Considered by many to be the king of cargo and passenger vans, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is available in a class-leading range of body styles and wheelbases. Mercedes offers 21 variations of the Sprinter cargo van and 10 versions of the passenger van. It’s also the only vehicle in the full-size van segment that offers four-wheel drive, which makes it popular with adventurers as well as businesses in snowy climates. Three engines are offered, including a V-6 diesel with a considerable 325 lb-ft of torque, and the largest version of the van comes with a dually rear axle for ultimate hauling capabilities. This model and others have become popular for RV conversions. The Mercedes Sprinter, which can tow up to 5000 pounds, also offers the highest payload capacities in the class, as well as the longest list of active safety features and driver aids.
What’s New for 2020?
This year, Mercedes has increased the availability of safety systems on the Sprinter, expanding the van’s list of active tech-based driver aids. The Sprinter can now be equipped with rear cross-traffic alert, parking assist with rearview camera, drive-away assist, active lane-keeping assist, active cruise control with distance assist, active braking assist, downhill speed regulation, a new windshield-wiper cleaning system, blind-spot assist, trailer-stability assist, and a revised crosswind-assist system. A diesel four-cylinder engine is also now available.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
With so many variations and price points, your budget and needs should dictate which Sprinter van is right for your business or personal needs. However, we do recommend saving some money for the option packages that include the van’s newly available safety systems. Most important are the Parking package with a 360-degree camera for $733 and the $1250 Premium package, which includes active brake assist and active lane-keep assist. The $1250 Driver Convenience package includes blind-spot assist.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2020 Mercedes Sprinter cargo, passenger, and crew vans all are offered with three engine choices. The standard powertrain is a 188-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Although that’s not much power for such a large vehicle, it’s more than sufficient for lighter-duty work. Mercedes also offers two turbo-diesel options: a 2.0-liter four-pot and a 3.0-liter V-6. The former produces 166 horses and 266 pound-feet of torque and the latter is rated at 188 horses and 325 pound-feet. Both diesel variants come with a seven-speed automatic transmission, however, only the six-cylinder is offered with four-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is a unique feature in this class, but Ford does offer all-wheel-drive versions of the Transit.
Towing and Payload Capacity
With the gas-powered four-cylinder engine, the payload capacity of the 2020 Mercedes Springer cargo van ranges from 3854 pounds for the standard roof 1500 to 6735 pounds for the 4500 model. Those are some of the highest numbers in this class. Towing capacity maxes out, though, at just 5000 pounds. Rivals such as the 2020 Nissan NV, which has a more traditional ladder-type frame and body-on-frame construction, can tow nearly twice as much. Extended high-roof models powered by the diesel V-6 have payloads ranging from 3605 pounds for the 2500 model to 6206 pounds for the 4500. The 3500XD models can haul a maximum of 5404 pounds, while the Sprinter 2500 passenger maxes out at 3441 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Fuel economy is not estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency on commercial vehicles with a gross-vehicle-weight rating (GVWR) of more than 8500 pounds.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Two reasons the 2020 Mercedes Sprinter is so popular are its comfort and refinement. Its interior has a high-quality feel and remains quiet on the highway. Its seats are well-shaped so they don’t break your back after hours behind the wheel, and a Swivel Seat package is available, which makes getting in and out of the van much easier. The Sprinter also offers massive amounts of space. Cargo versions offer as much a 524 cubic feet of space. That’s larger than some New York City apartments—and more than you get in the largest version of the Ford Transit. Passenger versions of the Sprinter with the 144-inch wheelbase seat 12 comfortably, while the 170-inch wheelbase versions can fit 15.
Infotainment and Connectivity
In-cabin infotainment systems are rarely a high priority in this class, which is why Mercedes keeps the good stuff as extra-cost options. The standard audio system is a basic AM/FM radio with a small LCD screen, Bluetooth, and a single USB-C port. Included in the Premium package is an updated system with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, while the Premium Plus package includes a 10.25-inch screen, which is the largest in this class; navigation; and a wireless phone-charging pad. Onboard Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are not available, which is disappointing in such an expensive vehicle.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
This year, Mercedes has radically expanded the Sprinter’s list of driver-assistance technology, but the majority of systems offered is optional. Key safety features include:
- Available active-braking assist
- Available blind-spot monitor
- Available lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Mercedes-Benz’s limited warranty on the 2020 Sprinter is typical for this class. However, its powertrain coverage is longer than most. The Nissan NV has the longest warranty in the class, covering the van from bumper to bumper for five years or 100,000 miles. Mercedes doesn’t pay for any scheduled maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 100,000 miles
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance