2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 (Large Van)
By: Allyson Harwood
We Like: Frugal yet capable I-4, vehicle refinement.
We Don't Like: High price, lack of storage up front.
When the Sprinter entered the van market in 2001 (first as a Freightliner, later as a Dodge), its Eurocentric styling, excellent V-6 turbodiesel, and overall refinement quickly made it a standout. But competitors are coming: the Ford Transit and the Fiat-sourced ProMaster. Between the approach of new competition and the amount of time since the Sprinter last received any upgrades, it was due for a refresh.
The new Sprinter receives a revised exterior, redesigned interior, and a new engine: a 2.1-liter turbodiesel I-4. And despite the difference in power between the still-excellent V-6 and I-4 (27 hp and 59 lb-ft), the four-cylinder was a pleasant surprise. It has plenty of power, enough that judges didn't feel a noticeable difference between the two. That sense was supported by data at the track, where the 0-60 times were a mere 0.2 second apart.
Judges appreciated the refinement. Kiino explained, "It's a very livable vehicle. It's also well-crafted and solid." They also liked the driver-friendly seating position and the comfortable seats, and appreciated the changes made to the center stack.
There were some downsides. For starters, the team felt there weren't enough storage areas up front. Shallow shelves above the sunvisors are about it. There is a rearview camera, but its angle doesn't provide an ideal view of what's behind the van.
And then the biggest shortcoming: price. Yes, this is the Mercedes of vans, but selling it with the Mercedes of prices (more than $53,000 with the four and nearly $60,000 for the six as tested) would leave plenty of businesses unable to afford them. It lacks the value so many companies seek when shopping for vans, and that price is a weakness in what is soon to be a very competitive segment.
| || 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 SWB || 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 LWB |
| Base Price || $41,010 || $46,495 |
|Price As Tested||$53,455||$59,685|
| Power (SAE net) || 161 hp @ 3800 rpm || 188 hp @ 3800 rpm |
| Torque (SAE net) || 266 lb-ft @ 1400 rpm || 325 lb-ft @ 1400 rpm |
| Accel 0-60, mph || 12.6 sec; 16.1 sec* || 12.4 sec; 14.8 sec** |
| Quarter Mile || 18.8 sec @ 70.9 mph || 20.3 sec @ 66.3 mph |
| Quarter Mile (towing) || 18.7 sec @ 71.8 mph* || 19.9 sec @ 68.5 mph** |
| Braking 60-0, mph || 136 ft || 134 ft |
| Lateral Accel || 0.61 g (avg) || 0.65 g (avg) |
| EPA Econ (city/hwy) || Not rated || Not rated |
| Real MPG (city/hwy) || 19/23 mpg || 15/19 mpg |
| * with 2148-lb payload |
** with 1655-lb payload