The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a full-size cargo van. In the U.S., we think of Mercedes-Benz as a luxury brand. However, its line of commercial vans is priced pretty similarly to competitors from Ford and Ram making it a stronger value than you might expect.
The Sprinter is a trusted stalwart in the work van segment. This is thanks to its wide variety of different wheelbases, roof heights, engine options, seating configurations, and upfit possibilities. You can customize your Sprinter to make it the perfect rig for your business or family. Also, the styling of the Sprinter looks pretty sleek and modern for a commercial vehicle.
Let’s take a closer look at the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and see if it’s the right van for you.
What’s New for 2021?
A new 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine is available in the Sprinter Cargo Van for 2021. See the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter models for sale near you
What We Like
- Lots of variety in the model range
- Available all-wheel drive
- Good engines with two efficient diesel options
- Available high-tech MBUX Multimedia systems
- Agile handling for a van this size
What We Don’t
- A bit light on standard features
- Options can get expensive
$36,355 to $65,425
The EPA does not give official fuel economy ratings to full-size commercial vans in this class. This van has standard rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive available with one of the engine options.
The Sprinter has three engine options, one of which is new for 2021. The base engine is a gas-powered 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 190 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The sole transmission option for this engine is a 9-speed automatic. This engine is available in the Cargo, Passenger, and Crew variants of the Sprinter.
New for 2021 is a turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that is only available in the Cargo Van configuration of the Sprinter. It produces 161 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and is likely more efficient than the base gas engine. It’s mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission.
A 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 engine is available in all four Sprinter variants; Cargo, Passenger, Crew, and Cab Chassis. This capable engine makes 190 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque. It’s linked to a 7-speed automatic transmission and is the only engine in the Sprinter that is available with all-wheel drive.
Standard Features and Options
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is available in four basic variants; Cargo, Passenger, Crew, and Cab Chassis. All four variants are available in a standard 144-inch wheelbase or extended 170-inch wheelbase. All Sprinter models except the Cab Chassis can be had with a standard roof or high roof which yields more interior space.
Rear-wheel drive is standard on every Sprinter and all-wheel drive is an option on all but the Cab Chassis and the long-wheelbase passenger van. AWD is only available with the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V6 engine.
The Sprinter Cargo ($36,355) comes with the essentials like 16-inch steel wheels, a metal floor, keyless start, a cabin partition preparation, a passenger-side sliding door, air conditioning, a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, an AM/FM radio with four-speaker audio, an aux jack, a USB-C port, crosswind assist, hill-start assist, and load-adaptive electronic stability control. It comes standard with the base gas-powered four-cylinder engine with the turbo-diesel four-cylinder and turbo-diesel V6 as optional upgrades. This is the only Sprinter variant available with the new diesel four-cylinder.
The Sprinter Crew ($41,375) splits the difference between a cargo van and a passenger van. It has two rows of seats with room for up to five people plus a spacious cargo hold behind the seats. It also has windows for the back seat passengers which improves visibility for the driver. Other than that, standard equipment is similar to what you get in the cargo van.
The Sprinter Passenger ($43,120) is a full-fledged passenger van with standard seating for 12 and windows for everyone. If you opt for the long-wheelbase/high-roof option, an extra row of seats is added for a total of 15 seats. Also, two USB-C ports for the rear are added plus additional options for more USB ports and storage options for your passengers.
Finally, the Sprinter Cab Chassis ($41,790) is strictly a commercial vehicle with just an engine, a cabin with two seats, and a bare chassis behind it that you can upfit for your business. The turbo-diesel V6 is the only engine option for the Cab Chassis. It still has many option packages available to improve the comfort and technology of this work vehicle.
The Sprinter is a highly customizable work van with tons of options available. There are option packages for improving comfort and convenience, safety, capability, and even styling with a chrome grille option. Additionally, there are two MBUX infotainment systems available in the Sprinter; a 7-inch unit and a fancier 10.25-inch unit with navigation.
Full-size commercial vans are not crash-tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS. This van doesn’t have official crash test ratings, but it does come with safety features like anti-lock brakes, brake assist, traction control, stability control, roll-over mitigation, and plenty of airbags.
Available driver assistance tech includes blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, driver attention alerts, lane-keeping assist, a 360-degree camera, automated parking assist, and parking sensors.
Behind the Wheel
We wouldn’t call this a luxury vehicle like the typical Mercedes-Benz fare, but its overall quality is a bit nicer than the competition in just about every area. The build quality is solid, the interior materials are nice, and the seats are comfortable.
Overall, the Sprinter drives like a big commercial van, but the driving dynamics are a bit more agile than you might expect for a vehicle this size. All three engine options are good and we’re especially partial to the turbo-diesel V6 with its plentiful torque and impressive maximum payload capacity of 7,429 lbs for the Cab Chassis and 6,768 lbs for the Cargo Van.
Our favorite thing about the Sprinter is the customizability. The Sprinter lineup contains four models, two wheelbases, two roof heights, three engines, available AWD, and a seemingly endless list of options. No matter what your business requires in a big commercial vehicle, there is likely a Sprinter that can suit your wants and need perfectly.
A well-equipped Sprinter Passenger Van is a great option for big families looking for something a little nicer than just a bare-bones van with a lot of seats. If you need more seats than a minivan can offer, a Sprinter is worth a serious look, and it will be easy to spot in the church parking lot.
Other Cars to Consider
2021 Ford Transit — The Ford Transit is a best-seller in this segment and it’s easy to see why. It has many of the same virtues as the Sprinter like a strong range of engines (including a diesel) and lots of different configurations available. If you want a lot of creature comforts and modern tech in a work van, those options are generally more affordable in the Transit than they are in the Sprinter.
2021 Ram ProMaster — The attractively priced ProMaster is a value choice in modern full-size vans. Also, it has the distinction of class-exclusive front-wheel drive. That means massive interior space with a low load floor and good traction in snowy conditions without requiring all-wheel drive.
2021 Nissan NV — The Nissan NV is an old-school, truck-based commercial van with two roof height options. It has a standard V6 with a muscular V8 available. You can get an NV as a cargo van or a passenger van, but there’s no chassis cab option. If you want a no-nonsense work van with a V8, this Nissan is a good bargain.
2021 Mercedes-Benz Metris — Do you really need all of the space of a full-size van? If not, the Mercedes-Benz Metris is a more affordable, more efficient, midsize commercial van available as a passenger van or a cargo van with two wheelbase options.
Used Mercedes-Benz Sprinter — If you want a nice Sprinter with all of the bells and whistles, it can get pricey. However, the used market is full of Sprinters that offer a nice discount compared to a new one. Consider a certified pre-owned model for the peace of mind of a manufacturer-backed warranty.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a top choice in full-size commercial vans. With a ton of variety in its model range, it’s easy to order the van that’s perfect for your business or your family. Also, the fact that it’s the only van in its class with available all-wheel drive is one of the many ways the Sprinter stands out from the competition.
We also love the long list of available technology that makes the Sprinter safer and more modern. Driver-assistance tech goes a long way on a big van like this, especially if it’s a cargo van with no rear windows.
For the more budget-conscious tradesman, the Ram ProMaster or Ford Transit may fit your budget better than the Sprinter while offering similar functionality. Find a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for sale