The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter comes fully redesigned in 2019; this is the third generation of the van which has been selling for over twenty years. The Sprinter has been single-handedly responsible for shifting American drivers away from traditional truck-type vans to more Euro-style vehicles.
The 2019 redesign of the Sprinter aims is yet another attempt to change tastes. This time around, the German company has poured in a great deal of tech, mainly taken from its luxury line of cars and re-engineered it for the Sprinter. The Sprinter 2019 comes with autonomous emergency braking, a massive 10.25-inch touch screen, and adaptive cruise control amongst others. All these features make competitors like the Nissan NV2500/3500 and the Ford Transit look like outdated machines.
In this review, we will examine if Mercedes’ attempt to merge the ruggedness of a van with the luxury of a passenger car with lots of tech is successful?
Inside the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Stepping inside of the Sprinter and you’re greeted with a bit of weirdness, it is like a mix of the basicness of a van coupled with the smart gadgets often associated with Mercedes’ sedans. However, despite the logo on the steering wheel, there is no doubt about the fact at least in interior appearance that you’re in a vehicle meant to do business. It is by no means designed to deliver exquisite luxury. Though its car-like touches such as a push to start button and various controls on the steering wheel have all been borrowed from the E-Class of the company’s vehicles.
Also included is the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, a new version of the infotainment system which is just starting to be rolled out to the company’s passenger cars. The one stand-out feature of the MBUX is its voice recognition system. It quickly recognized phrases like “I need gas,” or “What’s the weather like,” etc. all of which can be activated by a voice prompt such as “hey Mercedes.”
In practice, the voice recognition system is a little too sensitive. When reviewing the test vehicle, the system turned on even when we just said “Mercedes.” Apart from that, there were no false positives. We assume that the issue can easily be fixed with a software patch.
The quality of the screens is as you’d expect from Mercedes. The graphics are brilliant and pinch to zoom works like a charm. Though using them from the driver’s seat is a little awkward.
High Tech Features Unique to Vans
While most economy cars today come with some form of driver assist, the tech isn’t known to exist in vans just yet. The Sprinter is easy to load with various features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, rear cross traffic alarm, park assist, a 12 radar sensor monitoring system, blind spot monitoring, driver attention monitoring, crosswind assist, 360-degree camera monitoring, and autonomous braking.
To us, all of these features make way more sense in a vehicle like the Sprinter than most compact sedans. Everything in the 2019 Sprinter works like a regular Mercedes passenger car which for us is a pretty good thing, but it could be bad for some people depending on their personal preference or their tolerance to gadget loaded vehicles.
Lots of Space
One of the primary reasons for buying the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2019 is space. At 533 cubic feet, the cargo space in the van is a lot better than the Nissan NV2500, Ram ProMaster or even the Ford Transit. Also, if you’d rather drive more people, there are passenger versions of the vehicle capable of seating up to 15 people by splitting the space evenly between cargo and passengers.
The 2019 Sprinter comes with two engine options, the base model comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 190 horsepower and around 258 lb-ft of torque. Though this engine is only available with rear-wheel drive and is paired with the company’s nine-speed auto transmission. There is also a 3.0-liter V6 with turbodiesel capable of delivering 190 hp of power and a whopping 324 lb-ft of torque. The 3.0 variant comes mated with a seven-speed auto-transmission and is available in an all-wheel drive and rear wheel drive system.
Driving the 2019 Sprinter feels good. However, the company has not done away with the overall feeling that you’re driving a work vehicle. The Sprinter accelerates reasonably well and the brakes are pretty responsive for the most part. The vehicle shifts quickly up and down gears which makes it fun to drive. The only problem that some people may have is around bends and turns. Depending on how much you’re hauling it is strongly advised to slow down considerably to cut through the corner.
The Sprinter can easily haul a payload of up to 6636 pounds and has a max towing capacity of around 7500 pounds. The only competing vehicle capable of towing more is the Nissan that comes equipped with a gas guzzling V8.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter attempts to deliver the best of both worlds, i.e. the ruggedness of a work vehicle coupled with the luxury of a sedan. It ticks all the right boxes as far as entertainment and safety features go. It offers more than the competition in every aspect imaginable though it is still a van and continues to exhibit van-like dynamics on the road. That said, this time around, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a lot more approachable for people looking for not just a work vehicle but also those who want a camper for weekend getaways. It is highly recommended if you’re looking for a vehicle capable of serving dual purposes.
Additional DetailsCar Make: Mercedes-Benz
Car Make: Sprinter
Make Year: 2019