The 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is available in Crew, Passenger, Cargo, and Cab versions. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is available in Crew, Passenger, Cargo, and Cab versions. (Manufacturer photo)

You can do social distancing inside the 2020 Sprinter

The Mercedes-Benz of commercial vans has many different versions with one common denominator: bigness.

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.

Updates for the newest-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter include a sophisticated multimedia system. The European Sprinter interior is shown here. (Manufacturer photo)

Updates for the newest-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter include a sophisticated multimedia system. The European Sprinter interior is shown here. (Manufacturer photo)

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.

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van has a new safety feature called Crosswind Assist. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van has a new safety feature called Crosswind Assist. (Manufacturer photo)

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.

Talk to us

More in Life

Low-cal craft beer becomes vital during the quarantine

Don’t reach for the Michelob Ultra Light just yet. We tasted 18 beers and picked the winners and losers.

Jump on the everything bagel bandwagon with this zesty salad

If Whole Foods is sold out of the seasoning mix, relax — you can make it yourself.

Need a fun weekend quarantine project? Try citrus marmalade

The preserves are as delicious spooned on toast as they are over grilled pork or chicken.

2020 Nissan Altima is quiet, comfortable, and fuel efficient

One year after a complete redesign, more safety features have been added to lower-cost models in lineup.

Rick Steves on Pompeii, Italy’s frozen-in-time Roman city

The volcanic ash that destroyed the city also ensured its remarkable preservation, down to the folds on victims’ togas.

Ask Dr. Paul: Adjusting to the new normal with COVID-19

Here are some tips to help you embrace and cope with our new way of living in a pandemic world.

Keep frozen bay scallops on hand for a sweet quarantine dinner

The dish can be ready to eat in less than 15 minutes — even including the time to defrost the shrimp.

Traveler wants full refund after virus halts flight to Vegas

Southwest Airlines agreed to a refund, but didn’t include the EarlyBird option that he paid for.

Local Girl Scouts adapt to the pandemic by scouting at home

The coronavirus isn’t stopping these Snohomish County girls from earning badges and awards.

Most Read