Car News

New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: Bigger, More Comfortable, More Configurations

The third-generation Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van has just been revealed. It offers more connectivity, more space, more configurations and more drivetrains than ever before.

The Sprinter was the first European-style full-size van to come to Canada when it arrived in 2001. Now, three models later, Mercedes-Benz is still making changes to help make their van better.

With the new van, maximum cargo capacity climbs 500 litres to a cavernous 17,000 L. That's a massive increase over the Ford Transit's max of 13,796 L. Maximum cargo weight is 5,500 kg depending on powertrain and configuration, although Canadian specs aren't yet ready and may be lower.

The Sprinter is available in a wide range of body styles, from cargo and passenger vans to chassis cabs that will fit motorhomes, ambulances, or flatbeds. Rear and all-wheel drive are available, and Mercedes has added front-wheel drive this year. That lowers the load floor by 80 mm and increases cargo capacity by 50 kg. For camper versions, that can mean 80 mm more headroom. The new driveline means that there are now more than 1,700 different Sprinter variations available.

Engines in Europe will range from 113 to 188 hp, with gas and diesel variants using a seven-speed automatic or six-speed manual. Front-drive models will get a nine-speed auto as well. Canadian driveline and engine info comes later this year.

To help make work comfortable, the new Mercedes MBUX infotainment system will be available with a 10.25-inch screen. It will also have Mercedes PRO connective services with live traffic information and fleet management apps including digital record keeping and tracking. Internet connectivity will not be available at launch in Canada but is set to roll out later.

New seats are designed to improve comfort. Buyers can choose from five different seats depending on the model, including suspension seats. Power adjustment and seat position memory have been added to the options list for the first time. Plus now USB connections are available, along with 110-volt household electrical plugs.

An all-electric eSprinter is set to launch next year, at least in Europe, intended for inner-city use. That will use the smaller eVito's electric driveline. In that van, it offers a 150 km range, but no confirmation on its availability or potential range yet in North America.

The 2019 Sprinter will be on display at the Geneva Auto Show and will go on sale in Canada in the fourth quarter of this year.