2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Expert Review

Editor's Overview

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans come in a variety of wheelbase lengths and roof heights, providing an array of options for work fleets of all sizes. A standard diesel engine increases efficiency, while optional 4-wheel drive makes the Sprinter ideal for service where snow and ice are a constant annoyance. The Sprinter also makes an excellent recreational vehicle.

You'll Like The 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter If...

Whether you’re looking for a solid workhorse to carry cargo or people, or a blank slate upon which to build the ultimate RV, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter line has a vehicle that will accomplish the mission. With its 20,000-mile service interval, the diesel V6 raises productivity by limiting downtime.

You May Not Like The 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter If...

The Sprinter is big. If you don’t need its full capabilities, a smaller van such as the Mercedes-Benz Metris, Ford Transit Connect or Ram ProMaster City makes a better choice. A less expensive Nissan NV offers much of the Sprinter’s versatility with a better warranty and an available V8.

What's New

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van carries over largely unchanged. The smaller 2.1-liter diesel has been dropped from the lineup.

Interior Features

Professional drivers and private owners both will appreciate the 2018 MB Sprinter van’s driver’s seat, seating position and view of the instrument panel. The seat is firmer and offers far more support than those found on most commercial vehicles. Cargo models have seating for two or three up front and a blank hull in back for hauling or upfitting, while Sprinter crew vans have seating for five and still at least 220.1 cubic feet of cargo volume. Passenger models can accommodate up to 12 people. At its most spacious, an extended-length, super-high-roof Sprinter van boasts over 586 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Exterior Features

Mercedes boasts that the Sprinter van was ahead of its time when it brought its pragmatic, high-roof, European style to the U.S. years ago. Now, rivals like the Ford Transit and Ram ProMaster have followed suit. It should be no surprise that form follows function for the 2018 Sprinter, as it's a rolling rectangle on wheels with a short hood. Three roof heights, two wheelbases and three lengths are available, expanding the size of that rectangle -- and more important, the size inside -- considerably. At its largest, the Sprinter is over 24 feet long and 10 feet high.

Driving Impressions

While there’s no getting around the 2018 Sprinter van’s massive size, once behind the wheel the driving experience is surprisingly comfortable. Mercedes-Benz has worked its magic on the Sprinter’s chassis and suspension, resulting in a van that corners confidently, remains stable at high speeds and returns good feedback through the steering wheel. However, the ride can feel a bit rough at times, especially when loaded with cargo or people. The view from the driver’s seat is excellent, with a massive windshield, large side mirrors and, on passenger models, tall side glass. It will take a bit of time to adjust to the Sprinter’s tall roof, especially when approaching low parking garage entrances or load docks. As for power, the standard 3.0-liter V6 offers ample supplies of torque for pulling and hauling, can tow up to 7,500 pounds yet is remarkably fuel-efficient, even with the 4-wheel-drive option. 

Pricing Notes

Thanks to the recently introduced Sprinter Worker, price of entry for Mercedes' big work van got a bit more digestible. That base model has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $35,000. Of course, the Sprinter Worker is limited in features and comes only in white. The Sprinter Crew starts just over $45,000, while the Passenger model starts just over $48,000. These prices can rise by $10,000 and even $20,000 depending on model and options. Mercedes' commercial vans are pricier than those from Ford, Nissan and Ram, although with the new Worker, that gap has narrowed. A Ford Transit starts just over $33,700, while the Nissan NV is just over $30,000. To make sure you're getting the best deal, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price. Given the Mercedes name and its strong diesel engines, we expect the Sprinter's resale value to be better than that of its rivals.

Notable Equipment

The base Sprinter Worker is the simplest model in the lineup, a cargo van available only in white. Along with a diesel engine, its major standard features include power windows, air conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering wheel and 4-speaker audio system with Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The van also features the Load-Adaptive Electronic Stability Program that takes into account load and center of gravity to optimize control when traction is compromised.

Notable Options

Like Mercedes' luxury vehicles, many options are available for the 2018 Sprinter cargo van. Unlike Mercedes' cars, however, outside of the Luxury Driver and Passenger seats, most options are aimed at pragmatics and safety. Among the options we most recommend are a rearview camera and parking-aid system. Other recommendable extras are blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and collision-prevention assist. Navigation is also available, as is cruise control. Cargo van options include a wood floor, rear entry step and additional cargo-management options. Heated seats, heated side mirrors and sliding electric side step all make life on the road a little easier.

Favorite Features


While the Sprinter’s competitors rely solely on two wheels for propulsion, when it comes to winter driving, power to all four wheels is always preferred. Be it winter deliveries or off-road trails, the Sprinter is just better equipped to get you there, even more so with the optional low-range-gear setup.


With its extended roof option the 2018 Sprinter can reach heights of 10 feet, making it akin to a giant rolling sail. For this reason, Mercedes-Benz adds Crosswind Assist to every model. The system works in conjunction with the vehicle’s stability control, helping counteract unwanted course changes initiated by strong wind gusts.

Under the Hood

The 2018 Sprinter van is available with only one engine: a 188-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 that boasts peak torque of 325 lb-ft and is coupled to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The Sprinter is rear-wheel drive (2WD) by nature, with 4-wheel drive (4WD) optional. The 3.0-liter diesel is rated to pull up to 7,500 pounds in the Sprinter 3500 Heavy Duty. Mercedes' BlueTEC diesel engines require injections of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) at service intervals to help curb emissions.

3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6

188 horsepower @ 3,800 rpm

325 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

Editors' Notes

Once unique in the American market, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van’s tall roof and versatile chassis options have become the norm, mimicked by newer rivals like the Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster and Nissan NV. Yet, while all of these vans offer some advantages over the Mercedes, price being the most obvious, only the Ford offers a diesel-engine option, and none offer the Sprinter’s available 4-wheel drive. In fact, the Sprinter offers the choice of three lengths, two roof heights, numerous upfitting options and five variations on the Sprinter platform, including a cab chassis, crew and 12-passenger model. So good is the Sprinter that its possibilities extend beyond the work site to RV conversion vans, emergency service vehicles and even utility trucks.

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