By on March 3, 2014

2014 Mercedes Sprinter

With European vans such as the Ford Transit Connect and the Fiat Ducato-based Ram ProMaster finding overwhelming success in the United States commercial van market, Mercedes is preparing its Sprinter to show the competition how it’s done on Floral Shop Lane.

Automotive News reports Mercedes-Benz Vans USA — part of the overall global van division Mercedes created last year during an internal reorganization resulting in three self-contained units for vans, cars and commercial products — will be adding new models to the Sprinter lineup alongside more dealerships to sell the lighter and taller new generation van, all in an effort to capitalize on an evolving U.S. commercial van market as MBUSA vice president and MB Vans USA managing director Bernie Glaser explains:

The Sprinter is the benchmark and the norm of the Euro-style vans. There is a revolution happening in the segment and big changes coming that were caused by the Sprinter — vans with a smaller footprint but big cargo volume.

Changes planned for the Sprinter include: a new four-pot turbodiesel from the E-Class mated to a seven-speed transmission; electronic stability control standard with options available for collision prevention, blind-spot assistance and crosswind stabilization; an all-wheel drive model due in 2015; and a small 12-passenger variant under consideration.

Meanwhile, the sales channel for the Sprinter will expand from 188 to 218 within five years; 57 Freightliner dealers will also be added. Stronger marketing tactics are in the offing, aimed to move more Sprinters into the wrap shop in 2014 than the 21,816 sold in 2013. However, the unit saw 1,288 vans sold in January as small business owners coming out of the Great Recession with more confidence in the market headed to the nearest dealer.

As for 2014, the new Sprinter uses a base 2.1-liter BlueTEC I4 driving 161 horsepower and 320 lb-ft torque through its seven-speed transmission, whose fuel economy is 20 percent better than the optional 3-liter BlueTEC V6/five-speed transmission combo. The latter pairing gets 25 mpg on the highway from the supplied 188 horses and 265 lb-ft torque. Prices range from $35,920 for a Sprinter 2500 with 144-inch wheelbase and standard roof, to $45,400 for the same model with a 170-inch wheelbase and high roof.

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22 Comments on “Mercedes Adding New Sprinter Models, Dealers As Van Sales Rise...”

  • avatar
    Spanish Inquisition

    I was wondering why the V6 had pitiful torque numbers. Turns out it has 320 lb ft torque, according to wikipedia. Interesting to see the gasoline V6 option is the older M272, and not the newer M276.

  • avatar

    The European Van offerings in NA are starting to parallel what is available in Europe. Cab Chassis varieties are nowhere near as extensive though ,in NA.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I think the companies like Iveco and Mercedes Benz should offer a ‘factory tray’ option. Even offer factory dump trucks.

      These would take on some of the HD sales. A 12’x6.5′ bed on a single cab or a 8’x6.5 bed on a crew cab.

      These trucks with the 3 litre class diesels would do quite okay. In Europe many are now 2.5 CRDs or less.

      26mpg trucks that can carry up to 5 000lbs would sell well.

      Like the small vans in the US. They can carry the weight of a 1/2 ton pickup but are cheaper to operate.

      It’s a win-win for small business.

      • 0 avatar

        @Big Al from Oz,
        IVECO is not established in the US, so they need to do that first.Mercedes is much more concerned with their Freightliner Division. They will “drip feed” Vans into the US Market, cannot see them introducing a rush of new Vans.
        Mercedes already offers a limited tray option in the US.Pretty low key though.Also strange to US eyes. has a 6,300lb payload and a unrealistic “towing ” figure of 7,300lbs. Same Cab Chassis 4,400lbs in Australia.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Maybe Sergio should try and gain more market with Iveco.

          Many of the pickup and vans I saw towing wouldn’t have been towing more than 4 000lbs or so. These are used by builder and small contractors.

          • 0 avatar

            Big Al from Oz,
            Had a driver towing with an Asian Pickup towing two Mares in a smallish trailer, playing hide and seek and going past everyone at 80mph, coming up from Melbourne.

            Sprinters are being used more and more as Class C’s in the US

      • 0 avatar

        I saw an oddity locally: a “truck” Sprinter with a cargo box, like those used by furniture stores (it was unmarked). Fairly low-grade job on the box construction, too. I can’t imagine why someone would use that. Perhaps they wanted the width.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here’s some good images of these European trucks.

    Sprinter in Asia, sort of a fifth wheel/semi trailer.

    Flatbed Sprinter.

    An Aussie off road Iveco.×43-W.jpg

    A RobertRyan photo! An Iveco towing a 5th wheel in Australia.

    From this article and the recent article on the small vans, the US commercial vehicle makeup will gradually alter.

  • avatar

    Great innovation, but their mpg figure is a little optimistic. OK, extremely optimistic. Loaded down with equipment and cargo, and unless you’re hypermiling, low teens would be a realistic mpg. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s still a Merc diesel. While not a deal breaker, a normal GM, Ford or Hemi V8 and trans combo option would be nice.

    Here’s a good review:

  • avatar

    Versatility is not lacking in these vans. And they drive much better than any stock Econoline. What they fail at is reliability. We have Sprinters at work and I have friends/family in the contracting business. And every single Sprinter has problem after problem. Not too many die-on-the-shoulder failures, but check engine lights, things breaking off, drivetrain issues…way too many issues and way too frequent. Nobody I know who owns one of these will be buying another. And cheap they are not. One of my friends is looking to replace a very high mileage Ford van with a Transit, but wants a diesel. At last year’s auto show the Ford rep indicated a diesel was on the way but would not commit to a time frame. Nissan’s van was there, too but no diesel was in the works…

  • avatar

    Maybe the Sprinter can be the family hauler for people who are child greedy. Remember, Jon (Jon and Khate) had a Sprinter that the “tups” made of mess of on the way to Disney World. That helped make Khate a grouch in the happiest place on Earth.

  • avatar

    The MB common styling works well on this application. I like it much better than the Transit or the NV/Chevy.

  • avatar

    Think it’s time to import Gazel Next from Russia?

  • avatar

    Nobody mentions the price? I don’t think many small businesses are in the market for a luxury van. They’re looking at basic but good enough to get the job done, cheap and easy to maintain, and low price. The Sprinter doesn’t meet the specs on any of that.

  • avatar

    Inner conflict time: I see the problems people have with them all over the webbernets and they seems like a lousy ownership proposition. But the coming AWD version sure would be a kick-ass ski/mountain-bike platform.


  • avatar

    The Sprinter kicks ass.

    My fam of 4 and another fam of 4 rented one to got to Wisconsin for New Years. Eight people in a rented Sprinter “party bus”. Dualie rear, turbodiesel V6.

    We all loved it ! The truck topped out at 81 mph, on a speed limiter. It was stable crossing the midwest, with only a crosswind sensitivity to mar the trip. We got 14 mpg, full up, at 75 mph. Amazing. It wasn’t “a van”, a “minivan” or anything else like that. Even in snow (and we had lots of that) it was stable and predictable.

    Good seat, good steering, and a very well sorted engine/trans. Better than a lot of cars.

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