2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Performance
This performance review was written when the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was new.
Reviewers are surprised at how easy the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is to maneuver, especially compared with other work vans. Although its six-cylinder diesel engine makes the Sprinter more fuel-efficient than most other vans in this class, reviewers say that it feels pretty underpowered. However, the Sprinter’s payload capacity is one of the highest in the class.
- "Quite simply, this is the easiest and least cumbersome full-size van to drive. Around town, the turbodiesel engine offers satisfactory thrust. It's only on the highway that the Sprinter's power deficit becomes glaringly apparent.” -- Edmunds
Acceleration and Power
The Sprinter has only one engine: a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbodiesel that makes 325 pound-feet of torque and just 188 horsepower. Reviewers say that the Sprinter has enough power for urban and suburban settings, thanks to its ample amount of torque, but its lack of horsepower means that highway passing is not one of its strong points.
The EPA doesn’t provide fuel economy ratings for the Sprinter, but its gas mileage will vary depending on the body style and roof height that you choose.
- "The gutsy turbodiesel provides ample power around town, even with a full load of passengers. Highway passing power is only adequate, however. Diesel engine noise and vibration are well muted.” -- Consumer Guide
- "With only a 3.0-liter diesel V-6, don't expect quick acceleration. Expect competence. But with an engine smaller than anything else in its class and a 26.4-gallon fuel tank, expect fuel economy to be among the top and a fairly long driving range.” -- Automotive.com
- "While the Sprinter's diesel V6 offers torque output that's similar to smaller V8s from rivals, horsepower is way down. Certainly no one would ever describe the Sprinter as anything other than slow (surely the Sprinter name is meant to be ironic). As such, the Sprinter is best-suited for an urban or suburban environment rather than the highway.” -- Edmunds
- "The diesel has turbo lag.” -- Car and Driver
- "At 188 horses, the Sprinter doesn't have the same levels of horsepower as its rivals, and it struggles some on inclines.” -- Automobile Magazine
Handling and Braking
Despite its huge size, test drivers say the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has a more comfortable ride than most other work vans. They say the ride is fairly smooth, and that the Sprinter is surprisingly maneuverable.
- "Turns on a dime and feels smaller than it is. The body is narrow and there is a panoramic view.” -- Car and Driver
- "Actually, the Sprinter's modern chassis design makes it far more maneuverable around town than the full-size Detroit-branded vans. In fact, driving the Sprinter feels pretty normal except for its colossal windshield and short front end.” -- Edmunds
- "As you would expect, Sprinter leans considerably in fast corners. A surprisingly tight turning radius aids close-quarters maneuvering.” -- Consumer Guide
- "Ride is comfortable, and even though its handling is everything you'd expect from a van, its steering is excellent and it isn't until you have to park that you remember just how big the Sprinter is.” -- Automobile Magazine
Towing and Hauling
The Sprinter can haul up to 5,358 pounds of cargo in 3500 Cargo models with a high roof and regular wheelbase. That’s more than any other van on the market, though that number will change depending on the model, trim, wheelbase and roof height you choose. Most 2500 models can tow up to 5,000 pounds, though most 3500 models can tow up to 7,500 pounds, which is still significantly less than other vans like the Ford E-Series, which can tow up to 10,000 pounds.