The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is available in a profusion of different versions including Cargo, Crew, Passenger, and Cab configuration, with assorted heights and lengths, rear-wheel drive or AWD, and a four-cylinder turbo or V6 diesel engine.
The current Sprinter debuted last year, making this the third-generation model, and it is unchanged for 2020.
Sprinter was designed for use as a commercial vehicle, but that hasn’t kept people from turning it into a recreational vehicle. It’s excellent either way.
I drove the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 Passenger Van with the turbo four-cylinder engine, nine-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, high roof, and seating for 12 people.
Too bad I didn’t get my hands on this vehicle before the onset of the current coronavirus pandemic, because I could have had great fun filling it with family and friends and going places. As it was, the Sprinter’s tremendous size and extended length were best put to use when I did a pickup order at a Snohomish grocery store. I stayed in the driver’s seat while a store employee loaded items into the Sprinter’s rear cargo area and we were still in compliance with the 6-feet social distancing restriction. And yes, we were both wearing masks.
A comprehensive list of safety and driver-assistance features were added to the Sprinter for this newest version. They go beyond such features as blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and parking assist, to include crosswind assist. At speeds more than 50 mph during strong winds, it corrects Sprinter’s course using automatic braking intervention on the wheels that are on the side facing the wind. I lucked out when there were strong winds during the test week while I was driving in a 60 mph zone on Highway 2 and was able to experience Sprinter’s crosswind assist. Impressive, and a real safety boon when driving in a big, tall, empty box.
By the way, it would be understandable to expect loud echoey noise inside a van under those circumstances, but this is a Mercedes after all, so no.
There are no official fuel economy ratings for the 2020 Sprinter because the EPA doesn’t provide them for large vans.
2020 MERCEDES-BENZ SPRINTER 2500 PASSENGER VAN
Base price, including destination charge: $45,385
Price as driven: $60,972
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.