First Drive: 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

First Drive: 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Small touches make all the difference with a commercial vehicle.

TORONTO, ON – A definite step out of our comfort zone, we were invited by the Mercedes-Benz Vans team to sample their latest lineup. After a comprehensive presentation on the key target demographics and model structure of both the Metris and the full-sized Sprinter, we were thrown the keys to the entire family of 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans.

First Drive: 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter review

In the Canadian market, Sprinter sales have a 90% take rate on the cargo variant, with just 10% of buyers opting for the passenger model sampled in most of our photos. The Sprinter is a global vehicle that takes pride on its ability to work hard at any task that’s thrown at it, exceling at being easy to drive, and an exceptionally practical choice. Mercedes-Benz offers wheelbases up to 170-inches, and a maximum load compartment volume of 15 cubic meters (533 cubic feet). Cargo versions offering both metal and plastic load compartment floors.

Standard features across the Sprinter lineup include keyless start, two standard USB-C ports in the dashboard, an electronic stability control system that’s load-adaptive, paddle shifters, and a comprehensive suite of assistance systems. New for the 2019 model year is a seven-speed automatic transmission standard on the six-cylinder diesel model, availability of the new MBUX touchscreen infotainment system, rain sensor, and increased cargo space all around. Most important however, is a new gasoline engine option for 1500 and 2500 vans.

First Drive: 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter review

The new 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine is good for 188 horsepower at 5,000RPM, and a healthy 258 lb-ft. of torque between 2,500 and 3,500RPM. We drove the vans unloaded, but even still, the engine was able to effortlessly carry the Sprinter around the roads of Toronto. It provides plenty of pep and the nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic ensures the van is always in the right part of its powerband. What’s truly impressive is how easy this commercial van is to maneuver, despite its size, in tight parking lots and narrow laneways.

A specially adapted version of the MBUX infotainment system adds either a seven-inch or 10.25” touchscreen. While the Sprinter application doesn’t have the slick touchpad of the new A-Class (reviewed here), the voice recognition system can easily make up for it and navigation is fairly quick. Instrumentation around the cabin is fairly comprehensive, and if so desired, buyers can option a Sprinter to offer similar levels of luxury as entry-level cars and crossovers from Mercedes-Benz. Plenty of switchgear is shared with other vehicles in the lineup, and material fit and finish surpasses commercial vans from the competition.

First Drive: 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter review

Pricing for the Sprinter Cargo Van starts at $42,000 in rear-drive form, while the Passenger Van starts at $58,000. Opting for 4×4 restricts buyers to the diesel powertrain, which starts at $57,400 for the Cargo version and $73,300 for the Passenger. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Vans will also sell a cab chassis alone, starting at $47,900 and only available with the diesel engine.

Small touches like a redesigned hinge for the rear doors that prevent the door from opening into and damaging the side of the van make all the difference when it comes to vehicles like this. With a payload capacity of up to 6,768 pounds (3,070 kilograms), the Sprinter is ready for a hard day at work. From small businesses like private courier services or food delivery, to full-on commercial applications, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is up for it. Offering the refinement of Mercedes-Benz’s tried and true powertrains, and virtually endless customization, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more appropriate van for any job you and your business have in mind.

Adi Desai
Adi Desai
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