Mercedes-Benz is continuing to grow its lineup of commercial vans with a new low-cost version of the Sprinter called the Worker. This new base-model van, which debuts at the 2016 Chicago auto show, essentially fits in above the mid-size Metris van and below the existing Sprinter 2500 and 3500 models, and starts at $33,490 with destination.
That's a whole $4,000 less than the current cheapest Sprinter 2500 cargo van, and only $3,675 more than the smaller and much less capable Mercedes-Benz Metris. Though other Sprinter vans offer myriad wheelbase, roof height, and powertrain options, the Worker comes in only one version: a cargo van with a 144-inch wheelbase and a standard roof height. The only engine choise is a 2.1-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder with 161 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, coupled to a seven-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. It even comes only with one color choice: white.
Mercedes-Benz reckons that this single configuration will still offer businesses plenty of capability, as the Worker has the same towing and payload capacity as the base Sprinter 2500—3,512 lb payload and 5,000 lb towing—along with 319.1 cubic feet of cargo space with a floor that's 70.1 inches wide and 137.4 inches long. To get anywhere close to that much space in the Sprinter's closest competitors requires the more expensive medium-roof option for the Ford Transit (315.2 cubic feet) or the long-wheelbase version of the Ram ProMaster (304 cubic feet).
As you'd expect of a base model, the Sprinter Worker's interior is relatively bare, though it does come standard with power windows, air conditioning, a four-speaker sound system with Bluetooth, and 180-degree-opening rear doors. Additional features like cruise control, power mirrors, a wood cargo floor, LED cargo lights, and active safety features like a backup camera, high-beam assist, and a blind-spot warning system are included in various option packages.
On sale now at Mercedes-Benz van dealerships, the Sprinter Worker offers multiple loan and flexible lease options to make it more accessible to the plumbers, electricians, and other contractors that this value-oriented van is targeted toward.