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

Yep, that’s a van, all proper. A tall one, as well.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

You know how something will become pretty much invisible following you see it often plenty of? That is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in a nutshell. Just take some time to glimpse about, and you can expect to see an army of Sprinters crawling your neighborhood roadways, whether or not they are providing deals or carrying roofing materials to a position web site. These workhorses are ubiquitous for a explanation: They’re seriously, seriously very good at what they do. And with a new generation now in the wild, the Sprinter tends to make an even greater scenario for by itself.

Like

  • Versatile and able
  • Plentiful common basic safety
  • Superb infotainment

Do not Like

  • Mercedes-Benz pricing
  • MBUX lacks a few vital upgrades

New glimpse, same capabilities

Mercedes-Benz’s vans don’t stray as well considerably from the relaxation of the spouse and children in terms of fashion. Most of that is evident in the entrance conclude, which picks up slimmer headlights that additional intently resemble the peepers on other Mercs. My tester’s unpainted lessen human body panels in fact glimpse quite boss in opposition to glossy black paint — and in addition to, it can be a work car, why paint the bumpers if they are just going to get dinged up? The black steel wheels are quite badass, as well.

If you sense like a very good laugh, allow me to stage out that this van’s Jet Black paint position in fact provides $1,015 to the Sprinter’s bottom line. That is the Mercedes-Benz we all know and love. It would not issue if you might be the CEO or the person driving the van — the automaker will nickel and dime you without having respect for socioeconomic strata. Then yet again, this is no paupermobile: My 144-inch 3500XD Crew 4×4 design starts at $51,885, but following possibilities, it can be pushing $72,000.

Stage up into the Sprinter — I am a tall person, yet I surely emitted Father Groans climbing into and out of this point — and you might be satisfied with a shocking mix of luxury-auto bits and proper work-all set trimmings. The floor appears to be like effortless to hose down, and the full dashboard is designed of plastic that even GM might assume 2 times about working with in its passenger autos, but that’s for the reason that these items have to have to stand up to lengthy times of abuse. Nevertheless, the leatherette seats have the same sense as those people on lessen-conclude Mercs, and the two the steering wheel and infotainment display are plucked straight from the passenger auto section, adding a dose of extravagant to an otherwise utilitarian getup. This precise steering wheel, by the way, is aspect of a $1,210 Driver Ease Deal that also provides heated electric mirrors and blind-place checking.

Given that this is the Crew design, my tester will come with a 2nd row of seats, but those people can be unbolted to make area for more… properly, regardless of what. Not like there is not area to spare powering that 2nd row, even though: Hauling a 50 %-dozen trees and topiaries back again from the yard center leaves gobs of area to spare. Those people who will seriously place this van to work will respect the quantity of tie-down spots on the walls and floor, but the upfitting neighborhood will be additional than content to move in and insert shelving or regardless of what else workers might have to have. Entrance-row storage is the tops, as well, thanks to overhead pockets, cubbies atop the dashboard panel and 2 times as a lot of cup holders as there are seats.

Drives like a van, rocks tech like a Mercedes

My goal for my time with the Sprinter is uncomplicated: Hauling vegetation that are as well tall or unwieldy for a crossover. Bear in thoughts this is tiny potatoes on the work-car spectrum, but it accomplishes my activity with ease.

The Sprinter is never ever completely laden in the course of my time with it, for the reason that I don’t have 5,000 lbs of materials just chillin’ in my yard to max out the payload rating, but even when vacant, the van is not a poor travel. Certainly, it can be loud, but that’s for the reason that there aren’t any interior panels powering the entrance row. Certainly, it can be bouncy, but that’s for the reason that my tester rocks the optional 4×4 setup with additional floor clearance and ability. Certainly, it can be sluggish, but that’s for the reason that its 3.-liter turbodiesel V6, which is very good for 188 horsepower and 325 pound-toes of torque, is additional anxious about hauling literal tons of things. The steering is mild and the brakes are self-confident.

Visibility is outstanding, 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 not see, the Sprinter packs a roof-mounted backup camera with spectacular resolution, building precision parking (or parking in general, if you might be not made use of to vans) a breeze. Blind-place checking, aspect of the aforementioned Ease Deal, is a savior if you might be not made use of to judging car length in a van, but owning the two straight and curved mirrors on each individual side is a major assistance, as well.

Vans never ever sense soft, for every se, but the driver’s setup in the Sprinter is quite darn very good for a work car.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

There are some other spectacular passenger-auto baubles on the Sprinter, as well. The Top quality Deal ($1,240) provides automated crisis braking, lively lane-retain aid, the MBUX infotainment technique and wiper blades that integrate fluid nozzles for additional efficient cleaning. Introducing to that, the $two,530 Top quality Additionally Deal enlarges the MBUX display although adding embedded navigation and wi-fi machine charging, in addition to improving upon the instrument cluster and putting in parking sensors.

Talking of tech, it all functions flawlessly. MBUX is one of the greater luxury-auto telematics getups in the industry, and its responsiveness and natural-language voice recognition match proper in below, even if you have to pay back a quite penny for it. The 10.25-inch display fills the dashboard nicely, and if you don’t opt for wi-fi charging, you will find a USB-C port for juicing purposes. Weirdly, even though, Apple CarPlay and Android Car are the two absent from this iteration of MBUX, and the same goes for the Wi-Fi hotspot.

Last 12 months, I was blessed plenty of to check all of the Sprinter’s new basic safety tips in a shut natural environment at a Mercedes-Benz Vans facility in Europe. A 12 months later, I am content to say that these methods work just as properly in the genuine earth. Adaptive cruise management is great and easy, although the brake-primarily based lane-retaining aid is not as harsh to have interaction as I try to remember. Crosswind aid is not as significant-handed as it was in my head, either, which in fact got a minimal white-knuckle-y when my tester got blasted with some significant gusts.

Given that the Sprinter 3500XD Crew is a significant-obligation car, the EPA would not demand gasoline-economy estimates. Going off the van’s inside computer system, even though, I see freeway gasoline economy involving thirteen and eighteen miles for every gallon, with that figure reducing in the metropolis. Throw a ton of tools in the back again, even though, and those people figures would not remain that high for lengthy.

A chopping-edge infotainment technique? In my cargo van?


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Down to brass tacks

Seeking at the levels of competition, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has earned the three-pointed star on its grille. Its payload ratings are between the optimum in the section (3,700 to 6,two hundred lbs, dependent on trim), and it can be the only van to provide four­-wheel travel with a low-assortment transfer scenario, even though the Ford Transit does make a much less sturdy AWD technique obtainable. The Sprinter’s only weak place is towing, where its 5,000-lb optimum lags powering human body-on-frame rivals like the Nissan NV, which practically doubles that figure. And then there are the comfort and ease and tech upgrades, which… properly, I assume it can be obvious how Fords, Nissans and Chevrolets fare there. Certainly, Chevrolet however builds the Convey, and certainly, it hardly appears to be like diverse than it did at the beginning of the George W. Bush administration.

If you might be buying these vans, it can be hard to deny the attract of the Sprinter. It truly is highly-priced, but that income is converted into one of the most difficult-doing the job mules on terra firma, with the optional ability to serve those people properly off the crushed route.