2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

2500 144WB Standard Roof RWD 2-Dr Cargo I4 auto trans

2014 mercedes-benz sprinter Reviews and News

2014 Mercedes Benz Sprinter In Motion
DUSSELDORF, Germany -- As we wait for Mercedes to launch its $30,000 CLA250 this fall, there's a commodity Benz that has been on sale in North America for five years. The Sprinter came to the States first as a 2003 Dodge, then shortly after as a Freightliner, and finally as a 2009 Mercedes (the Dodge version is gone, of course).
The question is why fleet or small-business truck buyers would pay $8000 to $10,000 more for a Sprinter than a competitive Nissan NV, Ford E-series, or Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana van. Even with only a 7.3-percent market share, the $36,000-plus (outgoing model) Sprinter has a high profile in the U.S. due to its distinctive design in a segment dominated for decades by plain Detroit boxes. The Sprinter's influx seems to have spawned a Euro-design movement, with Chrysler's Ram about to sell a line of Fiat-based Ducatos, Ford beefing up its Transit/Transit Connects, and even GM badge-engineering the smaller Nissan NV200 into a Chevrolet.
In 2012, Mercedes and Freightliner sold 20,929 vans in the United States, a 26-percent increase over 2011. In fact, Mercedes sold twice as many Sprinters as sub-$15,000 Smart ForTwos. (The Mercedes/Freightliner Sprinter split is about 80/20 percent in the United States.) The split is 60 percent to construction fleets -- for vans delivering materials, not the chassis truck available with a pickup bed -- says North American marketing chief Claus Tritt. Delivery services account for 15 percent of sales, and another 15 percent are used as passenger vans, such as airport shuttles. The remaining 10 percent are sold to retail/wholesale customers, including recreational vehicle conversion. Federal Express is the Sprinter's biggest fleet customer in America.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz/Freightliner Sprinter, which goes on sale this fall, undergoes a major facelift with a bigger, bolder front end integrating better into the tall box behind it. The new base engine, a 2.1-liter turbo-diesel four-cylinder, is mated to Mercedes' 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic and is expected to boost fuel efficiency by 18 percent over the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6. Highway mileage should make the upper 20s, but that number is not official, as this class of truck is not tested for EPA fuel mileage. The V-6 diesel engine continues as an option and is coupled to a five-speed automatic. It is rated at 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. The new BlueTec four, with a 2000-bar Piezo direct-injection system, Add Blue emissions aftertreatment, and two-stage turbocharging, is rated at 161 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. It also has a new driveshaft and rear axle.
The 2.1-liter engine is plenty for a delivery vehicle. We drove two four-cylinder models, neither exactly U.S.-spec. One had the 188-hp engine but was mated to a six-speed manual that isn't offered stateside, while the other featured the automatic transmission but had a lower-powered four-cylinder diesel for the European market. The automatic struggled in 60-to-80-mph acceleration exercises on the autobahn, but the 188-hp manual had plenty of oomph for such a big truck. Handling is good and safe for a big truck, with lots of play in the slow, hydraulically boosted steering and suspension travel and compliance that makes you feel most comfortable taking freeway off-ramps at sedate speeds.
Mercedes loaded both Sprinters with moderate payloads for our drive. The cargo van is offered in two seating configurations (two or three front seats), three body lengths, and two roof heights (three in Canada), with gross vehicle weight ratings of 8550, 9990, and 11,030 pounds.
Delivery-fleet buyers will be comfortable ordering the fuel-saving diesel four, which is sufficient for merging onto freeways, at prices in the upper-$30s. On the other hand, buyers of $60,000 RVs undoubtedly will go for the diesel V-6.
Mercedes can claim the highest level of safety features, most of which will be bundled into a $1780 safety package in the U.S. This includes a new crosswind-assistance package that uses the Sprinter's active suspension to keep high winds from blowing the truck into the next lane (our drive was comfortably stable despite fairly heavy winds in Northern Germany), high-beam automatic headlamp dimming, lane-keeping assist from 40 mph, blind-spot monitoring, and forward collision-prevention assist.
Unlike the CLA250, which tries to exude the luxury feel of traditional Mercs, the new Sprinter's fabric interior and dashboard plastics don't aspire to be any more than what could be found in a Nissan or a Fiat-Ram. The fold-down, inside-seat armrests are plasticky, and the much-needed lumbar support is manually controlled. American fleets that choose the Sprinter over cheaper alternatives buy or lease them for Mercedes' reputation for quality and stout reliability, and get both a dose of modern Western European ambience and Benz taxicab-style utility in the bargain.
2013 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Three Quarters View 9
2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

New For 2014

For 2014, the Sprinter gets what, in the staid world of commercial vans, counts as a major makeover. There's all-new front-end styling that features a much larger grille. The interior has been tweaked and now offers more carlike features. New active safety systems are available, and there's a new standard engine: a four-cylinder diesel.

Vehicle Summary

The Sprinter is a true commercial vehicle, and that makes it an unusual offering for Mercedes-Benz in North America. During the Daimler-Chrysler era, the Sprinter was sold here as a Dodge. Today, it is sold as a Mercedes-Benz and as a Freightliner (which is Mercedes' commercial truck affiliate). The Sprinter is priced at a premium compared with its competitors from Chevrolet, Ford, and Nissan. Customers include construction fleets, delivery services, and passenger shuttle services. The Sprinter's biggest fleet customer is Federal Express.


The Sprinter is offered as a Cargo Van, Crew Van, Passenger Van, MiniBus, and Cab Chassis. There is a choice of two roof heights (the taller is high enough to stand up in), and three lengths: 144-inch wheelbase, 170-inch wheelbase, and 170-inch wheelbase with extended rear overhang. The Sprinter is a more European-type van, with a narrower footprint, long and tall body styles, and turbodiesel engines only. European-style vans, though, are the way the industry is going, with Ford about to replace the venerable E-series with its European Transit and Dodge soon to import a van from Fiat.

There are two available diesel engines. The base engine is a new, 2.1-liter four-cylinder that is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. That engine is good for 161 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, which doesn't seem like the makings of a particularly speedy delivery vehicle, but the 2.1-liter should use less fuel than the optional V-6 diesel. That V-6 was formerly the standard engine but is now the move-up option. Output remains 188 hp with 325 lb-ft of torque, and its transmission is a five-speed automatic.

The Sprinter's plain and utilitarian interior is probably not what you'd expect from a Mercedes-Benz, although it is what you'd expect of a commercial van. There is a standard TFT screen for the iPod/Bluetooth/aux interface, and navigation is optional. Bundled with navigation are some other features that Mercedes-Benz drivers will find familiar: blind-spot assist, lane-keeping assist, high-beam assist, and collision prevention assist. An audible parking aid is also available and is useful for berthing such a big bus.

You'll like:

  • 2.1-liter's lower fuel consumption
  • Available safety features
  • Trio of body sizes, two roof heights

You won't like:

  • Basic interior
  • Formerly standard V-6 is now optional
  • Price premium versus other brands

Key Competitors

  • Chevrolet Express
  • Ford Transit
  • Nissan NV
  • Ram ProMaster
2014 Mercedes Benz Sprinter 4x4 Right Side Angle
Now that Ford and Ram are launching tall, European-designed full-size vans in North America, just how is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – the model that originally sparked this full-size van renaissance – going to stand out from the crowd? Perhaps the North American introduction of the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4x4, a full-size van with factory-installed four-wheel drive, might do the trick.
2014 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Front End In Motion 04
It's been said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's the case, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has a lot of fans, even among other automakers. Since its introduction to the U.S. market in the early 2000s, the Sprinter now faces several similarly-configured competitors in the form of the Ram ProMaster, the Nissan NV full-size vans, and the forthcoming Ford Transit.
2014 Mercedes Benz Sprinter 4x4 Left Side
Although the brand is primarily known for its luxury cars in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz has long been a jack-of-all-trades manufacturer in Europe, with the E-Class being a ubiquitous taxicab throughout Europe, and being one of the continent's leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. The Sprinter van has had about a decade in the U.S. market, first under the Freightliner and Dodge brands, and now under the native three-pointed star. Mercedes is adding a new variant of its utilitarian workhorse to the product mix, at least in Europe.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
2500 144WB Standard Roof RWD 2-Dr Cargo I4
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2500 144WB Standard Roof RWD 2-Dr Cargo I4
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2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Specifications

Quick Glance:
2.1L I4Engine
188 hp @ 3800rpm
325 ft lb of torque @ 1400rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control (optional)
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front (optional)
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player (optional)
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
36,000 miles / 36 months
100,000 miles / 60 months
50,000 miles / 48 months
IIHS Front Small Overlap
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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