2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review

Nothing pretentious about this workhorse van except maybe the three-pointed star on the grille.
3 star edmunds overall rating
3 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

A Mercedes badge on a passenger or work van may seem extravagant, but make no mistake: The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is all business. Although it costs more than its Ford, Nissan and Ram rivals, the Sprinter is not a luxury vehicle and is far removed from its S-Class and GLS-Class stablemates. The only thing pretentious about this workhorse van might be the three-pointed star on its grille.

The Sprinter offers impressive 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. The cargo van even offers an extra-high roof option. There's also optional four-wheel drive if you think you need extra traction for wet weather or light-duty off-road trails.

From behind the wheel, the Sprinter's unfettered view of the road and SUV-like driving position help you maneuver it more easily than its jumbo proportions suggest, even in tight quarters. In fact, if there's any weak link, 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. Each of the Sprinter's rivals has more power on tap.

It's worth noting that if you don't require the Sprinter's expansive capabilities, Mercedes offers the smaller Metris midsize van for more modest passenger and cargo needs. But if big groups or big jobs are on your agenda, the Sprinter is a spacious and refined van that justifies the premium.



what's new

The Sprinter carries over into 2017 largely unchanged. All Passenger vans now include rear air-conditioning, rear cupholders, rear armrests and rear convenience lights. Crew vans also offer a warm/cool air duct to the rear compartment. A handful of other features and options are shuffled.


we recommend

If you're in the market for a Sprinter, you either need to carry a lot of people, a lot of cargo or both. Or maybe you just want an exceptionally roomy surf van. Whatever your needs, there's likely a Sprinter configuration to cover it. As such, it's difficult to recommend a specific trim. We recommend starting with the basic template of a regular-duty 2500 model with a 144-inch wheelbase and standard roof height. If you live in a hilly area or plan to tow, we suggest the stronger V6 diesel engine. The turbo four-cylinder should return better fuel economy, but we suspect its motivation from a standstill is glacial.




trim levels & features

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a full-size van available in Cargo, Passenger and Crew configurations. The cargo van is basically two seats and an empty cargo bay, while the crew van adds a three-place bench for five-passenger seating. The passenger van can carry up to 12 passengers. All vans offer two wheelbase lengths and two roof heights. The cargo van offers a third, even taller roof. Sprinters are divided into regular-duty 2500 and heavy-duty 3500 categories, with either a four- or six-cylinder diesel paired with a five- or a seven-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive is optional on many configurations.

The standard powertrain is a turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine (161 horsepower, 265 pound-feet of torque) paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission. An optional V6 diesel engine makes 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque and pairs with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment on the cargo van (offered in standard and extended-length body styles and 2500 and 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 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 it 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 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, foglights, rear door windows with wipers and washers, an Active Safety Plus package of high-tech safety aids, 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.



The standard powertrain is a turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine (161 horsepower, 265 pound-feet of torque) paired to a seven-speed automatic transmission. An optional V6 diesel engine makes 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque and pairs with a five-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment on the cargo van (offered in standard and extended-length body styles and 2500 and 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 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 it 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 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, foglights, rear door windows with wipers and washers, an Active Safety Plus package of high-tech safety aids, 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.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our First Drive of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 144 WB Passenger w/High Roof (turbo 3.0L V6 diesel | 5-speed automatic | RWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.0 / 5.0

Driving

3.0 / 5.0

Acceleration2.0 / 5.0
Braking2.5 / 5.0
Steering2.5 / 5.0
Handling2.5 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort3.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration2.5 / 5.0

Interior

3.5 / 5.0

Ease of use3.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out2.5 / 5.0
Roominess5.0 / 5.0
Visibility3.0 / 5.0
Quality4.0 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engine is a bit slow to get up to speed, but once there, it's easy to maintain speed. Low-speed maneuvers create some challenges for this big rig.

acceleration

edmunds rating
The 6,000-pound van accelerated from zero to 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

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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 normal driving.

steering

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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

edmunds rating
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

edmunds rating
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

edmunds rating
Passenger comfort is a priority for the Sprinter. Occupants will find ample space to spread out. The seats are somewhat upright, but most will find decent comfort over long distances. Ride quality improves as passenger head count increases.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The driving position is a bit upright, but the seats prove comfy enough even during longer drives. Throughout the Sprinter, the full-size seats provide ample leg-, hip- and headroom.

ride comfort

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

noise & vibration

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Our test van's additional insulation is meant for warmth, but it doubles as sound insulation. Still, some wind and tire noise reaches the cabin, especially when running empty.

climate control

Roof-mounted rear air-conditioning is available in the Rear Passenger Comfort package.

interior

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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. Efforts are made to ease entry/exit and to keep passengers cozy once settled.

ease of use

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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

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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 manage.

driving position

Feels less like a commercial trunk and more like a large SUV thanks to the commanding seat position and expansive windshield.

roominess

edmunds rating
The front seats fit most body types fine. Farther back, the large bench seats offer lots of leg- and headroom and will keep passengers comfortable unless all the seats are filled. Only then does hiproom get tight.

visibility

edmunds rating
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

edmunds rating
Build quality on our test Sprinter was commendable. The ability to purchase individual options is rare and welcome. 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

What can't you carry or ferry in this van? Especially in cargo or crew configurations, and with a host of upfitting options, this is one of the most utilitarian vans available, whether running a contracting business or a professional mountain biking team.

technology

About as basic as it gets. There's an optional turn-of-the-millennium navigation system on a small 5.8-inch display, as well as Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB and iPod interface.

audio & navigation

Old-school Becker Map Pilot system is optional. Most passenger transportation and delivery companies will probably use third-party or proprietary systems anyway. A five-speaker sound system is standard; the passenger van bumps that up to 13 speakers.

smartphone integration

Includes Bluetooth hands-free phone, but don't expect any connected app, Twitter-reading, Facebook-updating features. The Sprinter keeps it strictly business.

driver aids

The Sprinter offers an impressive assortment of safety aids, from routine (rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring) to the useful and obscure (parking sensors, standard crosswind assist, stability control that adjusts to load).

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.