Review: 2022 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a cargo van that delivers
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a commercial van with extremely varied capability. It can be outfitted simply, as our cargo van version was, or with a fully self-contained camping/living quarters, or anything in between. There are three engine options, rear-wheel or four-wheel drive setups, and two wheelbase lengths.
The current-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter came out in 2019, with several upgrades coming after 2020 when we last saw it. The Sprinter comes in half-ton (1500), three-quarter ton (2500, 3500) and one ton (4500) models. We’ve driven the 2500 in two configurations: as a passenger vehicle and now as a cargo van.
At a Glance
- Capability varies by configuration, but is very good on all fronts.
- Several engine options in the lineup.
- Lots of interior space in both wheelbase lengths.
- Versatile interior specification options.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 1500 is the smallest of the group, coming with either a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs 188 horsepower (140 kW) through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Rear wheel drive is the only option.
The rest of the Sprinter models, including the 2500, 3500, and 4500, can also have a 2.0-liter turbo diesel with 161 hp (120 kW) and a seven-speed automatic and a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo diesel with 188 hp (140 kW) and seven-speed auto. These are rear-wheel drive by default with four-wheel drive as an option.
There are both 144 and 170 models of the 2022 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Those numbers refer to wheelbase length (in inches) and affect interior cargo room. The Passenger model has three rows of seating that hold up to 12, depending on configuration, plus driver and front passenger. The Cargo model has seating for two and 132.9 inches (337.5 cm) of cargo floor length. The 170 expands that to 173.6 inches (441 cm) of cargo floor length. Roof height options extend the roof height (and that of the load doors) from 61 inches (155 cm) to 72.7 inches (184.6 cm).
In addition to that, a Crew model adds a second row bench seat (three across) to the Cargo, shrinking load room to accommodate. In the 144, that means the load floor becomes 103.5 inches (262.9 cm) and 148.4 inches (377 cm) in the 170. That second-row seat bench is removable and requires no tools to do so. The rows of seating in the Passenger model can also be removed in this way.
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 1500 Cargo that we drove was the 144 model with a single right-hand sliding door and two 270-degree swinging rear doors. It had a few extras, including a separation wall between the front seating and the cargo space (without pass-through door), a load floor “wood” covering (actually plastic), added tie-down points, four-wheel drive, the 3.0-liter diesel engine, the now-standard 7-inch infotainment screen with two USB ports, MBUX infotainment system upgrade, a heavy towing kit, and the tall roof addition. Our test model did not come with the available driver’s aids upgrades such as adaptive cruise, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, 360-view camera, or navigation. In addition, the rear area was windowless and had no inverter, outlets, or additional lighting.
The price tag for our relatively plain (but well-done) tester was only US$55,647; with delivery. Payload capacities of the Sprinter vary by configuration, with the 1500 having a maximum of 3,854 lb (1,748 kg) of payload and the 2500 as we drove it having over 4,300 lb (1,950.4 kg) of hauling. Towing is limited to 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) in most Sprinter 1500 and 2500 models. That’s a lot of capability at a price that’s less than most full-sized pickup trucks.
On the road, while the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter drives like the large commercial van that it is, it is quieter and more comfortable than other options we’ve driven. The upgraded infotainment is useful and helpful, especially if integrated navigation is included. This allows one to talk to the system to input a new address for nav, even while driving. Ergonomics are done well too, though we have some complaints there.
The step-in and step-out for the Sprinter 2500 is high and the built-in step point when the door is open isn’t very helpful. It’s a little narrow and too close to the van to really be helpful. Once in the driver’s seat, while it’s very comfortable, the window’s forward pillar cuts the side mirror in half and blocks a significant amount of real estate. No amount of adjustment will fix this unless you’re willing to scoot the seat uncomfortably forward. There are plenty of drink holders, places to put clipboards and notepads, extra safety gear or hats, etc., which is a boon.
While driving, the diesel engine (V6) that we drove for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 was excellent. Shifting is smooth, acceleration is solid, and it does well both under load and while empty. Mercedes’ new stabilization system (optional on the van) for control during high winds is also very well done. Living in Wyoming, we got to try that system out and were impressed with how much more comfortable it makes the driver to reduce fatigue and improve safety.
The 2022 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a top-shelf commercial vehicle. Priced commensurate with the category, especially when considering amenities, the Sprinter has solid performance and capability numbers to meet most needs. It’s configurable and comfortable to drive as well. Prices start at about $40,000 for a base model 1500.
Product Page: 2022 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter