The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the vehicle that turned the van world on its ear, introducing the space efficiency of European-style vans to U.S. buyers (who, thanks to a curious import tariff known as the Chicken Tax, could only get cramped 30-year-old designs from the Detroit Three). The Sprinter was a great van, but it was also expensive. Mercedes responded by introducing the Sprinter Worker, a stripped-down version priced to bring German van goodness to the masses.
To keep the price down, Mercedes limits the Sprinter Worker's size, colors and features. Even so, prices can rise sharply once you deviate from the basic short-wheelbase configuration. That said, the Sprinter Worker offers standard diesel power, a 3,500-pound payload and a gross combined weight rating of more than 13,000 pounds. With this capability, you can tow a heavy trailer while hauling a load of cargo. Those features cost extra or aren't offered in competing vans, and you should factor them into the value equation. If you want the work ethic of a Sprinter but can't afford its higher price, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker is a good option.
Current Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker
Mercedes-Benz offers the Sprinter Worker as a cargo model only. It can be had in three configurations: a 144-inch wheelbase with a low or high roof or a 170-inch wheelbase with a high roof. The extended-length van body of the regular Sprinter is not available. The only color offered is white, and the standard equipment list is minimal. The Sprinter Worker cargo is basically a box with a couple of seats and a low-spec stereo. Options are limited and are grouped into packages.
There are two engines available. The first is a turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel generating 161 hp and 266 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard. The second available engine is a turbocharged 3.0-liter diesel V6 rated at 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.
If you're expecting the ambience of a Mercedes in the Sprinter Worker's cab, forget it. The regular Sprinter is done up in industrial-quality plastics, designed for long life rather than aesthetics, and the Worker's entry-level status makes it feel even more spartan, if such a thing is possible. That said, the Sprinter Worker has a good (if rather upright) driving position, and there's adequate room for both front occupants, with a less pronounced intrusion of the engine than in traditional domestic vans.
The Sprinter Worker is narrow and tall, which affects its handling, though Mercedes' load adaptive stability control system, which actively detects the van's weight and center of gravity, does a good job of helping the driver keep control in an emergency situation, even when the van is heavily loaded. Designed for narrow European streets, the Sprinter Worker has a sharp turning circle for its size, but it's still a large and rather ponderous vehicle.
Used Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker Models
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker debuted for the 2016 model year. Originally, only the four-cylinder engine and standard-wheelbase model was available.
Read the most recent 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker page.