2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Review: A Blue Collar With Style

The new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter continues to make inroads into the cargo van segment, which has always been dominated by the all-American workhorse that is the Ford Transit. Don't let the premium brand name fool you; the German cargo van can get down and dirty with the best of them thanks to it's three available engines, a four-cylinder gas engine and a V6 diesel, each developing 188 horsepower, while the latter boasts an impressive 325 lb-ft of torque, and a new 2.0-liter diesel with 161 hp. The Sprinter is capable of hauling impressive loads and can easily out-tow the Ford Transit. However, if you really want the features that set the Sprinter apart from the rest of the pack, like a premium interior and an array of advanced driver-assistance features, you do have to pay for them. But with multiple wheelbase and body configurations available, and a variety of ways to customize your purchase, it shouldn't be hard to find a Sprinter that meets your needs, and your budget.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Sprinter Cargo Van?

After adding lots of available safety features in 2020, not much is changing in 2021, except for the availability of a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with 161 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque on all trims. More safety features have been added as standard, such as Active Brake Assist.

Pros and Cons

  • Three capable powertrain options
  • Highly customizable cargo bay with class-leading payload capacity
  • Upscale and comfortable cabin
  • Plenty of available advanced safety features
  • Uniquely available four-wheel drivetrain
  • Doesn't handle as well as nimbler vans
  • No smartphone integration
  • Can get pricey if you want the best features

Best Deals on Sprinter Cargo Van

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
1500
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$36,355
2500
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Diesel
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
9-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$37,585
3500
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Diesel
3.0L Turbo V6 Diesel
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$43,145
3500XD
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Diesel
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$45,555
4500
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Diesel
7-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$47,655

Sprinter Cargo Van Exterior

The only thing that really sets the Sprinter Cargo apart from its Passenger counterpart is its windowless panels. After a recent facelift, the Cargo Van now has a more modern front fascia that's much less blocky than your average transit vehicle. It still gets the solid black lower bumper, though. A solid black bar of plastic connects the front bumper to the rear bumper by traveling along the side of the van. Every van rides on 16-inch alloys and comes equipped with a passenger-side sliding door and swinging rear doors. Aside from these staple elements, the Sprinter looks different depending on your configuration. Two roofline options are offered, standard or high, as well as two wheelbase lengths, short or long. However, an extended-length body can be equipped to certain long-wheelbase models, and the upper trims get a dual rear wheel configuration to better support their larger loads.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Front Angle View Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Rear Angle Angle Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Rear View Driving Mercedes-Benz
See All 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Exterior Photos

Dimensions

With its appearance being so largely affected by configuration, it's no surprise that the dimensions of the Sprinter Cargo Van are just as varied. The short wheelbase is 144 inches between the axles, while the longer one is 170 inches. Thus, body length can vary from 233.5 inches to 274.3 inches. However, the available extended-length body pushes this up to 290 inches. Height also varies depending on the roof you choose: the standard roof gives the van a height of 96.3-100.4 inches, depending on the model, while the high roof increases this to between 107.5-111.3 inches. The only figure that never changes is width, which remains constant at 79.5 inches, not accounting for the mirrors. Loading height also varies depending on configuration, with the standard height to the first step being 20.9 inches on the standard models, while the four-wheel-drive models increase this to 24.8 inches. The lightest variation of the Sprinter weighs in at 4,696 lbs, while the heaviest tips the scale at a whopping 6,206 lbs.

  • Length 233.5 in
  • Wheelbase 144.0 in
  • Height 96.3 in
  • Max Width 79.5 in

Exterior Colors

  • Brilliant Blue
  • Graphite Grey
  • Silver Grey
  • Grey White
  • Calcite Yellow
  • Sunset Red
  • Vanda Blue
  • Stone Grey
  • Tenorite Grey Metallic
  • Black Blue
  • Obsidian Black Metallic
  • Iridium Silver
  • Cavansite Blue Metallic
  • Selenite Grey Metallic
  • Jet Black
See all 22 colors

Sprinter Cargo Van Performance

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Front View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Rear View Driving 1 Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Engine Mercedes-Benz

Engine and Transmission

Choosing the right powertrain set-up can be a little tricky with multiple options and configurations available. The lower-spec 1500 and 2500 trims come standard with the less potent 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that develops 188 hp and 258 lb-ft or the 2.0-liter diesel with 161 hp and 266 lb-ft. Power is regulated by an efficient nine-speed automatic on the gas engine and a seven-speed automatic on the diesel, and directed to the rear wheels. Available from the 2500 up, the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel engine develops a much more impressive 325 lb-ft, although horsepower remains the same as the gas engine at 188 hp. A seven-speed automatic rows the gears for the V6 diesel engine, and while rear-wheel-drive is still the standard, the V6 can be paired with a four-wheel drivetrain on the 2500 and 3500XD.

However, four-wheel-drive should only be opted for in areas that truly warrant it, as it's actually the rear-wheel drivetrain that delivers the best performance results. In its most capable guise, the Sprinter Cargo Van can haul payloads of up to 6,823 lbs or tow weights of up to 7,500 lbs, when equipping the diesel engines from the 3500 trim upward. If you settle for the gasoline engine, you'll have to be happy with a 5,000-pound maximum towing capacity.

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Diesel, 2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.0L Turbo V6 Diesel
  • Transmissions
    7-Speed Automatic, 9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Nobody would expect a veritable box on wheels to handle particularly well, but the Sprinter may yet surprise you. Yes, it's still a pretty clumsy beast in its most ungainly configurations, like the high-roof, extended-length body, but if you stick to the smaller variants, you will find that the Merc can be pretty spry.

Give it the right engine, namely the stronger V6 diesel, and the cargo van can get going remarkably quickly even when hauling a full load. This doesn't mean you should drive the van like a more athletic ute, though. No matter how you configure it, the Sprinter is big and broad, so crosswinds will always be an issue, although the crosswind stability feature helps here.

In typical Mercedes-Benz fashion, the Sprinter delivers a cozier ride than its competitors, with the softer suspension absorbing most bumps. Loading up the van does increase firmness and reduce some of the bounciness. What really sets the Merc van apart from its competition, though, is the available four-wheel drivetrain, which allows the bulky beast to handle rougher road conditions without losing its composure.

Sprinter Cargo Van Gas Mileage

Unfortunately, the EPA doesn't really evaluate commercial vehicles for fuel-efficiency. However, the Mercedes Sprinter has been around in its current configuration for some time now, and there are plenty of real-world reports to refer to when determining just how thirsty the powertrains can be. The V6 diesel engine is efficient, with reports averaging out the combined mileage figures between 16 and 20 mpg. This is a bit behind rivals like the Ford Transit, which gets closer to 25 mpg on the combined cycle. The gasoline engine comes paired with a 22-gallon fuel tank, while the diesel gets a 24.5-gallon tank, giving it a total range of up to 490 miles. The newly launched 2.0-liter diesel engine should easily be the most economical drivetrain in the range and it will be interesting to see what mileage owners achieve in practice.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    22.0 Gallons
* 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van 1500 Standard Roof I4 144" RWD

Sprinter Cargo Van Interior

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Steering Wheel Controls Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Backup Camera Screen Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Climate Control Mercedes-Benz
See All 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Like most cargo vans, the Sprinter Cargo can accommodate only two occupants within the front cabin. However, those accommodations are definitely more plush than your average commercial van. Upscale materials cover every surface, with black cloth upholstery coming standard, while leatherette is available. Both front seats can be manually adjusted from the get-go, but power-adjustability is offered, along with lumbar support and heating functions. If you really need space for an extra passenger, the front seats can be replaced with a bench, although it forgoes the other improvements. With plenty of head- and legroom, as well as good build quality and high-grade materials, the Sprinter is definitely a van for employers who value their workers' comfort and wellbeing.

  • Seating capacity
    2-seater
  • Front Leg Room 38.9 in
  • Front Head Room 47.3 in

Sprinter Cargo Van Trunk and Cargo Space

With multiple body configurations on offer, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter can haul varying amounts of cargo. In its smallest guise, the short-wheelbase, standard-roof Sprinter can squeeze up to 319 cubic feet of cargo in its hold, while swapping to the high roof sees this figure increase to 374.3 cubic feet. However, the high roof doesn't offer as much support as the more-grounded standard roof, reducing roof-top payload capacity from 660 lbs to 330 lbs. When you upgrade to the long-wheelbase body, the extra length increases cargo capacity to 488.1 cubic feet, since the high roof is standard. The extended-length body gives the Sprinter its maximum cargo capacity of 532.6 cubic feet. The 3500XD and 4500 can't load as much sheer volume as the other models, due to their more durable construction, but the 4500 standard wheelbase and roof can haul heavier loads of up to 6,823 lbs.

The main emphasis inside the Sprinter is its cargo bay, which can be decked out with wooden floors and multiple D-rings, and configured in a variety of ways to suit your needs. The front of the cabin isn't quite so generous but it does supply a pair of cupholders, a standard glove compartment, and a variety of under-dash bins. The two front doors provide spacious pockets, and there is overhead storage, too.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Trunk Space Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Side View Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Top View Mercedes-Benz

Sprinter Cargo Van Infotainment and Features

Features

Mercedes-Benz, once again, bucks the standard commercial van trends when it comes to standard and available features. The standard Sprinter is still pretty bare-bones, much like its competition, with only manual front seats, manual air conditioning, keyless start, and a rearview camera. Standard safety tech includes automatic headlights, crosswind assist, active brake assist, and hill start assist. It's the optional equipment that makes the Sprinter the more premium option, though. Each model can be outfitted with additional power outlets, adaptive cruise control, heated front seats, a sunroof, and automatic climate control. The safety suite can also be expanded upon with blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear sonar, lane keep assist, trailer stability assist, hill descent assist, and even a surround-view camera.

Infotainment

While the Sprinter may be at the top of its class when it comes to comfort and convenience features, it seems Mercedes-Benz dropped the ball when it came to the infotainment suite. The basic system is a standard AM/FM Radio set-up with an LCD display, Bluetooth functionality, and a USB-C port. However, the cargo van can be equipped with a more advanced suite in the form of an MBUX Multimedia System, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a wireless charger. You can opt for the smaller seven-inch touchscreen or the segment-leading 10.25-inch screen. The latter comes with SiriusXM, navigation, and a wireless charging device for your smartphone.

Sprinter Cargo Van Problems and Reliability

Cargo vans need to be extremely dependable to survive in the commercial market, so it's no surprise that consumers complain about the smallest problems. While Mercedes-Benz usually delivers near-flawless luxury vehicles, the Sprinter has been subject to a number of complaints and recalls in previous years. There have been two recalls for the 2021 model so far, for faulty seat wiring and no backup camera display on the MBUX screen. Last year was far worse, with not only these two problems noted, but also an additional 11, including faulty power steering hoses, failing brake pedals, and issues with door locks and hinges, as well as the notorious eCall system supplying the incorrect location information to emergency responders. New Sprinter purchases are covered by a pretty standard 36,000-mile/36-month limited warranty, while the powertrain is covered for a slightly above-average period of 100,000 miles/60 months.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

Sprinter Cargo Van Safety

It's not unusual for cargo vans to go untested by accredited organizations like the NHTSA or IIHS, and the Sprinter is no exception. However, that doesn't mean it's an unsafe vehicle. Every Sprinter Cargo Van comes equipped with ABS, hill start assist, stability control, crosswind assist, headlight assistant, and six standard airbags: dual front, front side, and side curtain. Active brake assist is also now standard. But it's the available advanced driver-assistance features that really set the Sprinter apart from the competition. It can be outfitted with blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear park sensors, lane keep assist, hill descent assist, a surround-view camera, and adaptive cruise control with a following distance indicator.

Verdict: 🏁Is 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van a good Van?

While not as affordable as some of its closest competitors in the commercial cargo van segment, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is certainly no less capable. In fact, it actually supplies class-leading payload capabilities in perhaps the most comfortable and refined van on the market. Much like the Ford Transit, arguably the most popular van in the country, the Sprinter can be configured with multiple body lengths and roof heights to suit just about any need. The availability of all-wheel-drive adds further versatility, although as of 2020 the Ford Transit can also be specced with that option. But unlike the Transit, the Merc cargo van is a veritable treasure trove of advanced safety features.

The potent V6 engine is nothing to sniff at, and the Sprinter is beaten by only the Nissan NV Cargo in terms of sheer towing capability. However, the biggest drawback of this premium cargo van is its premium price tag. If you're willing to make the investment, though, you'll find that it's well worth it.

🚘What's the Price of the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van?

With so many configurations available, the price of the Sprinter Cargo Van varies considerably. And while the Merc van is generally considered more premium than its rivals, it can be had for the same price as a Ford Transit in its most basic guise - the 1500 with a short wheelbase and low roof will only cost you $36,355. The cheapest 2500 is the short wheelbase, standard roof model, which goes for $37,585, while the 3500 with the short wheelbase and high roof will cost you $45,995. The 3500XD is actually a little cheaper with the short wheelbase and standard roof at $45,555. The most expensive basic model is the 4500 with a long wheelbase, high roof, and 2.0-liter diesel engine, which will cost you $55,030, while opting for the extended body and V6 diesel pushes this up to $56,030. Four-wheel-drive is limited to only a select few models, with the cheapest being the $50,810 2500 with a short wheelbase and standard roof. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and Mercedes-Benz' $1,695 destination fee.

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Models

See All 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Trims and Specs

🚗What Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Model Should I Buy?

It would be impossible for us to suggest a van without knowing your exact needs, but we can give a basic idea of what each model is suited for. The lower-tier 1500 is the most affordable, for sure, but it can also only handle the lightest loads since it's restricted to the standard gasoline engine and the short wheelbase. The 2500 and 3500 are far more customizable and can handle most commercial jobs with relative ease. If you plan to haul particularly large or heavy loads, then you will want the 3500XD or 4500, as they are both available with the V6 diesel and dual rear wheels for added support and stability. Regardless of your needs, the V6 diesel engine is the way to go, and some added safety features from the Driver Convenience Package or Premium Package might not hurt, either.

Check out other Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Styles

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Comparisons

Ford Transit Cargo Van Ford
Nissan NV Cargo Nissan
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van188 hpTBC$36,355
Ford Transit Cargo Van 275 hpTBC$35,270
Nissan NV Cargo 261 hpTBC$30,640

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van vs Ford Transit Cargo Van

Both of these cargo haulers are eminently capable in their own rights. And, if you get them in their base configurations, they are actually equally affordable. However, the Sprinter outpaces the Transit's price tag at a sprint, forgive the pun. But, it's not just tech features and creature comforts you're paying for, you also get superior payload and towing capacities. Where the Ford Transit maxes out at 5,110 lbs and 6,900 lbs, respectively, the Merc Sprinter can manage 6,823 lbs and 7,500 lbs. The Sprinter is the less refined driver, though, believe it or not. The Germans may be great at maxing truly first-class luxury sedans, but the Americans make the more nimble and efficient cargo haulers. The Ford Transit also offers a more comprehensive infotainment suite, which includes smartphone integration on the optional package, but the Sprinter has a better safety suite. Both vans are truly top-notch choices, so it really comes down to exactly where you place your priorities, and if you can actually afford the more premium Sprinter options.

See Ford Transit Cargo Van Review

2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van vs Nissan NV Cargo

Where the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit are amazing all-round cargo haulers, the Nissan NV Cargo puts all its eggs in one basket by focusing on sheer towing power. The powerful available V8 engine lets the Nissan pull around a whopping 9,400 lbs, beating each of its other rivals by 1,900 lbs and 2,500 lbs, respectively. However, it couldn't begin to match the Sprinter's incredible maximum payload capacity of 6,823 lbs, nor could it come close to being as comfortable or high-tech. The Sprinter is also vastly more practical with a variety of body and wheelbase configurations. If you need a cheap van that can tow a small house, the Nissan NV Cargo is the way to go, but for just about anything else, the Sprinter is the far more logical choice, despite its high price tag.

See Nissan NV Cargo Review

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van:

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