Vital Stats

Engine:
2.1L I4 Diesel
Power:
161 HP / 265 LB-FT
Transmission:
7-Speed Automatic
Drivetrain:
Rear-Wheel Drive
Base Price:
NA
Ready To Battle Others Of Its Own Kind



To the casual van observer, there are likely three seminal categories of big-box hauler. 1) The white Ford Econoline. 2) The decades-old conversion vans made by various manufacturers, with a porthole, an angel and a unicorn floating in an airbrushed rendition of the cosmos. 3) The European van, up until recently embodied solely in the form of the Mercedes-Benz (or Dodge or Freightliner) Sprinter.

It's the latter we flew to Germany to drive, the 2014 model year adding a new standard engine and transmission, new safety tech and a finespun redesign. The fresh elements aren't just to give buyers a reason to go brand-new, though. With the Nissan "Proboscis Monkey" NV200 having already arrived, Ford about to import its larger Transit cargo hauler and the Fiat Ducato ready to become the Ram ProMaster, the European van that started it all needs to prepare for new competition that actually aligns with its feature set.

If anyone has issues with the 2014 Sprinter, they shouldn't have anything to do with its performance...
2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter side view2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter front view2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter rear view

The biggest change lives right under the Benz's short nose: a 2.1-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission has become the Sprinter's standard engine. Up until now, the Sprinter has only offered a Hobson's choice of motors, that being a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder diesel paired with a five-speed automatic. The six-cylinder and its automatic partner stay, maintaining the same numbers – 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. But when the new van goes on sale on September 1, they will migrate to the option sheet.

A 2.1-liter, four-cylinder diesel engine mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission has become the Sprinter's standard engine.

The common-rail, direct-injected, four-cylinder diesel with a two-stage turbocharger slides into the base-model spot with 161 hp and 265 lb-ft. In US trim, that twist comes on as low as 1,400 rpm. That's 7 horsepower and 22 pound-feet more than the inline five-cylinder that was the sole engine choice for most of the Sprinter's time here (before the 3.0-liter six arrived) – a powerplant buyers liked enough to give the Sprinter a toehold in our market. The seven-speed transmission is fitted with a torque converter in order to keep a plush edge on gearchanges. The curb weight of the Sprinter panel vans vary with configuration, but this engine and transmission will be the go-to combination even for models that break the five-ton GVWR barrier. That makes the torque converter a kind consideration since no one should be surprised that an engine with such modest thrust must employ every available ratio to find the most efficient way forward.

Gains in efficiency have been eked from other points in the drivetrain, including a remap of the generator management system, a power steering pump that operates on the hydraulic steering only when needed and a more precise fuel pump. Even the profiles of the teeth in the rear axle's differential and the oil flow around them – improved so as "to reduce churning loss" – have been upgraded by Daimler engineers. Fuel economy numbers haven't been laid down yet, but we were told that the new four-cylinder will return an 18-percent improvement in fuel economy versus the 2013 Sprinter with the six cylinder.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter engine

Van connoisseurs will know the new Sprinter by its corporatized face, sharpened and mildly streamlined to bolster its connection to its Freightliner doppelganger and the entire Mercedes-Benz heavy truck and specialty truck lines (Actros, Axor, Antos and Atego; Unimog and Econic). A higher hood falls into a more upright grille that contains three perforated louvers centered on a punched-up Three-Pointed Star. The face is flanked by sleeker headlamps broken into discrete light units, with LED daytime running lights along the lower edge. Underneath, the lower edge of the bumper gets more buff to mimic the ruggedness of an SUV, yet still contains the step in the center for when it's time to wash the windshield. Alterations out back are comparatively minor, with segmented taillights making the biggest mark.

Crosswind Assist is the sixth feature on the way, but won't appear in-market until 2015.

While the engine is a study in frugality and the redesign a matter of coherent ornament, where the Sprinter truly begins to shore up its Mercedes-Benz credentials is with its new safety systems. We're not suggesting that Mercedes has rested on the Sprinter, but so far, it has been the only European-style, large-cargo-volume-with-small-engine-size van in the market. In fact, before the NV200 went on sale, the Sprinter was the only van in which a person could stand upright straight from the dealer. These differences were enough to confer prominent distinction. Safety technology – or better yet, the luxury of safety technologies that we identify with Mercedes passenger cars – is where the 2014 Sprinter no longer just says "I'm a Mercedes van," but, "I'm the Mercedes-Benz of vans."

The features – they'll be offered together in an optional package that will add around $1,780 to the purchase price – are Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Collision Prevention Assist with Adaptive Brake Assist. These are familiar to all with passing knowledge of even near-luxury cars. Adaptive ESP can sense vehicle weight and perform load-dependent brake application, and a a rollover mitigation system is the backstop in case things get truly hairy. Crosswind Assist is the sixth feature on the way, but it won't appear in-market until 2015. It's been available on the Mercedes S-Class and CL-Class since 2009.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter grille2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter wheel2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter tool box2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter taillight

The Collision Prevention Assist in the Sprinter uses radar to gauge proximity to – and closing speed on – the vehicle in front when the van is traveling more than 12 miles per hour. When the system perceives a gap that is too narrow relative to the speed of the vehicle ahead, a light illuminates in the dash. If it senses "acute danger" of a collision, a chime sounds. The Adaptive Brake Assist won't ever cut in on its own – it provides full stopping power only when the driver presses the brake pedal and when it detects that the driver's pressure won't be enough, just as in Mercedes cars.

As mentioned, Crosswind Assist won't be on the menu for our market until 2015. In the passenger cars, it piggybacks on Mercedes' Adaptive Body Control, but in the Sprinter, it's based on the stability control system. In both cases, it employs the brakes on the windward side to help keep the vehicle in a straight line through crosswinds. Mercedes brought along a set of high-powered fans the 250 miles from Untertürkheim to Düsseldorf just for us to test this feature, and it works well. It doesn't jerk the van around to keep it arrow straight, but greatly reduces the load on the driver when battling crosswinds.

Minor changes have been made to the cockpit of the Sprinter to keep operators more comfortable. There are firmer and better-breathing seats with more durable covers, as well as a 5.8-inch screen for the infotainment system that offers Bluetooth, AUX, SD card and USB connectivity. A rearview camera will be an option.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter interior2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter front seats2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter gauges2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter instrument panel

The Sprinter doesn't surf on a wave of flashy output numbers; rather, it knows how to use what it's got. Due to the mix of vans available on the day and the number of people in line clamoring for keys, we sadly weren't able to drive the exact configuration we'll be offered in the US, but we did test the correct engine and the seven-speed transmission in separate instances. Our first drive was in a panel van with a lower-specification 2.1-liter four-cylinder for other markets that has 129 hp and 225 lb-ft, shifting through the seven-speed automatic that will be standard in the US. Our van had a pallet of 55-gallon drums in the cargo bay to allow us to drive with a load and heighten the real-world experience, but we couldn't find out how much they weighed... nor what was in them.

We won't get a manual transmission option in the US, which is fine because the seven-speed automatic is perfectly good.

The seven-speed transmission goes about its job quietly, the four-cylinder, not so much. It's not unrefined, but doesn't make any secret of the effort it's making, especially at highway speeds. Once we had noted the engine noise, though, it was easy to ignore. You don't need to stand on it to get it up to speed, but it will require your attention and commitment. Depending on how the Sprinter is configured, payload capacity in the 2,500-series is capped at 3,426 pounds, while in the 3,500-series it's 5,415 pounds. Assuming the drums in the steel vault behind the seats were representative of a load that's at least middling in the payload stakes, drivers won't be disappointed with the giddyup.

The Sprinter we drove with the engine for our market had the pickup bed and a six-speed manual. It was loaded up, as well – with how much weight, again, we don't know – yet even in this more powerful trim, between the engine noise and the leisurely acceleration, you'll never have to make the excuse to a police officer that you didn't realize how fast you were going. Acceleration was a tad peppier, but we really enjoyed being in control of the ratios even if there was one less to choose from. We won't get a manual transmission option in the US, which is fine because the seven-speed automatic is perfectly good and gets its torque going down low, isn't hamstrung by a narrow power band and doesn't trip over itself hunting for fuel economy.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter shifter

The interior is where the new Sprinter has taken its smallest sip from the bottle of brand mystique.

We didn't find either van to have a problem with highway speeds, but as one would expect, momentum was key. Once you finally achieved cruising pace, slowing down meant having to claw back every mile per hour. Otherwise, we traveled with the flow of traffic and passed plenty of other vehicles while on the Autobahn.

A quick spin in the six-cylinder revealed a noticeably quieter engine and more punch. The five-speed transmission was similarly anonymous like the seven-speed – its fitment makes itself known at the pump, not on the road.

The interior is where the new Sprinter has taken its smallest sip from the bottle of brand mystique. Totally functional, without the Mercedes badge on the steering wheel few would guess – or maybe even believe – that the cabin is a Mercedes product. Vans have steadfastly resisted the market-led luxification of work-vehicle interiors that we've seen on certain full-size pickup trucks. Nevertheless, the interiors of the Ford vans we saw at Geneva, for instance, were more 'designed,' while the Sprinter interior asks in Bavarian-accented English, "Ve are here to vurk now, ja?" Still, there is nothing out of place, nothing that will distract a driver from his or her comfort or the job at hand. The ProMaster, if only because its instrument panel is uniformly black, probably falls between the two. We'd have no problem spending all day in the Sprinter, though.

Autoblog Short Cuts: 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The 2014 Sprinter will come in Cargo, Crew and Passenger configurations, offer two wheelbases, three body lengths, two roof heights and those two ratings, 2,500 and 3,500. Service intervals have also been stretched by 50 percent, from 10,000 to 15,000 miles.

Price, on top of its new safety technology, is where the 2014 Sprinter will also be known as the Mercedes of vans, but that isn't exactly surprising. We don't have official numbers yet, but its MSRP took a jump when the badging switched from Dodge to Mercedes in 2010, and even before that, it presented a fiscal gap to hurdle when compared to traditional vans. There's about $9,000 difference between the cost of the 2013 Sprinter and a Ford E-Series van. The European options on the way – the Ram ProMaster will be available in last Summer this year, the Transit arrives next Summer – will provide more of a feature-by-feature fight against the Sprinter, but we shouldn't expect Mercedes not to be, well, Mercedes, with its price points.

2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter rear 3/4 view

Mercedes has sold about a million units of the current generation Sprinter (under various badges) in the last seven years around the world, 159,000 of them last year. Compare that to Ford's sales of about 245,000 Transit and Transit Custom vans last year. US sales totaled 20,929 units in 2012, a number that has grown every year, and Mercedes would like to see that climb another five percent this year. In the US van market, though, Sprinter sales still swim at the tadpole end. From January to April of this year, the Sprinter/Freightliner had about 7.3 percent of the market, the Chevrolet Express Cargo about 30 percent, and the Ford E-Series about 52 percent. The 2014 Sprinter will be the one that has to fight on a new front, trying to keep winning customers from the old guard while it attempts to hold market share against less expensive, yet functionally similar options.

It's not the van known around the world for no reason, however. We'll soon find out what the competition will bring to challenge the Sprinter, but no matter what weapons they wield, they had better be sharp.

UPDATE: Mercedes-Benz USA PR rep Christian Bokich contacted us with this comment concerning the higher purchase price of the Sprinter relative to the segment: "Customers tell us that TCO (total cost of ownership) is the most important purchase factor in having Sprinter in their fleet as a tool for their business. Some of them tell us that within one year the cost savings garnered from overall reliability, the fuel savings of an efficient clean diesel, and long service intervals (10k miles for the current model and 15k miles for the new model year 2014 Sprinter) have more than made up for the initial price premium vs other commercial vans." We include the comment here - purely as statement after-the-fact from the manufacturer - because neither M-B nor the other reviews we've read has addressed that as a factor in Sprinter pricing.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      That rear tail light lens made me think it was broken...kind of unusual not to have round or squared-off colorations.
      ocbrad1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just a stylistic quibble, I hate the taillights. They look like someone backed into something and part of the red lenses was chipped out. When I was in Afghanistan, there were a lot of Axor and Actros heavy rigs hauling around military equipment and shipping containers, and many of their taillights (other non-Mercedes trucks too, come to think of it) shared similar details. It would always catch my eye as I would stop to focus in on whether the taillight was broken or not.
        EB110Americana
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ocbrad1
        Years ago I dubbed this design faux-pas, "BTS: Broken Taillight Syndrome." I noticed it immediately here too.
      rbnhd1144
      • 1 Year Ago
      Fuel to the Fire, I see you are you still in denial, lol... When I saw that Sprinter I knew I\'d find you here frothing at the mouth... Have a Nice day.
      rbnhd1144
      • 1 Year Ago
      19.6 in an Econoline, who buys that figure, where\'s your proof, I say its B.S. you are kidding yourself. Fuel to the Fire, Keep copying and pasting, your posts look word for word what you said a few weeks ago.
      CarCrazy24
      • 1 Year Ago
      We love our 2011 Sprinter 12 passenger van, it averages 22mpg in 60% highway and 40% city driving. It's very comfortable and handles beautifully for such a large vehicle. Plus I love the nice options like Xenon headlights and heated seats that are available. At $40k it's a great value for what's a Mercedes designed 12 passenger vehicle. The ONLY problem I have with our Sprinter is the rear seats are as rock hard as, well, a bunch of rocks...for a van that is designed for long journeys shuttling lots of people, it is absolutely horrible for any ride longer than 2 hours without a break. My hope is that this new model gives the rear seats a bit more comfort, other than that it's a great van and a great series.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 1 Year Ago
      OK, I'm going to take all the lies and half-truths told by the Euro-fanboys about the Sprinter. And I'm going to burn them down, one by one. 1)Sprinter is more maneuverable All the Sprinters I've seen so far are in the LWB, high roof format. That makes for an unwieldy truck, mind you, and much less maneuverable than a traditional American van, which traditionally comes in a SWB, low roof layout. >European vans are faster Yup. I'm sure that a van with a pathetic 150 hp engine stuffed into an 8500 pound body is faster than a van with a 300 hp engine in a 7000 pound body./s The fact remains that the Sprinter is slow, underpowered, and gutless.In acceleration, it falls flat in comparison to American van. In an American cargo van, you are much less likely to cause a pileup when you have to accelerate from a dead stop on the freeway (no merging lane.) And yes, I've heard about the Autobahn. Know what? Most of it has speed limits. And in the parts which are unlimited, not everyone is going 155 mph in a C63 AMG. These vans have trouble exceeding 80 mph, and their drivers most likely self-limit. On average, the speed of the Autobahn is really no more than the speed on U.S. highways. And this is coming from someone who has done triple digits on NJ turnpikes several times. The fact STILL remains that the Euro-vans have lackluster acceleration, and as such, have more trouble merging onto a freeway than an American-style van. Our roads MIGHT be slower, but they are still more demanding of the drivers. >Sprinter is more inefficient You know how I know all of this? I used to work part-time as a delivery man when I was working my way through medical school. Our company replaced its fleet of Econolines with Sprinters, thinking that the Sprinter would be more efficient. They were wrong. The basic laws of physics show that a heavy vehicle with an underpowered engine will actually get less mileage, because its engine will have to work harder to pull harder, a feat which American V8s can do without prompting. Take for example, Fuelly estimates. They are the REAL WORLD estimates for what the mileage for vehicles is. The 2012 Sprinter manages a pathetic 16.8 mpg, while the E-series gets a respectable 19.6 mpg. >Europeans are smarter for choosing the Sprinter Yes, they are smarter for choosing a truck with worse capability, payload capacity, real world mileage, space, etc etc. Should I go on? The fact that American vans are commonplace in South America, where conditions are even tougher, just proves my point that American vans are tougher and more capable I am in the market for either a fullsize SUV or a 7 seat conversion van, which would replace my old Jeep Cherokee.I want a large, comfortable, safe, manly vehicle which can haul around three kids with ease. And I can tell you now, when I get my vehicle, it will almost DEFINITELY be an American van. More powerful, cheaper, more capable, more spacious, tougher, more towing capacity, etc.
        Ducman69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        tl;dr
          FuelToTheFire
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          "tl;dr" "too long; didn't read." 1. The inability to accept, understand or pay attention to information when not separated by a header. 2. The ability to arbitrarily read 400 small posts but not a long one. 3. A sign of ADD or lack of reading capability. 4. A very cheap response and an indication of lack of wit. 5. 90% of the time: A lie. 6. A desperate attempt at a comeback used by people who just can't think of one. 7. Usually used by people who've been torn apart verbally but want one last attempt at looking witty. 8. Total failure at #7. 7. A sign that, not only is someone too lazy and stupid to read but, clearly, too lazy and stupid to even type out four words indicating such. 9. Collect every "tl,dr" post online, and you'll have a good estimate of the number of lazy idiots on Earth, who currently have Internet access. 10. Should really be: "Too Lazy, Don't Read." or, ".....I got nut'n!"
        Pat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Just put some Trucknuts on the back and you'll feel right at home!
        Georg
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        you have never seen such a underpowered Sprinter highroof passing u on the Autobahn left lane with 110mph... they beat any US transporter in this class by lightyears... the reason why the rest of the world prefer Sprinter style transport over US style transports and btw u fool... u dont needhorsepower to move heavy masses...u need lot of low end torque... which the turbo diesel angien have a lot..
        Brewman15
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Okay, I'll play devil's advocate. If American vans are sooo much superior than European vans why are all car companies bringing their European vans to the United states rather than taking the American vans to Europe?
          FuelToTheFire
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Brewman15
          @ Shiftright Yes, I do want a huge V8 or V10 in my 8000 pound cargo van. It's the only thing which will work. A large engine will mean a higher payload capacity and more towing capacity, both of which are NEEDED in this segment. As for acceleration, I don't feel comfortable driving something on the highway which has a 0-60 of more than 8.5-9 seconds. A Sprinter needs well over 10 seconds to accelerate to 60, while an old American van can do it in 7-8 seconds. I simply don't feel safe driving such a slow deathtrap on the highway. In fact, when I drive my old Plymouth minivan(13 seconds to 60, I'm not owning it by my own choice), I NEVER go on the highway and I stick to local roads. When I'm driving my Jeep (8.2 seconds to 60), I stick to the right lane of the highway and never go above 55 mph. I only drive like I own the road when I'm in either of my two Japanese AWD sports cars.
          FuelToTheFire
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Brewman15
          @Brewman Because they want to bathe us Americans in European ideals, while ignoring the fact that American technology and engineering is VASTLY superior to European tech and engineering.
        Shiftright
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        It's always entertaining to see people so afraid of change clinging desperately to their outdated notions from their outdated world.
        Quen47
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        You are on crack. There is no way a Sprinter or any other torque-y diesel van gets beat in mileage by a honking V8 dinosaur. America f-yeah and all that, but our vans are ancient dated crap. I have lived in Costa Rica, Ecuador (and traveled elsewhere in SA), New Zealand, and multiple places in Europe and other than seeing the very occasional Econoline in Ecuador (vastly outnumbered even there by Sprinters and smaller vans) I never saw big American vans. I'm sure in Venezuela and the Middle East where gas is practically free they buy them but otherwise they have no international appeal.
          Brian P
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Quen47
          The 19.6 mpg supposedly indicated for 2012 E150 on Fuelly is very obviously an outlier if you look at any other model year of the same vehicle. The 2012 entry is based on only two vehicles ... and it's very easy for someone to enter false information into a website like this, and with only two vehicles, this will distort the outcome. 2011: 14.6 mpg based on 3 vehicles 2010: 12.2 mpg based on 1 vehicle Also, you can look at "E150 Econoline" and get some more data points. It looks like 14 mpg (16 L/100 km) for a gas engine E150 is a more reasonable expectation. Now, let's look at the Sprinter. 2012 indicates 16.8 mpg based on 11 cars, 2011 indicates 20.4 based on 14 cars, 2010 indicates 18.3 based on 5 cars. The 2011 data in particular is based on 1,442 fill-ups and 292,853 miles. This is based on enough vehicles that it's safe to say that 18 - 20 mpg US from a Sprinter would be a reasonable expectation. 18 mpg for the Sprinter is better than 14 for the E150. I'll also note that Ford themselves recognize that the E150 is outdated ... given that the upcoming Transit will be replacing it, and will offer 5-cylinder diesel and V6 Ecoboost gasoline engines. The Transit promises to be a lot more efficient ... and it's a European-style van!
          FuelToTheFire
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Quen47
          Fuelly (real world mileage) begs to differ. Sprinter: 16.8 mpg Econoline: 19.6 mpg
        superchan7
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Can't speak for the numbers, but the fact that the Sprinter even offers a high roof is exactly what many American customers are looking for. Even if you were correct that the Sprinter performs horribly (which your friends here are actually disputing), it can carry a lot of things that standard-height vans can't. Luxury coach companies also LOVE the tall version because people can hop on, and guess what? WALK to their seats, upright, with room left above their heads.
        funguy6713
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        And to think that you are a Medical Doctor...I feel very sorry for your patients/customers...
      FuelToTheFire
      • 1 Year Ago
      American vans are tougher, more capable, more spacious, more versatile, more powerful,less unwieldy, faster vans with high towing ratings, higher payload capacities, lower prices, and are easier to maintain, than the wussy little Barbie vans Europeans make and Euro wannabes love Result? Autobloggers whine "BRING OVER THE EURO VANS!!!!!!"
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        [blocked]
        The_Zachalope
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Please do some research. Being tougher is subjective. The capacity of the Transit is the same as the Econoline. The space in the Transit is VASTLY larger than the Econoline, even in the SWB Low Roof option. The handling of the Transit is much better than the Econoline, not only in a steering aspect, but in acceleration as well. Face it, Americans don't want a van with an anemic and thirsty V8 riding on a 38 year old platform, when there is something better available.
      canuckcharlie
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the european equivalent of a crew cab 1/2 ton pickup
        FuelToTheFire
        • 1 Year Ago
        @canuckcharlie
        And it would be CRUSHED by any comparable American pickup. For $40k, which is what this Barbie truck will retail for, you can get a well equipped Silverado or F-150, both of which are much better vehicles in every regard.
          Quen47
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          I'm sorry the very existence of this van and its ensuing and inevitable commercial success bothers you so much. It is kind of funny though.
          Rob
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          Don\'t think that quite went the way he thought it would
          Shiftright
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          We America!!! America CRUSH! Arrrrrrrrr!
          Shiftright
          • 1 Year Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          "Hey you guys! Outdated American ideals rooted in decades of cultural conservatism and isolationism, adolescent sexual insecurities and arrogance based on misinformation is what makes America great! Stop being all communists and socialists and ruining everything that is great bout America! Yeah, even Jurassic era vans! We have the right to remain ignorant! Anything European is gay and socialist! Stop being communists! This is the Land of the Free (unless you were a black slave) and ignorant ! USA-1!"
      mark and connie
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now rich slobs can be rednecks too! Obama\'s trickle up poverty plan must be working.
      1guyin10
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford won\'t be importing the Transit. It will be built in Kansas City. The Ram will come from their plant in Mexico. I\'ve spent a lot of time in a Sprinter. It gets a lot better mileage than the Savanna it replaced - somewhere in the low to mid 20\'s depending on conditions. There are a lot of good things about the Sprinter from a functional standpoint - dual sliding doors and stand-up roof height are great. There are also a number of places (like the interior) where great expense was spared and ergonomics didn\'t seem to enter into the equation. No S class accomodations here - think stark, cheesey plastic, Daimler era Chryslers. I expect the Ford to be much better thought out in that regard. It will be interesting to watch this fight unfold.
      Alex
      • 1 Year Ago
      With all the praise automatic transmission received from the author, I don't care. Even with seven gears it is still a slipping slushbox - not different at all from stupid suburban SUVs. I'll let 'merican plumbers and electricians have their choices, but trackday enthusiasts also need theirs. This would have been a perfect fun trackday hauler if it had manual. When they are going to understand - especially for an expensive vehicle like those - not everyone is hunting for the biggest discount on something that sat on the lot for a year or has unpopular color. Not everyone wants to haggle to death with the dealer. Some people are OK paying MSRP for exact options they want - and then wait two months for the car to be built instead of buying on impulse - the way everyone purchases cars in Europe.
      MrWhopee
      • 1 Year Ago
      The MB Sprinter is now sold in Indonesia as well. I'm sure it's a very nice van, the "Mercedes of vans" as you said. However it is priced four times as much as the Nissan Evalia (passenger version of the NV200) here. Good thing Mercedes seem to still retain its sanity in the US. The Sprinter might be worth $9k over competitions costing what, $40k? That makes sense. But four times the price of the competition? For basically a commercial, utility vehicle? Surely it's better, but four times better?
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