You know the way one thing turns into just about invisible after you see it typically sufficient? That is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in a nutshell. Take a while to go searching, and you will discover a military of Sprinters crawling your native roadways, whether or not they’re delivering packages or carrying roofing supplies to a job website. These workhorses are ubiquitous for a purpose: They’re actually, actually good at what they do. And with a brand new era now within the wild, the Sprinter makes a good higher case for itself.
- Versatile and succesful
- Considerable customary security
- Glorious infotainment
Do not Like
- Mercedes-Benz pricing
- MBUX lacks a pair key upgrades
New look, similar capabilities
Mercedes-Benz’s vans do not stray too removed from the remainder of the household when it comes to type. Most of that’s obvious within the entrance finish, which picks up slimmer headlights that extra carefully resemble the peepers on different Mercs. My tester’s unpainted decrease physique panels really look fairly boss towards shiny black paint — and moreover, it is a work car, why paint the bumpers in the event that they’re simply going to get dinged up? The black metal wheels are fairly badass, too.
In the event you really feel like chuckle, permit me to level out that this van’s Jet Black paint job really provides $1,015 to the Sprinter’s backside line. That is the Mercedes-Benz everyone knows and love. It does not matter should you’re the CEO or the man driving the van — the automaker will nickel and dime you with out respect for socioeconomic strata. Then once more, that is no paupermobile: My 144-inch 3500XD Crew 4×4 mannequin begins at $51,885, however after choices, it is pushing $72,000.
Step up into the Sprinter — I am a tall man, but I positively emitted Dad Groans climbing into and out of this factor — and also you’re met with a stunning mixture of luxury-car bits and correct work-ready trimmings. The ground appears straightforward to dampen, and the complete dashboard is made from plastic that even GM may assume twice about utilizing in its passenger vehicles, however that is as a result of these items want to resist lengthy days of abuse. But, the leatherette seats have the identical really feel as these on lower-end Mercs, and each the steering wheel and infotainment display are plucked straight from the passenger automotive section, including a dose of fancy to an in any other case utilitarian getup. This particular steering wheel, by the way in which, is a part of a $1,210 Driver Comfort Package deal that additionally provides heated electrical mirrors and blind-spot monitoring.
Since that is the Crew mannequin, my tester comes with a second row of seats, however these could be unbolted to make room for extra… properly, no matter. Not like there is not room to spare behind that second row, although: Hauling a half-dozen timber and topiaries again from the backyard heart leaves gobs of room to spare. Those that will actually put this van to work will respect the variety of tie-down spots on the partitions and ground, however the upfitting group will probably be more than pleased to step in and add shelving or no matter else staff might have. Entrance-row storage is the tops, too, due to overhead pockets, cubbies atop the dashboard panel and twice as many cup holders as there are seats.
Drives like a van, rocks tech like a Mercedes
My objective for my time with the Sprinter is easy: Hauling vegetation which can be too tall or unwieldy for a crossover. Keep in mind that is small potatoes on the work-vehicle spectrum, but it surely accomplishes my process with ease.
The Sprinter isn’t totally laden throughout my time with it, as a result of I haven’t got 5,000 kilos of supplies simply chillin’ in my yard to max out the payload ranking, however even when empty, the van is not a nasty drive. Sure, it is loud, however that is as a result of there are not any inside panels behind the entrance row. Sure, it is bouncy, however that is as a result of my tester rocks the non-compulsory 4×4 setup with extra floor clearance and functionality. Sure, it is sluggish, however that is as a result of its 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, which is sweet for 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, is extra involved about hauling literal tons of stuff. The steering is mild and the brakes are assured.
Visibility is great, because the Crew variant has glass on its sliding doorways and mirrors so you’ll be able to see nearly the whole lot. And for what you’ll be able to’t see, the Sprinter packs a roof-mounted backup digicam with spectacular decision, making precision parking (or parking basically, should you’re not used to vans) a breeze. Blind-spot monitoring, a part of the aforementioned Comfort Package deal, is a savior should you’re not used to judging car distance in a van, however having each straight and curved mirrors on both sides is a giant assist, too.
There are another spectacular passenger-car baubles on the Sprinter, too. The Premium Package deal ($1,240) provides computerized emergency braking, lively lane-keep help, the MBUX infotainment system and wiper blades that incorporate fluid nozzles for simpler cleansing. Including to that, the $2,530 Premium Plus Package deal enlarges the MBUX display whereas including embedded navigation and wi-fi gadget charging, along with bettering the instrument cluster and putting in parking sensors.
Talking of tech, all of it works flawlessly. MBUX is without doubt one of the higher luxury-car telematics getups within the trade, and its responsiveness and natural-language voice recognition match proper in right here, even when it’s important to pay a fairly penny for it. The 10.25-inch display fills the dashboard properly, and should you do not go for wi-fi charging, there is a USB-C port for juicing functions. Weirdly, although,and are each absent from this iteration of MBUX, and the identical goes for the Wi-Fi hotspot.
Final yr, I used to be fortunate sufficient to check the entire Sprinter’s new security methods in a closed surroundings at a Mercedes-Benz Vans facility in Europe. A yr later, I am blissful to say that these techniques work simply as properly in the actual world. Adaptive cruise management is sweet and easy, whereas the brake-based lane-keeping help is not as harsh to interact as I keep in mind. Crosswind help is not as heavy-handed because it was in my head, both, which really bought somewhat white-knuckle-y when my tester bought blasted with some heavy gusts.
Because the Sprinter 3500XD Crew is a heavy-duty car, the EPA does not require fuel-economy estimates. Going off the van’s inner pc, although, I see freeway gas financial system between 13 and 18 miles per gallon, with that determine reducing within the metropolis. Throw a ton of instruments within the again, although, and people numbers will not keep that prime for lengthy.
All the way down to brass tacks
Wanting on the competitors, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has earned the three-pointed star on its grille. Its payload rankings are among the many highest within the section (3,700 to six,200 kilos, relying on trim), and it is the one van to supply 4-wheel drive with a low-range switch case, though the Ford Transit does make a much less sturdy AWD system out there. The Sprinter’s solely weak spot is towing, the place its 5,000-lb most lags behind body-on-frame rivals just like the Nissan NV, which almost doubles that determine. After which there are the consolation and tech upgrades, which… properly, I believe it is apparent how Fords, Nissans and Chevrolets fare there. Sure, Chevrolet nonetheless builds the Specific, and sure, it barely appears completely different than it did at the start of the George W. Bush administration.
In the event you’re purchasing these vans, it is laborious to disclaim the attract of the Sprinter. It is costly, however that cash is transformed into one of many hardest-working mules on terra firma, with the non-compulsory functionality to serve these properly off the overwhelmed path.
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