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2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review

This review was written when the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was new.

Though the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is more expensive than other work vans, test drivers say it’s one of the best on the market.

Critics say the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is extremely capable and well-built, making it one of the highest-ranked work vans in its class. It has a high roof option that expands the interior height to 6 feet 6 inches, which means most people can stand upright inside. It also offers more interior options and standard features than most other vans, including optional heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors and a six-disc CD changer. As the largest work van in its class, the Sprinter can also hold about twice as much cargo as the long-wheelbase Chevrolet Express. Plus, test drivers say the Sprinter is relatively easy to drive for its size.

However, the Sprinter has a few downsides that some shoppers won’t be able to ignore. Reviewers say its engine is underpowered, which means it’s not great on the highway, and it can’t tow as much as other work vans. Though its interior is enormous, the Sprinter’s maximum seating capacity of 12 is three fewer than what the Ford E-Series can hold. Plus, the Sprinter’s starting price is more than $11,000 higher than that of the Nissan NV.

Still, most reviewers praise the Sprinter for its driving ease, interior capacity and available features. If you need a large van for transporting lots of people or cargo, this Mercedes is an excellent choice.

Other Vans to Consider

If you need more horsepower or more seats, the GMC Savana will serve you better than the Sprinter. Along with its corporate twin, the Chevrolet Express, the Savana offers seating for up to 15 people and four different engine options. Plus, both vans start about $11,000 less than the Sprinter.

If you are drawn to the Sprinter’s maneuverability and interior features, but you don’t need so much cargo or passenger space, consider the Ford Transit Connect. It can only hold about a quarter of the cargo that the largest Sprinter can carry, but since it has a car-based platform, the Transit Connect is one of the best vans for navigating narrow city streets. Test drivers also love the Transit Connect’s optional Work Solutions system, which adds work-friendly features like a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, an in-dash computer and even an optional printer.

Details: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter doesn’t see any significant changes over last year’s model. The Sprinter can be had as a two-seat Cargo Van, a five-seat Crew Van or a 12-seat Passenger Van. Each is available as a 2500 model, and the cargo van is also available as a 3500 model. All can be configured with either a regular or extended wheelbase and either a regular or high roof.

See the full 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter specifications.

  • "As big as some garages, the Sprinter can haul people, cargo, or any combination of the two. It's pricey, but better to drive than the domestics.” -- Car and Driver
  • "Unlike most commercial vans that have been converted to passenger service by an aftermarket upfiter, Sprinter feels like a solid piece, engineered from the start to move a small crowd in comfort and with ease. Prices can climb quickly, though operational costs should be tempered by Sprinter's outstanding-for-the-class fuel economy.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Yes, it is pricey, but the … Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is without question the best full-size van for cargo and passenger purposes.” -- Edmunds
Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

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