Commercial grade vans like the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter aren't usually headline grabbers. They aren't sexy or radical. We doubt many 15-year-old boys have a poster of a cargo van on their bedroom wall alongside Miranda Kerr, but they're not quite as boring as they sound.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 23 million small businesses in this country. Also, more than 600,000 franchised small businesses make up 40 percent of all retail sales in the U.S. From airport shuttles to flower shops to car dealerships, small businesses are everywhere -- and they all need just the right vehicle to get the job done. OK, maybe it is kind of boring.
Still, big vans are starting to become a big deal. Ford recently introduced a new full-size van that replaces the massively popular Econoline, and we expect Chevrolet to replace the aging Express van soon. In the mean time, Chevrolet just announced that they will sell Chevy versions of the New Nissan NV200 compact cargo van. Add to that the new FIAT-based Ram van and suddenly full-size vans are about as hot as a BIC lighter at a Dave Matthews concert.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is the latest commercial van to get a makeover. Here are a few notable specs and details:
The base Sprinter comes with a 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine and a 7-speed automatic transmission. A V6 turbodiesel is optional. For 2014, the Sprinter sports a new front grille, headlights, LED turn signals and a new bumper and hood. Inside, there's a redesigned shifter and steering wheel, as well as a head unit with a 5.8-inch screen that includes Bluetooth, iPod and auxiliary interface.
The 2014 Sprinter is available in several body styles, including cargo, crew, passenger van, minibus and Cab Chassis. Three body lengths are available, too.
The options list reads like that of a Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan rather than a work truck. Buyers can opt for navigation, air suspension, blind spot monitoring, Lane Keeping Assist and Collision Prevention Assist.
The reworked 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter should be on sale in the fall of 2013.