How Much is a Used Sprinter Van?
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Whoever said that light commercial vehicles can’t be interesting never heard about the Sprinter. Available on the US market, these sleek German-engineered vans have found use as hauliers, passenger vans, and more. They’re endlessly versatile, hence their enduring popularity.
Although Mercedes-branded Sprinters are commonplace in the rest of the world, it’s surprisingly common to see models manufactured by Dodge and Freightliner. These are, effectively, indistinguishable from the Mercedes original, with only minor differences when it comes to trim and branding.
Their US manufacturing is itself a response to high import taxes placed on light trucks around the turn of the millennium. In the years since, Mercedes-Benz has picked up the mantle and started selling the Sprinter under its own name.
But what makes them tick? And why should you pick a Sprinter over a competing van, like the Ford Transit or Dodge Promaster?
The success behind the Sprinter
The enduring popularity behind the Sprinter is due to a few canny engineering decisions that made it an economical and versatile choice for individuals and businesses alike.
- Vans are gas guzzlers, but the Sprinter is less so. Two-wheel variants typically get above 20MPG combined. Those opting for a 4x4 model capable of tackling rugged country roads get a lower, but still respectable mileage in the mid-teens.
- Choices. The Sprinter has lots, including when it comes to the wheelbase, with 144-inch and and 170-inch models available. The latter is handy when you’re liable to stray off the beaten track.
- You get a choice between gas and diesel, with the latter option offering a better vehicle longevity. It’s not uncommon to see Sprinters with over 500,000 miles on the odometer. Almost all will run on diesel.
- They’re capable of hauling incredible loads, with the 2021 model rated between 2,941lbs to 6,735 lbs, depending on configuration.
- The Sprinter comes in a variety of body styles, from a standard cargo van, to an extended model with more room for payloads, as well as a minivan-style passenger configuration. Some have even been converted into recreational vehicles!
- With over two decades on the US market, used models are plentiful - and cheap!
But the Sprinter has one achilles heel: with two US manufacturers sharing the same name, and multiple trims and configurations, picking the right model for you isn’t a straightforward task.
Which Sprinter Van Should You Buy?
Diesel or gas? Cargo or Extended Cargo? Passenger van, or a more conventional minibus? There are the options you’ve got to weigh up when considering to buy a new Sprinter.
The biggest factor in the success of the Sprinter has been the choice of fuel types. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages, influenced in large part by the engines chosen by Mercedes.
Let’s start with diesel. For those concerned about longevity, diesel is an obvious choice, as it’s inherently less taxing on the engine. When it burns, it lubricates the engine, thus prolonging its life and limiting the amount of maintenance required. Meanwhile, the diesel engines favored by Mercedes tend to rank highly when it comes to torque, making it ideal for pulling heavy loads.
The gasoline-based Sprinter is a different beast. Acceleration is faster, and it tends to deliver better fuel economies in urban environments, where you’re liable to repeatedly stop-and-go.
The diesel Sprinter is more efficient when driving on longer contiguous stretches of road, however. Although parts are cheaper, you’re more likely to need routine maintenance, making it slightly more expensive to own in the long run.
Sprinter Cargo Van
The basic Sprinter Cargo Van is the smallest of the bunch, making it ideal for traversing urban environments where space comes at a premium. Depending on the model and year number, you can expect lengths around the 235-inch mark. You can expect the cargo bed to measure around 130 inches, with cargo volumes of 320 cubic feet.
Despite being the smallest in the family, it comes with a decently-powerful set of engine options. The base 2020 gas model uses a 2L 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, with 188HP. The diesel engine touts a six-cylinder engine capable of solid torque performance. And although utilitarian, newer models come with must-haves like Android Auto and Apple Carplay (ideal for navigating large cities) and heated seating, ideal for those cold winter nights.
The basic Cargo Van starts at $36,355. Used models can be found for a fraction of that, depending on mileage and model year. Mid-2010s models can often be found for roughly $15,000, albeit with plenty of miles on the clock.
Sprinter Cargo Extended
The Sprinter Cargo Extended shares much in common with its smaller sibling, except for two things: space and configuration. The 2020 model measures 290 inches long, with an incredible 532.6 cubic feet of cargo space. Additionally, the Extended model comes with a larger wheelbase of 170mm, improving maneuverability in tight urban locales, and an optional 4x4 version.
This comes at a price, with the extended version retailing at $45,950 new. Still, you can find bargains on the used market, with older high-mileage ex-commercial versions frequently retailing under $15,000.
The Sprinter is a versatile beast, and with the passenger variant, Mercedes replaced the vast cargo space with enough seats for up to 12 people, depending on the configuration. Surprisingly, this offers a fairly comfortable riding experience, with the Sprinter’s cavernous interior affording generous personal space. Meanwhile, the large sliding door makes entering and exiting easy, particularly for those with mobility issues.
Pricing for the passenger model is roughly in-line with the Cargo Extended, with the latest model starting at $43,120. Unlike the cargo variant, these command a premium, and it’s not uncommon to see models retailing over $20,000 after five years of service.
Versatile. Affordable. Economical. And yes, big. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a compelling choice for anyone looking for a reliable van, or a people-packing minivan.
Looking to find your next cargo-carrying workhorse? At Shift, we’ve got you covered. And with all vehicles backed by a seven-day returns policy and a 150-point mechanical inspection, as well as a free 30-day warranty on our certified inventory, you can trust that your next van will be as dependable as you are.
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All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
May 25, 2021
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.