2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker

2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker Van Review

Even though it's got a luxury badge, the Sprinter Worker is a willing and able workhorse.
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Businesspeople all know one thing: If you can get the same functionality and reliability for less, get that option. In the cargo van world, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker is just that option. It features the same cavernous cargo bay and 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine as the Sprinter. The difference is that Mercedes slims down the Worker's option packages and features to make it easier to manufacture and sell.

The standard Sprinter is available in a rainbow of colors, has an available all-wheel-drive system, and multiple length and roof height configurations. The Worker, in contrast, comes in white, is rear-wheel-drive only, and can be had in just three body configurations. There's also no passenger or wagon version of the Worker. With any of the three setups, the Worker features a 3,501-pound payload rating and 5,000-pound tow rating. For customization, Mercedes offers just two option packages.

Deciding on whether the Sprinter Worker is right for you comes down to your needs. If there's a Worker version that works for you, it's a great way to save some money. Otherwise, you'll likely need to get the regular Sprinter for full access to Mercedes' customization options.



What's new for 2018

The four-cylinder engine has been discontinued, and a rearview camera is standard.

We recommend

There's not much to figure out when buying a Sprinter Worker, at least from the factory. Opting for the Convenience package is a good idea since it includes upgraded mirrors, cruise control and a multifunction steering wheel.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker is a full-size cargo van available in two wheelbase lengths. The short-wheelbase (144-inch) version can be had with either the standard roof or a high-roof option. The long-wheelbase (170-inch) model comes with the high roof only. All are powered by a 3.0-liter diesel V6 (188 horsepower, 325 pound-feet of torque) and a five-speed automatic.

Standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, 180-degree-opening rear doors, a passenger-side sliding door, air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, front cupholder, front-seat armrests, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a 5.8-inch center display, and a sound system with an auxiliary audio jack and USB port.

Highlights of the options list include cargo rails, hardboard side paneling, and three packages for the cargo van. The Convenience package includes heated side mirrors, cruise control, automatic wipers, a multifunction steering wheel and trailer pre-wiring. The Utility package includes Convenience package items and adds a wood cargo floor and LED cargo lights, among other features.

Many upfitter options — such as interior racks, partitions and roof racks — are also available and can be installed by your local dealer.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our drive of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 144 WB Passenger w/High Roof (turbo 3.0L V6 diesel | 5-speed automatic | RWD).

NOTE: The Sprinter that was tested has accoutrements and features for passenger transport, but our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Sprinter Worker.

Driving

The turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine is a bit slow to get up to speed. Low-speed maneuvers create some challenges for this big rig.

Acceleration

This 6,000-pound van did 0-60 mph in 11.5 seconds. The 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 doesn't feel powerful off the line, but once up to speed it's pretty easy to maintain the truck's forward momentum.

Braking

The Sprinter slowed from 60 mph in 138 feet during our emergency panic-stop test. The brakes remained consistent in feel and performance during testing, as well as out on the road in typical driving.

Steering

The steering is precise considering the van's purpose as a pure people-mover. The effort is heavy enough to feel steady on the highway yet light enough for parking lot duty.

Handling

The Sprinter is relatively narrow considering how tall it is. Taking sharp turns at speed is not this van's forte. An assertive stability control system lends a hand if it senses the van going beyond its limits.

Drivability

Despite its dimensions, this conference room on wheels is easy to drive. Tight parking lots can create some stress because of its size, and the modest backup camera is only somewhat helpful.

Comfort

Passenger comfort is a priority for the Sprinter. Occupants will find ample space to spread out. The seats are reasonably comfortable over long distances. The ride quality improves as the passenger head count increases.

Seat comfort

The driving position is upright, but the seats are comfy even during longer drives. The rear seats provide ample leg-, hip- and headroom.

Ride comfort

Without question, rearmost passengers will find the Sprinter's ride bouncier than those up front. Still, it's perfectly acceptable whether empty or fully occupied.

Interior

The Sprinter Worker offer lots of room for people and cargo. Driver aids exist to help maneuver the van in tight quarters. But parking still remains a challenge with such a big vehicle.

Ease of use

All controls are within reach of the driver and functionally intuitive. This is an older version of the Mercedes COMAND system, so the layout is simple.

Getting in/getting out

The Sprinter has a step leading into it, which is necessary considering it sits so high off the ground. The doors are large, so some folks may find them a bit heavy to open and close.

Roominess

The front seats fit most body types fine. Farther back, the large bench seats offer lots of leg- and headroom. Only then does hiproom get tight.

Visibility

The massive windows, an optional parking aid system and a rearview camera serve as needed driver aids. That said, there are still several blind spots with this large van.

Quality

The build quality on our test Sprinter was commendable. We didn't hear any squeaks or rattles. It was solid and true to the level of build quality we expect from Mercedes-Benz.

Utility

Especially in cargo or crew configuration, this is one of the most utilitarian vans available. Whether running a contracting business or a professional mountain biking team, the Sprinter will carry your stuff. But some rival vans can tow more.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.