New Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Adopts Scowling Face, Connected Services

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Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.


, Automotive Editor - February 7, 2018

Mercedes-Benz recently revealed the third generation of its Sprinter commercial van that will go on sale in the US by the end of 2018. The heavily-redesigned van gets a new look and more tech features, as well as an electric variant that should come out in the near future.

The most notable changes are the ones that have been made to the commercial van's exterior. The van adopts a lot of design cues from the Vision Van Concept that came out in 2016. At the front, the Sprinter looks like a chiseled chin thanks to an oval grille and slimmer headlights. The heavily raked hood is still the same.

Changes have also been made to the Sprinter's interior to bring it into the modern age. The commercial van still emphasizes durability and usability on the inside, but now comes with better connectivity thanks to the automaker's Pro connect services. The system will allow the driver and fleet manager to communicate with one another and is integrated into the van's MBUX multimedia system. The latter can come with an available 10.25-inch touchscreen display.

While commercial consumers will enjoy the new look and high-tech features, the main driving force with purchasing a Sprinter is being able to customize the van to one's needs. The new Sprinter still checks all of the boxes in that respect with over 1,700 configurations. When properly spec'd, the van can carry up to 20 passengers. Those looking for more cargo capacity can get fewer seats, which opens up space for 600 cubic feet of cargo and in excess of 12,000 pounds of goods.

The commercial van will be available in rear- and all-wheel drive, which isn't new, but a front-wheel-drive version is. Automotive News, though, claims that the front-wheel-drive version of the Sprinter won't be coming to the US, because of local market needs.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Engine options for the van include a 3.0-liter diesel and a 2.1-liter diesel with six different power outputs that range from 114 horsepower to 177 hp. The current list of available engine options, though, are for European markets. A range of diesel engines are expected to be offered in the U.S., as is a gas engine.

Mercedes also has plans to launch an electric eSprinter in 2019, but it's not clear on if the brand will sell the electrified commercial van in the US. The Sprinter is currently available for order for consumers in Europe and is priced at roughly $24,530. Deliveries are set to begin in June. More information on the Sprinter and its available specifications for the US market will become available closer to the van's launch later this year.

Other major news for the Sprinter is that the van will be built at the automaker's new assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina. Previous generations of the Sprinter, because of the chicken tax, were built in Germany, dissembled, and then shipped to the U.S. where they were reassembled.

, Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.