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

Nancy J. Delong

Yep, that is a van, all suitable. A tall a single, also.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

You know how something gets nearly invisible just after you see it generally ample? That is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in a nutshell. Choose some time to search close to, and you’ll observe an military of Sprinters crawling your area roadways, regardless of whether they’re delivering packages or carrying roofing components to a career web-site. These workhorses are ubiquitous for a rationale: They are actually, actually excellent at what they do. And with a new generation now in the wild, the Sprinter will make an even superior scenario for by itself.


  • Versatile and able
  • Considerable typical safety
  • Outstanding infotainment

Will not Like

  • Mercedes-Benz pricing
  • MBUX lacks a couple vital updates

New search, similar capabilities

Mercedes-Benz’s vans do not stray also much from the rest of the household in phrases of type. Most of that is obvious in the entrance conclusion, which picks up slimmer headlights that far more carefully resemble the peepers on other Mercs. My tester’s unpainted lower system panels in fact search fairly manager versus glossy black paint — and apart from, it is a get the job done vehicle, why paint the bumpers if they’re just going to get dinged up? The black metal wheels are fairly badass, also.

If you sense like a excellent giggle, make it possible for me to level out that this van’s Jet Black paint career in fact provides $one,015 to the Sprinter’s base line. That is the Mercedes-Benz we all know and adore. It will not issue if you might be the CEO or the dude driving the van — the automaker will nickel and dime you with out regard for socioeconomic strata. Then again, this is no paupermobile: My a hundred and forty four-inch 3500XD Crew 4×4 design begins at $51,885, but just after choices, it is pushing $72,000.

Phase up into the Sprinter — I’m a tall dude, yet I unquestionably emitted Father Groans climbing into and out of this point — and you might be achieved with a surprising combine of luxurious-car or truck bits and correct get the job done-completely ready trimmings. The floor looks uncomplicated to hose down, and the full dashboard is manufactured of plastic that even GM may well imagine twice about using in its passenger automobiles, but that is mainly because these things require to stand up to long days of abuse. Nevertheless, the leatherette seats have the similar sense as these on lower-conclusion Mercs, and both equally the steering wheel and infotainment display are plucked straight from the passenger car or truck segment, including a dose of fancy to an or else utilitarian getup. This unique steering wheel, by the way, is element of a $one,210 Driver Convenience Package that also provides heated electric mirrors and blind-place checking.

Considering the fact that this is the Crew design, my tester will come with a next row of seats, but these can be unbolted to make place for more… very well, regardless of what. Not like there isn’t really place to spare at the rear of that next row, even though: Hauling a half-dozen trees and topiaries back again from the yard center leaves gobs of place to spare. Those who will actually put this van to get the job done will recognize the number of tie-down spots on the walls and floor, but the upfitting community will be far more than delighted to phase in and add shelving or regardless of what else workers could require. Entrance-row storage is the tops, also, thanks to overhead pockets, cubbies atop the dashboard panel and twice as several cup holders as there are seats.

Drives like a van, rocks tech like a Mercedes

My purpose for my time with the Sprinter is straightforward: Hauling plants that are also tall or unwieldy for a crossover. Bear in mind this is compact potatoes on the get the job done-vehicle spectrum, but it accomplishes my task with ease.

The Sprinter is never ever absolutely laden throughout my time with it, mainly because I do not have 5,000 lbs of components just chillin’ in my backyard to max out the payload ranking, but even when empty, the van isn’t really a lousy travel. Sure, it is loud, but that is mainly because there are not any inside panels at the rear of the entrance row. Sure, it is bouncy, but that is mainly because my tester rocks the optional 4×4 set up with far more floor clearance and functionality. Sure, it is slow, but that is mainly because its three.-liter turbodiesel V6, which is excellent for 188 horsepower and 325 pound-toes of torque, is far more worried about hauling literal tons of things. The steering is light and the brakes are self-assured.

Visibility is superb, as the Crew variant has glass on its sliding doors and mirrors so you can see just about every thing. And for what you can not see, the Sprinter packs a roof-mounted backup digital camera with remarkable resolution, building precision parking (or parking in standard, if you might be not used to vans) a breeze. Blind-place checking, element of the aforementioned Convenience Package, is a savior if you might be not used to judging vehicle distance in a van, but obtaining both equally straight and curved mirrors on every single side is a major enable, also.

Vans never ever sense cushy, for every se, but the driver’s set up in the Sprinter is fairly darn excellent for a get the job done vehicle.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

There are some other remarkable passenger-car or truck baubles on the Sprinter, also. The Quality Package ($one,240) provides automated emergency braking, energetic lane-retain assist, the MBUX infotainment system and wiper blades that incorporate fluid nozzles for far more efficient cleansing. Including to that, the $2,530 Quality Furthermore Package enlarges the MBUX display whilst including embedded navigation and wireless machine charging, in addition to enhancing the instrument cluster and putting in parking sensors.

Talking of tech, it all is effective flawlessly. MBUX is a single of the superior luxurious-car or truck telematics getups in the field, and its responsiveness and natural-language voice recognition fit suitable in listed here, even if you have to pay back a fairly penny for it. The 10.twenty five-inch display fills the dashboard nicely, and if you do not decide for wireless charging, there’s a USB-C port for juicing applications. Weirdly, even though, Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are both equally absent from this iteration of MBUX, and the similar goes for the Wi-Fi hotspot.

Previous 12 months, I was fortunate ample to check all of the Sprinter’s new safety tricks in a closed surroundings at a Mercedes-Benz Vans facility in Europe. A 12 months afterwards, I’m delighted to say that these techniques get the job done just as very well in the serious environment. Adaptive cruise management is wonderful and easy, whilst the brake-dependent lane-holding assist isn’t really as harsh to engage as I keep in mind. Crosswind assist isn’t really as weighty-handed as it was in my head, both, which in fact got a very little white-knuckle-y when my tester got blasted with some weighty gusts.

Considering the fact that the Sprinter 3500XD Crew is a weighty-responsibility vehicle, the EPA will not need gas-financial state estimates. Going off the van’s internal laptop or computer, even though, I see freeway gas financial state involving thirteen and eighteen miles for every gallon, with that figure lowering in the town. Toss a ton of applications in the back again, even though, and these quantities will not likely continue to be that higher for long.

A slicing-edge infotainment system? In my cargo van?

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Down to brass tacks

Looking at the competitiveness, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has acquired the a few-pointed star on its grille. Its payload rankings are among the highest in the segment (three,seven hundred to 6,two hundred lbs, relying on trim), and it is the only van to supply four­-wheel travel with a very low-selection transfer scenario, whilst the Ford Transit does make a considerably less sturdy AWD system out there. The Sprinter’s only weak place is towing, where by its 5,000-lb greatest lags at the rear of system-on-frame rivals like the Nissan NV, which nearly doubles that figure. And then there are the consolation and tech updates, which… very well, I imagine it is obvious how Fords, Nissans and Chevrolets fare there. Sure, Chevrolet nevertheless builds the Convey, and sure, it barely looks diverse than it did at the beginning of the George W. Bush administration.

If you might be procuring these vans, it is challenging to deny the allure of the Sprinter. It’s high priced, but that revenue is transformed into a single of the toughest-operating mules on terra firma, with the optional functionality to provide these very well off the crushed route.

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