2018 Freightliner Sprinter Review

Sprinter

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2018 Freightliner Sprinter Overview

Most people know Freightliner for building semi-trucks that haul large trailers across the U.S. What most people don’t know is that Freightliner also has a full-size van in its lineup. Known as the Sprinter, it is a rebadged version of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

There is only one key differentiator between the exterior design of the Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The Freightliner version uses a bar grille similar to its big semi trucks. Like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the Freightliner version features four different van styles, two roof heights, and three wheelbase options. Most Sprinter models will come with 17-inch alloy wheels. Only the Sprinter Worker Cargo and Cab Chassis get steel wheels.

The Sprinter’s interior was built with work in mind. Cargo vans feature a flat load floor with various tie-down points to keep a load in place. Maximum cargo volume ranges from 319 to 530 cubic feet depending on the configuration. Maximum payload is towards the top of the commercial van class at 5,496 pounds. Sprinter passenger vans can seat up to 12 people via four rows. Passenger vans also feature a sizable cargo area for carrying luggage and other items. For those in vocations that require a customized solution such as electricians or shuttle drivers, Freightliner has a program called Master Solutions that provides different packages to outfit a Sprinter van to their various needs. This includes shelving, dividers, racks for ladders, and more.

In the front, the driver faces a comprehensive gauge cluster with a small trip computer. The dash layout is simple and controls are easy to reach for both driver and passenger. Depending on the configuration, the Sprinter can be equipped with a standard AM/FM radio or a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with optional navigation. Front seats can either be upholstered in cloth or leatherette. Be aware, the seats only offer adjustments for moving forward, back, and seat angle. An optional comfort package adds a few more adjustments such as lumbar and height.

The 2018 Freightliner Sprinter only offers a turbodiesel 3.0-liter 6-cylinder offering 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a 5-speed automatic that routes power to the rear wheels. Freightliner offers the option of a 4-wheel-drive system (4WD) that makes the van very capable in difficult situations. Maximum towing ratings for the 2018 Sprinter range from 5,000 to 7,500 pounds depending on the configuration.

For safety, the Sprinter comes with noteworthy features. Crosswind Assist helps stabilize the van in strong crosswinds by making adjustments in the braking system to maintain its lane position. The stability control system monitors the van’s overall weight and center of gravity. In turn, the system makes adjustments to the braking pressure on individual wheels to prevent the van from skidding. Other safety features include antilock brakes, airbags, traction control, and a Rescue Assist feature that gives first responders information on the location of key parts such as the airbags and structural elements by scanning a QR code. Optional safety equipment includes blind-spot monitoring, reversing camera, collision prevention assist, and lane-keep assist. The Freightliner Sprinter has not been tested by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Updated

Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.

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