With its sleek, eye‐catching design, impressive cargo capacity and efficient turbodiesel engine, the highly successful Sprinter commercial van continues to set the pace for the modern van market segment, and has enjoyed tremendous sales growth in the U.S. After decades of truck‐based box vans with gasoline engines, the Sprinter burst into the European market in 1995, then made its U.S. debut in 2001.
The practical design and outstanding quality of the Sprinter translate to impressive cargo capacity and low operating costs. With its efficient BlueTEC diesel engine, the Sprinter gets higher fuel mileage than its competitors, while its high roof and large door openings give the van class‐leading cargo carrying ability. Large delivery companies have moved to Sprinter vans, and it’s also become a favorite of small businesses such as catering firms and building trades.
The Sprinter Success Story
The Sprinter cargo van features a best‐in‐class payload capacity of 5,415 pounds and cargo capacity of up to 547 cubic feet. The van also boasts the largest side‐ and rear‐door openings as well as the lowest load floor and step‐in height of any full‐size van.
The Sprinter has been sold in the U.S. since 2001 by Freightliner, the leading manufacturer of medium and heavy‐duty trucks in North America, and through select Mercedes‐Benz dealers since 2010. Both MBUSA and Freightliner are divisions of Daimler AG, the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles.
All Sprinters come with a number of Mercedes‐Benz safety features ‐‐ ESP stability and rollover control, ABS anti‐lock brakes, Brake Assist and traction control. The driver and front passenger seats are equipped with standard multi‐stage front air bags, and side curtain and torso air bags are optionally available.
Fuel‐Efficient BlueTEC Diesel Power
All Mercedes‐Benz Sprinters are equipped with a 3.0‐liter V6 diesel that gets 30 percent better fuel economy than a comparable gasoline engine. Recent independent tests showed up to 24.9 miles per gallon (highway) for the full‐size commercial van. Standard equipment also includes a five‐speed automatic transmission, four‐wheel disc brakes and transverse monoleaf composite front suspension and a solid axle with leaf springs at the rear. Several choices of springs, shock absorbers and stabilizer bars provide just the right suspension for each version of the Sprinter van.
Sprinter Appeals to Upfitters
In particular, the design of the Sprinter van appeals to upfitters, companies that specialize in building custom vehicles ranging from ambulances and work trucks to luxury motor homes and executive coaches. These vehicles bring to life the best‐in‐class engineering, fuel economy, quality and safety of the versatile Sprinter van in a broad range of real‐world settings.
About the Sprinter Preferred Upfitter Program
The Sprinter Preferred Upfitter Program now boasts 85 approved companies who are building Sprinter‐based custom vehicles. Meeting the diverse needs of Sprinter customers is especially important, since 75 percent of all Sprinters are sold with some type of upfitter modification that’s designed to ensure the quality and safety of all modifications. To become a Preferred Upfitter, several Sprinter specialists review each upfitter’s plans, visit their facility while work is in progress and inspect finished vans. Approved upfitters get advance product information, exclusive access to certain options and ship‐through service. Each upfitter also receives special electronics system programming that’s tailored to the customer’s need.
The Current Sprinter Line‐up
Cargo Van – Available in three different body lengths and two roof heights, the popular Sprinter cargo van is already a familiar sight across the U.S. Used by diverse businesses from freight delivery services and dry cleaners to florists and gourmet caterers, the cargo van features a best‐in‐class payload and cargo capacity. The van also boasts the largest side‐ and rear‐door openings as well as the lowest load floor and step‐in height of any full‐size van.
Chassis Cab – A highly flexible platform or “stake‐body” van, the Sprinter chassis cab can be finished as a tradesman’s tool and parts vehicle or an agri‐farming flatbed. Available in two wheelbase lengths, the chassis cab platform can also accommodate the installation of special cargo boxes ranging from motor homes and medical emergency units to full kitchens and refrigerated compartments.
Passenger Van – With four rows of seats for up to 12 occupants (each fitted with an individual three‐point seat belt and head restraint), the Sprinter passenger van is intended for airport, residential care and community service shuttles as well as limousine services. Sprinter passenger vans can be ordered in two different wheelbases and two roof heights.
Crew Van ‐ Featuring a three‐seat second row and an optional third‐row seat, the Sprinter crew van seats five, with all the remaining room set up for cargo. The crew van can carry an entire work crew to the job site and back, plus all their tools and materials.
MiniBus – Larger than the passenger van but similar in design, the MiniBus features four different seating configurations. Airport and Hotel versions provide ample luggage areas and seating for 15 passengers. A commuter shuttle offers seating for 16 with optional video equipment, while a paratransit version comes with multiple wheelchair positions, seating for up to eight and side or rear wheelchair lifts.
Both the cargo and passenger vans feature a side‐door opening that’s 51 inches wide and 59 inches high, with a 71‐inch height on high‐roof versions. At the same time, their step‐in height is only 19.9 inches. The Shuttle Bus has a power‐operated split‐entry door and step that’s 38 inches wide.
Every Sprinter comes with the safety features people have come to expect from Mercedes‐ Benz ‐‐ ESP adaptive stability and rollover control, ABS anti‐lock brakes, Brake Assist and traction control. The driver and front passenger seats are equipped with standard multi‐stage front air bags, and side curtain and torso air bags are optionally available. Other options include Bi‐Xenon headlights, a tire pressure monitoring system and a Parktronic parking aid.