The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter suddenly finds itself with a lot of competition in the commercial van world. Ford has given up the ancient E-Series in favor of the smaller Transit Connect, Chrysler is launching the Ram Promaster, which is a rebadged Fiat and Nissan has the NV commercial vans now on sale. All of those vans mimick the Sprinter’s tall, skinny styling rather than a traditional truck with an enclosed bed style we were used to for so long. GM is the only company with an old-style truck based van still on sale in the form of the Chevy Express and GMC Savana.
So the Sprinter suddenly has competition ranging from the V8 powered Nissan NV to the four-cylinder Ford Transit Connect and while neither is an exact match for the Sprinter, they provide the marketplace with much needed alternatives. That’s a good thing for consumers but a bad thing for Mercedes.
So what is Mercedes doing to deal with the sudden onslaught of competition? Moving upmarket. The new 2014 Sprinter will have high-end features like collision prevention, blind spot detection, lane keep assist and possibly crosswind assist. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will have the option of a 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine with 161-horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque or a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel with 188-hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy numbers have not yet been revealed, but Mercedes says that several changes have been made to the Sprinter for better gas mileage.