Mercedes-Benz announced sales of Sprinter vans increased 94 percent in 2011. After two years of operation, Daimler Vans USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, managed to sell 16,577 Sprinter units last year through its combined network of Mercedes and Freightliner Sprinter dealers. That number represents a substantial increase over the 8559 units sold in 2010.

"Our strong, diverse network of 185 Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner commercial van dealers spread across the U.S. has enjoyed a banner year of Sprinter van sales," said Claus Tritt, General Manager of commercial vans for Mercedes-Benz USA. "From large fleet operators to small construction businesses and mom-and-pop food trucks, American consumers are discovering the incredible benefits of Sprinter vans."

Those vans come in both cargo and passenger versions, and are powered by Mercedes' 3.0-liter BlueTEC diesel V-6. Using a Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection system to reduce emissions, BlueTEC diesel engines are as clean as modern gasoline equivalents, according to Mercedes, and achieve an estimated 24.9 mpg on the highway. The Sprinter also has up to 547 cubic feet of cargo capacity and payload capacity up to 5358 lbs. Its cargo doors are hinged to open at 270 degrees, and the rear opening measures five feet, two inches wide and six feet tall. Step-in height for the side doors is 19.9 inches, which Mercedes says is the lowest in the industry.

Source: Mercedes-Benz