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2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter First Drive Review: Easy to Drive, Plenty of Range

But is the eSprinter's added cost worth the upgrade over a diesel-powered Sprinter?

2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter
  • This is Mercedes' first all-electric van sold in the U.S.
  • Mercedes estimates 273 miles of range under ideal conditions.
  • The e-Sprinter is now available to commercial customers, starting at just under $72,000.

Mercedes-Benz is adding an all-electric variant to the Sprinter van family for 2024. Dubbed the eSprinter, this electrified workhorse is sure to appeal to business and leisure buyers alike. The eSprinter is essentially the Sprinter we know but now with an electric powertrain. Its battery pack is centrally located beneath the load floor and the motor is tucked along the rear axle, so none of the van's existing cargo capacity is compromised. Compared to its closest diesel sibling, the Cargo Van 2500 with a four-cylinder, high-output turbodiesel engine, the eSprinter comes up short in some areas. Payload capacity and max towing capacity are less and the electric van starts at a price about $12,000 more. But its easy-driving nature, fuel savings and the environmental impact of driving an EV could still make it an appealing alternative to the regular Sprinter.

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2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter front three-quarters

How much power and range does the eSprinter have?

The all-new 2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter will initially come only in a long-wheelbase, high-roof configuration. It will be exclusively powered by a battery pack with a usable capacity of 113 kWh. With it, Mercedes estimates that the U.S.-spec eSprinter will have a real-world range of about 273 miles. That's more than twice the range of the eSprinter's most direct competitor, the Ford E-Transit, which has an estimated 126 miles of range. As for the electric motor, it produces up to 201 hp. Torque is a maximum of 295 lb-ft. That's close to the power produced by the regular Sprinter's available diesel engine (211 hp and 332 lb-ft), though the eSprinter is heavier.

Energy usage will also likely be important for commercial users. Based on testing of a European version, Mercedes estimates that the eSprinter will use about 35 kWh of electricity for every 100 miles of driving. That's respectably efficient and suggests that the eSprinter could offer long-term fuel savings compared to a regular gas-powered commercial van.

2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter rear

How does the eSprinter drive?

There are few differences between the eSprinter and its closest in-house diesel peer. All of them give a slight drivability edge to the eSprinter. Acceleration is one area. The diesel has a torque advantage on paper but there is noticeable turbo lag before it delivers full power. Torque from the eSprinter battery, however, is instant and allows for a smoother experience, especially in stop-and-go conditions.

Braking is another differentiator. The regenerative braking of the eSprinter makes driving easier in most situations. During our drive it was hit-or-miss in D Auto, one of the van's five driving modes. In D Auto, the van has a say in when it should apply the brake. Downhill it can be great. When it unexpectedly jabs on the brakes because a car changed lanes well ahead of you, it's less great.

Finally, expect the unladen ride of the eSprinter to be a bit smoother thanks to the weight of the battery pack and its low placement, beneath the load floor.

2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter wheel detail

How's the eSprinter's interior?

Inside the cabin, this is clearly a work van and, just as obviously, a Mercedes-Benz. Large areas of hard plastics cover the dash and door panels, seemingly durable and easy to clean. Storage nooks, pockets, and even a set of questionable cupholders by the front windshield reinforce its functional design.

Soft elbow pads on the armrests add a touch of luxury and comfort, as do the seats. The wide, centralized Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) display and its crisp graphics are impressive. Some may find the letters and numbers on the screen to be small. Audible prompts, especially during navigation, supplement referencing the map and touchscreen. Primary controls for temperature and fan speeds are buttons and toggle switches and built to a quality finish.

It is also reasonably spacious with decent legroom despite being a cargo van with a wall directly behind the front seats. The massive windows and windshield deserve some credit for that.

2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter front interior

How's the eSprinter's tech?

Mercedes put a lot of effort into its MBUX driver information system and applied the technology across models. The eSprinter has it, too. The 10.25-inch wide display has a prominent place on the van's dash and is managed with both steering wheel and voice controls. This is also the hub for Mercedes me connect, a subscription service offering features like remote access to charging data, climate control preconditioning, navigation route adjustments based on current battery range, and a prepaid charge card for in-network EV chargers.

The eSprinter utilizes tech in other areas, too. There are five settings of brake regeneration so the driver has options as to how much assistance the van offers. In its most aggressive level, D Auto, the vehicle will dynamically react to traffic and road conditions using radar. There are also three drive mode options: Comfort, Economic and Maximum Range. Comfort offers all 201 hp. Economic mode cuts drive power to 67% (about 134 hp) and limits climate control use. Maximum Range goes full turtle mode, dropping power to 53% from maximum (about 107 hp). It's slow, but it's efficient, right?

2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter detail

How's the eSprinter's storage, towing and payload?

Storage, towing and payload are key features for a work van. Cargo space is identical between the big-box cousins Sprinter and eSprinter: 488 cubic feet. Maximum payload capacity for the electric van is 2,624 pounds and about 1,200 pounds less than the diesel. Tow capacity for the eSprinter is 4,277 pounds, roughly 700 pounds fewer than the diesel.

2024 Mercedes-Benz eSprinter cargo area

Edmunds says

The eSprinter is the Sprinter we know plus an electric powertrain. It's slightly less capable than diesel options in terms of hauling and towing but we consider it smoother-driving in most cases. It also has a lot more range than the Ford E-Transit. For commercial users looking to make a switch to an electric van, the eSprinter is worth consideration.