetic lane-continue to keep assist, the MBUX infotainment procedure and wiper blades that integrate fluid nozzles for extra powerful cleansing. Including to that, the $two,530 Premium Plus Offer enlarges the MBUX display though introducing embedded navigation and wireless unit charging, in addition to improving the instrument cluster and installing parking sensors.

Speaking of tech, it all operates flawlessly. MBUX is just one of the improved luxury-vehicle telematics getups in the field, and its responsiveness and organic-language voice recognition in shape suitable in below, even if you have to spend a very penny for it. The 10.twenty five-inch display fills the dashboard properly, and if you you should not decide for wireless charging, there’s a USB-C port for juicing functions. Weirdly, nevertheless, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both of those absent from this iteration of MBUX, and the identical goes for the Wi-Fi hotspot.

Previous calendar year, I was fortunate enough to check all of the Sprinter’s new protection tricks in a shut atmosphere at a Mercedes-Benz Vans facility in Europe. A calendar year later, I am satisfied to say that these devices get the job done just as perfectly in the real environment. Adaptive cruise command is nice and sleek, though the brake-centered lane-holding assist is not as harsh to interact as I keep in mind. Crosswind assist is not as major-handed as it was in my head, possibly, which truly bought a minimal white-knuckle-y when my tester bought blasted with some major gusts.

Considering that the Sprinter 3500XD Crew is a major-duty automobile, the EPA isn’t going to involve gas-economic climate estimates. Heading off the van’s internal personal computer, nevertheless, I see highway gas economic climate concerning 13 and 18 miles per gallon, with that determine decreasing in the city. Toss a ton of tools in the back, nevertheless, and people figures won’t continue to be that large for extended.

A cutting-edge infotainment procedure? In my cargo van?


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Down to brass tacks

Searching at the competition, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has acquired the three-pointed star on its grille. Its payload scores are amid the optimum in the segment (three,seven-hundred to 6,two hundred kilos, dependent on trim), and it’s the only van to offer you four­-wheel generate with a reduced-vary transfer situation, while the Ford Transit does make a significantly less strong AWD procedure offered. The Sprinter’s only weak location is towing, wherever its five,000-lb most lags powering body-on-frame rivals like the Nissan NV, which practically doubles that determine. And then there are the consolation and tech upgrades, which… perfectly, I believe it’s noticeable how Fords, Nissans and Chevrolets fare there. Of course, Chevrolet nevertheless builds the Categorical, and certainly, it barely appears to be distinctive than it did at the commencing of the George W. Bush administration.

If you are procuring these vans, it’s tough to deny the attract of the Sprinter. It can be high priced, but that funds is converted into just one of the hardest-performing mules on terra firma, with the optional functionality to provide people perfectly off the crushed path.

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