Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van
No Video Content
What's New for 2010
The 2010 Sprinter is now being sold as a Mercedes-Benz. Dodge has stopped selling this Mercedes-built van due to its recent financial reorganization, so Mercedes has decided to start selling it under its own name for the first time. The Sprinter gains a more powerful engine this year.
If the idea of buying a Mercedes-Benz cargo van seems like a pointless extravagance for your cargo-hauling or mass people-carrying needs, then you're probably not alone. Ford and GM are no doubt going to sell exponentially more of their less expensive passenger and cargo vans this year. However, the Sprinter - it's always been Mercedes-built but has previously been sold as a Dodge the past seven years - does have a number of design attributes that make it the best cargo and passenger van on the market.
For one, its more space-efficient design means that it has roughly the same interior volume as a New York apartment. The load floor is the lowest among full-size vans and, with the taller of two available roofs, someone 6-foot-3 can walk around upright within its rear compartment. By comparison, only someone 4-foot-3 can walk around inside a Ford E-Series. In its biggest configuration, the Sprinter cargo van has a maximum storage capacity of 547 cubic feet - the most a Chevy Express can muster is 237.3.
Despite being bigger and taller than everything else, the Sprinter is actually more maneuverable around town thanks to a more modern chassis design (by several decades). In fact, driving the Sprinter feels notably less trucklike and benefits from the visibility afforded by its colossal windshield and short front end.
Another advantage is fuel economy thanks to the Sprinter's standard turbodiesel engine, which makes more power as a Mercedes than it did as a Dodge. It also features Mercedes Bluetec clean-diesel technology. However, while the Sprinter's diesel V6 offers similar torque to its competitors' smaller V8s, its horsepower is way down and no one would describe it as anything but slow - the Sprinter name is without question, ironic. As such, the Sprinter is best suited for an urban or suburban environment rather than the highway.
Now, should you find the Mercedes-Benz badge too pretentious, the Sprinter is also sold as a Freightliner with almost identical specification. Unfortunately, both versions are considerably more expensive than the domestic vans. Though superior in most ways to its ancient competitors from GM and Ford, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter's added cost may be hard to justify. That's a shame, though you could always try to find a used Dodge version instead.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a full-size van available in multiple configurations, each available with two wheelbases and two roof heights. The cargo van has two front seats only with an empty cargo bay, while the passenger van features four rows of seats good for 12 people. The cargo van is also available in 3500 configuration (versus the standard 2500), which increases its payload capacity.
Standard equipment on the cargo van includes 16-inch steel wheels, a right-side sliding door, a wood cargo floor, 270-degree rear doors, air-conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a two-speaker radio. The passenger van is equipped similarly, but features three rear seat rows, rear interior trim, tinted rear windows and rear speakers.