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2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 BlueTec Road Test

Who would have thought there would be such a thing as a luxury cargo van?

What It Is
A work van capable of hauling just about anything.
Best Thing
Cavernous interior perfect for moving.
Worst Thing
Almost impossible to find a comfortable driving position.
Snap Judgment
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a work truck with class.


Mercedes-Benz has long been known as a leader in luxury, performance, and a dynamic driving experience. But when talking about work vehicles, those really aren't the most important factors. We had to clear our minds when we hopped behind the wheel of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 BlueTec cargo van.

Cargo vans and passenger vans don't get a lot of buzz, but they should. Many companies and individuals purchase vehicles like the Sprinter for specific needs, so we decided to get one in. The first thing you notice when getting in the driver's seat is just how big the van is. Sitting almost at eye-level with the truckers on the highway was a unique experience, and putting the Sprinter to good use, we learned a few things.

Read on to see what we thought of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

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What We Drove

Our Mercedes-Benz Sprinter came with a starting price of $35,920, and after a handful of optional features, that price came to $48,275, including the $995 destination charge. Powered by a 3.0-liter diesel V6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, our model pumped out 188 horses. Featuring the most basic of amenities, including airbags, radio, adjustable seats, air conditioning, and a few other features, it's no wonder our model was optioned with nearly $15,000 in extras.

Added on to our model were an electrically heated windshield, heated seats, electric sliding step, illuminated exits, and much more. Four different packages--including the Comfort, Efficiency, Safety, and Appearance packages--were also added.

The Commute

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is definitely not a commuter vehicle in any sense of the word. While a great work truck or passenger van when optioned out, it still was far from perfect. Our model was comfortable to a point, but offered hardly any of the amenities found on other Mercedes models. But that was expected.

Using the infotainment system was a real pain, however. I found myself more often than not having to lean over to adjust radio stations and the air conditioning. It was very distracting, and I can't help but wonder if the center stack could have been better designed. It may just be because of where my seat was positioned, but I think that other drivers would have the same problem.

Like with all the cars we get in, Bluetooth becomes one of the top things we like to test. We want to know just how easy or difficult it is to not only set up, but use, the system. While it took a minute to figure out how to pair our phones, we were more disappointed with the quality of the calls when connected. I could hear the person on the other end, but because of the obtrusive road noise, it was impossible for the person on the other end to hear what I was saying. It got to the point where I just put my phone on speaker and bypassed the Bluetooth altogether.

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The Grocery Run

We don't recommend taking the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter to the grocery store. While it will certainly be able to hold all your bags and cases of water, the cavernous cargo space makes it easy for things to slide around and get damaged.

To really test this out, make a trip to Ikea and load it up with furniture. You'll be surprised by just how much will fit. But despite its gargantuan proportions, the Sprinter was surprisingly nimble--as nimble as a 5,000-plus pound van can be. With the two different side mirrors, backup camera, and good rear visibility, we had little difficulty pulling into spaces, and while backing up proved challenging, it could have been much worse. This isn't your everyday type of vehicle and should only be used when needed, as some may find it difficult to get in and out of the high seats.

The Weekend Fun

We wanted to give the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter a true test to see just how capable of a work van it is when compared to the likes of the Chevrolet Express Cargo Van and the Ford E-Series, which will soon be replaced by the Transit lineup. Unlike the competition, the Sprinter offers more usable room. And it should as it's priced nearly $10,000 more.

When we went to go load up the van, we were surprised at just how much the Sprinter can hold. Moving day was no match for this behemoth. While two trips were necessary, it wasn't as bad as we would have thought. Loaded up with furniture, the Sprinter was more confident at highway speeds, as wind played a major factor when emptied. The cabin would sway in the wind like the 5,000-pound monster was just a leaf in the breeze.

A Few Photos of this Vehicle

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Summary

If you're looking for a capable work van that has some added amenities you're more likely to find on a sedan, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van is an ideal choice. It sips that diesel fuel, which is important in today's market. We averaged right around 27 mpg, and for a vehicle of its size, that's better than decent.

There are definitely other competitors in the segment worth checking out, as they are less expensive and offer a relatively comparable amount of usable cargo space. However, we were completely impressed with the Mercedes Sprinter and would keep it at the top of our list.

Spec Box

Price-as-tested: $48,275
Fuel Economy
EPA City: N/A
EPA Highway: N/A
EPA Combined: N/A
Cargo Space: 318 cubic feet
Estimated Combined Range: Combined multiplied by fuel tank size
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Not Available

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