2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Review

Sprinter Cargo

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2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Overview

Need a Euro-styled cargo van with turbodiesel power, available 4-wheel drive, and plenty of headroom? Take a look at the 3-passenger 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo, originally introduced to the U.S. by Daimler-Chrysler in 2007 as the Dodge Sprinter. The van is offered with three different roof heights: the 64-inch high Standard Roof, the 74.5-inch High Roof, and the 87.3-inch Super High Roof.

The 2016 Sprinter Cargo returns in the three-quarter-ton 2500 144 WB (wheelbase), 2500 170 WB, and 2500 170 WB Extended Length trims, as well as the 1-ton 3500 144 WB, 3500 170 WB, and 3500 170 WB Extended Length. The Extended Length trims are 290 inches (24.2 feet) long, and the 170 WB versions come with either the High Roof or the Super High Roof. The 2500 144 WB Sprinter Cargo with the standard roof offers 319.1 cubic feet of cargo space, while the 3500 170 WB Cargo Extended version with the Super High Roof boasts a whopping 538 cubic feet.

Look for a few very minor tweaks to the 2016 Sprinter Cargo--including, curiously, a smaller gas tank. Further upgrades include standard front window airbags and standard thorax airbags, as well as some subtle changes to available packages.

Outside, the Sprinter Cargo sports 16-inch steel wheels and auxiliary transmission cooling, while the cabin offers cloth upholstery fitted to either bench or bucket seats. You'll also find power door locks and windows, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, air conditioning, and a standard 51-inch passenger-side sliding cargo door. Entertainment includes an 80-watt stereo with 5 speakers, a memory card slot, a 5.8-inch audio display screen, and an auxiliary audio input.

The 2016 Sprinter Cargo also hosts a long list of options, some of which can boost its MSRP to stratospheric levels. Among the more noteworthy options is a Driver Efficiency package with cruise control, a rear-view camera, and Becker Map Pilot GPS navigation. The Premium Appearance package adds 16-inch alloy wheels and high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, and the Cold Weather package offers a heater booster, heated seats, and additional cabin insulation. Standalone options include upgraded seats, rear 12-volt power outlets, a fixed rear sunroof, a driver’s-side sliding door, a trailer hitch and wiring, various cargo management tools, and Mercedes' touted Parktronic automated parallel parking system. The 3500 trims can also be outfitted with dual real wheels.

The standard powerplant aboard the 2016 Sprinter Cargo is a 2.1-liter turbodiesel inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant mated with a 7-speed shiftable automatic transmission. Look for 161 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, and a max towing capacity of 5,000 pounds with the available towing equipment installed. There is also an available 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel mill that mates with a 5-speed automatic transmission to put out 188 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Strangely, towing capacity with the turbodiesel V6 is also 5,000 pounds. Mileage figures are not available for either engine.

The Sprinter Cargo comes with standard rear-wheel drive (RWD), but Mercedes debuted a pair of optional 4-wheel-drivetrains (4WD) for 2015 Sprinter Cargo trims equipped with the V6 turbodiesel powerplant. The less-expensive of the two setups is essentially a full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) configuration, while the costlier version is a full-time 4WD configuration with high/low gearing.

Safety-wise, look for the 2016 Sprinter Cargo lineup to feature 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, side-mounted and thorax airbags, daytime running lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, and a post-collision safety system. Front fog/driving lights, a remote antitheft alarm, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assistance, and forward collision mitigation all remain optional.

The 2016 Sprinter Cargo challenges Ford's Transit, Nissan’s NV, Ram’s ProMaster, and GM’s Chevy Express and GMC Savana for top billing in the cargo-van market.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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