2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review
2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review
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- Unmatched interior space with true walk-through cabin
- variety of body styles
- relatively maneuverable
- available four-wheel drive
- above-average build quality
- fuel-efficient diesel engines.
- Higher than average price tag
- engines can feel winded at highway speeds.
A new, smaller fuel tank is now standard (24.5 gallons versus 26.4), while front side and front side curtain airbags are now standard on all Sprinter 2500 models and 3500 models with the 9,990-pound Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). Also, the optional 4WD system now offers hill descent control.
Though pricier than its rivals, the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a spacious and refined full-size van that generally justifies the extra cost.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 144 WB Cargo 3dr Van (2.1L 4cyl Turbodiesel 7A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of N/A undefined in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Not Available for Sprinter 2500 144 WB Cargo
Sprinter 2500 144 WB Cargo
Avg. Large Van
A Mercedes van? What are you going to ask for next? Diamond-encrusted tools? Uniforms by Versace? How about Gordon Ramsay working in the cafeteria?
While the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter may at first glance seem like an extravagance for any business, or exceedingly large family, don't be so quick to dismiss it. Although it costs more than its rivals from Ford, Nissan and Ram, the premium is nothing like what you'd pay for a Mercedes sedan or crossover. Indeed, the Sprinter was conceived as a workhorse, not a luxury vehicle, so the most pretentious thing about it is the three-pointed star on the grille. If you're not convinced, consider the fact that the workaday Freightliner Sprinter is virtually the same van.
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter brings German solidity and craftsmanship to the commercial van segment.
In terms of capability, the Mercedes Sprinter boasts an impressive number of body-style variations and unmatched interior space. Both passenger and cargo vans are available in two lengths and with a choice of regular and high roof heights, while the cargo van goes a step further with its super high roof option. With the Sprinter's 7 feet of interior clearance, Mercedes has finally provided the Portland Trailblazers with the means to deliver packages or wedding cakes. Shoppers in frostier climes should also take note of the distinctive availability of four-wheel drive.
From behind the wheel, the Sprinter provides an unfettered view of the road ahead and a driving position that's more indicative of an SUV than a commercial truck. In tight quarters, it's far more maneuverable than its jumbo proportions would suggest. If there's a weak link here, it's the relatively modest performance under the hood. Although both the standard four-cylinder diesel engine and the optional diesel V6 provide ample punch around town, they tend to run out of steam on the highway. Should you find the Sprinter's acceleration lacking, keep in mind that every rival has more power on tap.
As for those competitors, the 2016 Ford Transit is particularly compelling with its Sprinter-like styling, carlike dynamics and strong engines, including a five-cylinder diesel and a turbocharged V6 with 310 horsepower. The 2016 Ram ProMaster is saddled with an awkward driving position produced by its buslike steering wheel, but it's a viable utility vehicle for the money. The 2016 Nissan NV is also worth a look, as prices are significantly lower to start and there's an available V8 engine that boasts a towing capacity near 10,000 pounds. But if you don't view the Mercedes badge as an extravagance and your budget can handle the extra cost, the versatile and capable 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is bound to get the job done.
Performance & mpg
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is powered by a choice of two engines. 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. It is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is also available, optionally with a dual-range transfer case.
There are no EPA fuel economy estimates for full-size vans, but given the efficiency of diesel engines, expect the Sprinter to achieve significantly better mileage than competitors with gasoline engines.
Properly equipped and regardless of engine, a Sprinter 2500 can tow as much as 5,000 pounds and a 3500 can tow as much as 7,500 pounds. The Sprinter's payload is similarly impressive. The 2500 cargo van is rated from 2,973 pounds to 3,513 pounds, depending on body configuration. The 3500, meanwhile, ranges from 3,895-5,585 pounds.
Every 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter comes standard with stability and traction control, front airbags and rollover mitigation. Standard on Sprinter 2500 models are front side and front side curtain airbags as well as Crosswind Assist, which uses targeted braking at speeds above 50 mph for extra stability control.
Optional safety features include a driver side airbag, driver and front passenger side airbags packaged together, front side curtain airbags, front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The Driver Assistance package adds a forward collision warning system, lane-departure prevention, a blind-spot warning system and automatic high beam control.
There's no escaping the sheer size of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, especially when configured to its maximum size: more than 24 feet long and 10 feet high. But in spite of its tour-buslike dimensions and layout, the Sprinter travels well. A manageable driving position and impressive handling make the Mercedes van pleasant and surprisingly maneuverable around town, while electronic aids help fight the wind gusts at speed.
As cargo vans go, the Mercedes Sprinter is one of the easiest to drive and maneuver.
We've yet to drive a Sprinter with the diesel-powered four-cylinder engine or with the optional four-wheel-drive system available with the bigger V6 engine. But given that this van sometimes struggles to keep up on the highway with the V6 and two-wheel drive, it's safe to say that speedy acceleration isn't a priority here. Indeed, "Sprinter" is an oxymoron. If you require more highway aptitude along with massive interior space, the Ford Transit is a great alternative. But the four-wheel-drive option for the Sprinter really makes it stand out in the class as the most capable van for poor weather conditions.
While it is made by Mercedes-Benz, the 2016 Sprinter isn't exactly a paragon of luxury and opulence. That said, build quality is excellent for the segment, and the cabin feels modern overall. A tilt-and-telescoping steering column and different front seat styles with multiple adjustments ensure ample driver comfort, while the modern control layout feels more like a midsize SUV than a utilitarian van. Buttons and knobs are a bit basic, but functional and easy to use.
If you're searching for the cargo champion, look no further than the 2016 Sprinter.
With the standard 144-inch wheelbase and the standard roof height, the Sprinter's maximum cargo capacity is 319 cubic feet. However, in its largest configuration (the 170-inch wheelbase with the super high roof), the Sprinter cargo van has a maximum storage capacity of 586 cubic feet. In addition to being roughly the size of a typical Manhattan apartment, that's also more than the competition offers. The largest Ford Transit can hold 487 cubes, while the ProMaster Cargo offers 4 cubes. The Sprinter's 51-inch sliding door and 20-inch step-in height also make climbing inside incredibly easy.
While the standard roof height on the Sprinter is about the class average at 65 inches, the high roof option raises the ceiling to 78.2 inches. As if that weren't tall enough, the cargo van's super high roof option raises it to 84.3 inches. That's more than 7 feet of interior height, and more than enough to be the segment leader.
2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter models
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a full-size van available in multiple configurations. The cargo van matches two front seats to an empty cargo bay, while the crew van essentially adds a three-place rear bench seat to the cargo van, raising seating capacity to five. The passenger van accommodates up to 12 passengers across its four-row seating. The crew and passenger vans are available in two wheelbases and two roof heights (standard and high), with a third roof height (super high) available on the cargo van.
Note that the Sprinters are divided into two categories: regular-duty 2500 and heavy-duty 3500.
Standard equipment on the cargo van (offered in standard- and extended-length body styles and 2500 or 3500 configuration) includes 16-inch steel wheels, hill-start assist, a passenger-side sliding rear door, a wood cargo floor, 270-degree-opening rear doors, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a front five-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.
The 2016 Sprinter may wear a three-pointed star on its steering wheel, but this is a no-nonsense utility van, not a luxury vehicle.
The crew van (available only in 2500 configuration) gets the same standard equipment but adds a second-row bench seat and adjacent side windows. The passenger van (also only available in 2500 configuration) is similar, but features three rows of rear seats, rear interior trim, tinted rear windows and eight additional speakers in the rear for a grand total of 13.
The options list for each is lengthy, but highlights include 16-inch alloy wheels, a driver-side sliding rear door, a heavy-duty suspension, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, xenon headlights, foglamps, rear door windows with wipers and washers, a Driver Assistance package of high-tech driver safety aids (see Safety section), automatic headlights and wipers, a heated windshield, heated power mirrors, cruise control, a rear cabin heater, upgraded front seats, heated front driver and passenger seats (available separately) and a navigation system.
Cargo and crew vans can be equipped with driver-compartment partitions, a roof fan, a fixed rear sunroof, roof rails and various interior storage options. The passenger van can be equipped with rear air-conditioning. Many of these optional items are available within packages as well.
2.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
2 out of 5 stars
John Wood, 06/28/2017
2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 170 WB Cargo 3dr Ext Van w/High Roof (2.1L 4cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
We bought the Sprinter 3500 brand new in 2016 with LTV RV Serentity motorhome. On our first extended vacation we have had 2 breakdowns. We travelled from Florida to Colorado for the first half of the trip and the engine blew an oil seal in Montrose, Colorado going up a long grade. Oil covered the engine and body of the vehicle. This was repaired, although oil continued to leak for … several more days (residual on vehicle body). Three weeks later, the engine lost power and would only run at 10 to 15 MPH on I 90 heading toward Butte, Montana. We almost lost our lives when this happened. We were able to drive it into Missoula, Montana to the dealership. The next day, service said there was a wiring harness problem and they ordered new parts overnight, but don't expect to have the vehicle repaired for 2 days. We called Mercedes customer care for assistance with trip interruption expenses. We were told that the Sprinter line of vehicles is specifically excluded from their concierge customer care program. So here we are...on vacation, stranded in Missoula and unable to continue to Glacier National Park.. our dream destination and we are stuck with unplanned expenses and non reimbursable reservations. We know that all vacations have to come to an end, but never would I have guessed that Mercedes would be the cause of that. It is really so sad that a once great vehicle manufacturer could become so bad and that they could care less about you as a customer.
1 out of 5 stars
18 months and 37000 miles - Bought New Cash.
I got a LEMON, 03/25/2017
2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 144 WB Cargo 3dr Van w/High Roof (2.1L 4cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
Vehicle has been in to Schumacher Mercedes in Scottsdale more than 6 times since it hit 20k miles. ESP Failure. Excessive play on the Steering. Gears Slamming into wrong gear. This van is literally killing my business with how unreliable it has become. I bought the van Brand New and since it hit 20k miles it has been in 6+ times for the same repairs. Can anyone say LEMON? I am currently … waiting patiently for a Mercedes Benz USA Buy back - getting ready to hand this over to a lawyer to handle while MB USA drags their feet slowly. This Van is the most expensive work van I have ever owned and it's been a HUGE disappointment. Steering column has been replaced with multiple electronic modules and most of the time I'm limping around to my jobs in limp mode with the check engine light on. Go in for warranty repair and a week later the Check Engine and ESP Failure lights are back on. I HATE THIS VAN - it's GARBAGE!!! Buyer Beware. Still struggling with Check Engine Light every 1,000 miles. Vehicle goes back in to dealer this next week for fix number 15 CHECK ENGINE light.
5 out of 5 stars
sprinter passenger 4x4
2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 144 WB Passenger 3dr Van (2.1L 4cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
I have the 4x4, 3 liter engine, 144 base, low roof passenger van. We use it for vacations only. At 26,000 miles the average mpg is 19.3. The van is a little noisier than an SUV but nothing unexpected for a commercial 12 seat vehicle. It runs perfectly with only routine maintenance, the air filter and oil change at 20,000 miles. It is not cheap, dealer charges 350$, but without voiding … the factory warranty, you can buy the oil change kit from the dealer for 117$ and do it yourself in 15 minutes as everything is easily accessible. The van is much more stable than it looks but you can feel the lateral wind stronger than in an SUV. The engine is powerful, a lot of torque even at 80 miles per hour. On cruise control it runs uphill on highway keeping maximum speed without changing gears or increasing the engine rpm. In this aspect it is better than all our other vehicles (Toyota Highlander, Honda CRV and BMW 525 xi). I would trade some of that extra power for a little better mpg at high speed as we drive it day or night, summer or winter, camping in isolated areas where autonomy is of concern. The mpg variates greatly with speed, at 60 miles/hour mpg is 22 or better, at 80 miles/hour mpg 17.4. It is fun and easy to drive having the huge windshield and the very high driving position. I sometimes use it even in the city as my commuting vehicle. The 4x4 mode is very capable but a little tricky, in order to connect it you have to be on horizontal ground, stationary or moving at less than 3-4 miles per hour. it only takes 2 seconds to switch but you have to do it before you start climbing. if you did not anticipate correctly the difficulty of the road ahead and you are already driving uphill, you can not switch to 4x4 unless you find a flat portion. Note: 4x4 can be engaged in rear gear as well, so problem solved. The sales person advised me to use only diesel #2 fuel in order to avoid future NOX sensor problems and sometimes drive it at higher speed to allow sensor auto-cleaning. the genuine Mercedes DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) is 12$ for a half gallon bottle that lasts approx. 2000 miles. In my recent vacation in Europe I saw several Sprinters used as shuttle buses in suburban areas, running well at over 600,000 miles (1 million kilometers). With correct maintenance I hope ours will last the same :-) Update: at 48,000 miles the average mpg is 18.8, still running great with only routine maintenance. parts are not expensive but labor is. if you want to avoid paying for repairs, pay attention to the fuel you use: ultra low sulfur, biodiesel max 5%, (I saw chevron and shell gas stations selling 20% biodiesel, which is not recommended by the manufacturer). Update: at 72,000 miles it runs fine, no repairs, only engine oil and filter(117USD and 2.5 gal of DEF 45USD at the dealer, fuel filter(85USD and 70USD labor at a local shop. easy to do it yourself after watching video on Youtube). Average mpg at 72,000 miles= 18.8 (a little disappointing, worse than similar size Ford, Dodge and Chevy diesel engines). The 2.1 liter engine is much more efficient but it does not come paired with 4x4. Update Feb 2021 at 87,000 miles. Runs as new, purchased a Scan Gauge II which shows several parameters, including particulate filter load. Filter at 16% full after regeneration process so no cleaning needed soon. MPG increased to an average of 19 with Michelin all season tires. Very happy with the vehicle. USEFUL NOTE: 4x4 mode can be engaged in reverse as well if you started going uphill on rear wheel drive and found that you do not have enough traction.Update: at 107,000 miles no problems, runs as new. It shows an average of 18.8mpg. Update August 4, 2023 running well at 141,000miles, no problems at all, regular maintenance only (engine oil, transmission fluid, filters, serpentine belt, brake pads)
1 out of 5 stars
High price to pay for annoyance
Gary Lorenzen, 12/08/2015
2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 170 WB Cargo 3dr Ext Van w/High Roof (2.1L 4cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
I got this to replace the 3500 express van. I needed a reliable flexible unit. What a joke. You can't take the rear seat out unless you visit the dealer; if you take out the middle seats it requires two people and one of them had better be quite healthy. And watch the floor if the seat hits it or gets dragged across it the vinyl gets peeled up or cut (no carpeting). A padded door … armrest would have bee nice, but most vans don't have these now a days. All the interior panels rattle when chilly outside and reach a horrendous crescendo when cold. The brakes squeal so bad people cover their ears and wince when you use them lightly. Dealers recommendation step on the brakes harder. The transmission has a mind of its own; 25 mph in a small town it won't shift until you speed to get the revs over 3000 then up shifts 3 times and then down shifts and up shifts until it gets to where it should have been in the first place (I was told this was normal...right). DEF issues are normal for this unit - 3 tries and 20 days in the shop before I could travel any distance (200 miles). Speaking of DEF problems the start countdown can not be trusted. The DEF warning goes from 13 to 5 or where ever it wants to stop. Dealers recommendation/warning "don't shut off the van". Starting issues at times (usually inconvenient). It won't start unless you keep cycling the key back and forth (hot-cold- first start- multiple starts, just whenever). No plug in for cold weather, the Sprinter needs to be parked in a garage. Bonus: keep the Sprinter in its' own house when cold and snowy and the windows will work (for a while). The top speed is limited to 78 mph, our speed limit is 80 mph. Mercedes answer "who needs to go faster than 78". I paid thousands more for less reliability and only 3 more miles to the gallon. On a plus side the seats, heated mirrors, and cruise control (when not windy) are great. If it gets a it too windy the cruise control shuts off. Basically count on this van costing you about $2.25 per mile just to pay for the thing. Got rid of it with only 9500 miles on the odometer, lost 20k in cash and damaged reputation of not being able to make it when needed. Reputation was salvaged a bit later (thanks Penske). Corporate really doesn't care and one rep kind of chuckled at my dilemma. No wonder FedEx is starting to use Transits; which is what I finally did, and am totally happy with it.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, so we've included reviews for other years of the Sprinter since its last redesign.
2016 Sprinter Highlights
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||rear wheel drive|
|Warranty||3 years / 36,000 miles|