2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Review
What: A Mercedes-Benz passenger and cargo van
When: On sale now
How Much: Prices start at about $35,250
New for 2010
Calling the 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter all-new for 2010 is a little misleading. Work van aficionados will recognize the Sprinter's name, profile and capabilities from the Dodge Sprinter. Dodge initially got the Sprinter design from Mercedes-Benz when the two companies merged. After they broke up, Dodge had a contract to produce the Sprinter through 2009. Now that Dodge and parent company Chrysler have merged with Fiat, who has plans to bring its own work van stateside, the Sprinter design has reverted to Mercedes.
It seems odd for a car maker known for sumptuous luxury sedans and blistering sports cars to start selling a van aimed at tradespeople and shuttle services, but the Mercedes Sprinter is very successful in Europe, where its efficient engines and tall design make it a favorite for deliveries in tight urban spaces. With Mercedes-Benz piloting the Sprinter here, who knows? Maybe you'll soon see your plumber riding in style.
What the Auto Press is Saying:
Since the Mercedes Benz Sprinter competes in a niche market of work vans, the press hasn't commented much on the new model. Still, the 2010 Mercedes Benz Sprinter is very similar to the Dodge Sprinter, which most car reviewers liked for its cavernous interior and manuverability.
- "The 2010 Mercedes Sprinter van lineup will include three trim levels. The standard Sprinter cab chassis is the base model and will begin at $35,250. Next up the Sprinter hierarchy is the Sprinter cargo van at $36,925. The top-flight Sprinter passenger van will carry a base price of $40,800." -- Motor Trend
- "If you’re in the market for a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter -- one of our "top five fuel-friendly people movers" -- you may be in luck. For 2010, pricing on the Sprinter will run approximately 6 percent less than the 2009 models." -- Automobile Magazine
The 2010 Mercedes Benz Sprinter is available as a cab and a chassis only (allowing buyers to customize the rear section of the van), a cargo van, or a passenger van with seats for up to 12.
The Sprinter has a 3.0 liter turbo-diesel V6 engine that makes156 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. Fuel economy estimates aren't available yet.
Depending on configuration, the Sprinter can haul up to 5,509 pounds and tow up to 5,000 pounds. While the Sprinter hauls fewer passengers than the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savanna, it has best-in-class cargo space. Buyers can opt for a standard room, which has 318 cubic feet of cargo space, a high roof with 547 cubic feet of cargo space or a "mega" roof with 600 cubic feet of cargo space. By comparison, the standard Chevy Express has 217 cubic feet of cargo space.
While the Sprinter has tons of space, and Mercedes has dropped the price by about six percent for 2010, it's still by far the most expensive van in the class. Buyers who can do without the extra room may want to consider the Chevrolet Express. The Express cargo van starts over $10,000 less than the Sprinter cargo van. If you really like the Sprinter, and don't care about the Mercedes Benz name, you may be able to save some money by buying a 2009 Dodge Sprinter. The two vans are virtually identical, and you may be able to negotiate a good deal on the Dodge.
A full 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter review is coming soon.