The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a comfortable workhorse that offers a splash of G-wagon capability. Thanks to its wide range of configurability, it can satisfy the needs of both those who deliver and those who crave outdoor adventure. That said, its starting price is noticeably steeper than full-size van rivals like the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster. The Sprinter is sold with three four-cylinder engine options—two turbodiesels and one turbocharged gasoline engine—each working through a nine-speed automatic transmission. This gearbox and the van’s optional 4Matic four-wheel drive system are similar to those found in Mercedes-Benz passenger cars such as the E-Class and S550. The Merc hauler can be had with a dual rear axle, different roof heights and three different body styles: cargo, crew and passenger. The tech offerings include a 10.3-inch touchscreen and various driver aids. The large interior means there’s plenty of room to build the 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter into your next work van, an off-road AirBnB, or just about anything in between.
What’s new for 2023?
The Sprinter van’s engine range has been shaken up for 2023 and includes only an inline-four: 168- or 208-hp turbodiesels and a 188-hp gas engine. The 188-hp V-6 is discontinued. All engines are now mated to a new nine-speed automatic gearbox, replacing the old model’s seven-speed unit. A revised 4Matic all-wheel drive system uses a longer first gear for better acceleration and smoother operation. Power distribution is changed to a 50-50 bias between front and rear axles, instead of the former 35-65 percent split in last year’s Sprinter.
Prices and which one to buy
Because of the many variations and price points, the best Sprinter we can suggest is the one that fits your specific needs. However, we recommend saving up for the option packages that include the van’s available safety systems. We’d recommend the Driver Convenience package (blind spot monitor, driver attention monitor, power-folding outside mirrors, etc.) and the Premium package, which adds adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, and more.
Engine, transmission and performance
All Sprinter cargo, passenger and crew vans are offered with three engine choices. The standard powertrain is a 188-hp turbocharged gas-fed four-cylinder with 258 lb-ft of torque. The other options consist of a 170-hp turbodiesel four-cylinder with 295 lb-ft of torque and a higher-output 211-hp twin-turbo diesel with 332 lb-ft of torque. Each engine uses a nine-speed automatic transmission. Although not much power for such a large vehicle, it is more than adequate for lighter work. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available on every Sprinter van. For comparison, the Ford Transit is also offered with four-wheel drive.
Towing and payload capacity
Mercedes-Benz has not yet released towing and payload capabilities for the Sprinter’s new engine lineup. We can only assume they’re like the Transit’s: it sports tow ratings that range between 4,000 and 6,800 pounds and payload ratings that go from 2,880 to 4,550 pounds. We will update this space as that information becomes available.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Fuel economy is not estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 8500 pounds. The last Benz van we tested was a 2019 Sprinter 3500XD with the now-discontinued 188-hp turbodiesel V-6 and seven-speed automatic. During our 75-mph highway fuel economy test, it managed 15 mpg.
Interior, comfort and cargo
The Sprinter offers more interior refinement than its full-size van rivals. Its interior appointments and features, such as the available leather-wrapped steering wheel and large 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, put it a cut above the Ram ProMaster, Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana. The attention Mercedes paid to lower cabin noise is a brain saver on long journeys and reduces the aural burden of everyday use. The Sprinter’s seats are well shaped so they don’t break your back after hours behind the wheel; A Swivel Seat package is available, making getting in and out easier. The Sprinter offers more interior space than some New York City apartments—as much as 533 cubic feet in Cargo versions. This is more than you get in the largest version of the Ford Transit. Passenger versions of the Sprinter, with the 144-inch wheelbase, seat 12 comfortably while the 170-inch wheelbase versions can fit 15.
Infotainment and connectivity
In-cabin entertainment is rarely a high priority in this class, which is why Mercedes keeps the finest of its interior hardware as extra-cost options. The standard audio system is a basic AM/FM radio with a small LCD screen, Bluetooth and a single USB-C port. Included in the Premium package is an updated system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, while the Premium Plus package includes a 10.3-inch screen, navigation and a wireless phone charging pad. Both option packages also include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
Mercedes supplies the Sprinter with a list of driver assistance technologies, but the majority of systems on offer are optional. For more information on the Sprinter’s crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automatic emergency braking
- Available blind spot monitor
- Available lane keeping assistance
Warranty and Maintenance Cover
Mercedes-Benz’s limited warranty on the Sprinter is typical for this class. However, its drive coverage is longer than most. Mercedes also does not pay for any scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Truck
Vehicle type: front engine, rear or four-wheel drive, 2-passenger, 5-door pickup
2500 standard roof, 144-inch wheelbase, rear-drive gasoline, $46,795; 2500 High Roof, 170-inch Wheelbase, All-Wheel Drive High Output Diesel, $64,635
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter diesel inline-4, 170 hp, 295 lb-ft; DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 188 hp, 258 lb-ft; turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter diesel inline-4, 211 hp, 332 lb-ft
Wheelbase: 144.0 or 170.0 inches
Length: 234.0, 274.0 or 290.0 inches
Width: 80.0 inches
Height: 96.0-111.0 inches
Cargo volume: 533 ft3 max
Combat weight (C/D east): 5500-6000 lbs.
PERFORMANCE (C/D IS)
60 mph: 12.0-13.5 sec
1/4-mile: 18.0-20.0 sec
Top speed: 90 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Exempt from EPA testing and labeling
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