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#vanlife: Mercedes-Benz rolls into the new year w/ all new 2019 Sprinter cargo vans

The New Sprinter
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Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz finally took the Sprinter to the next level. With a platform largely unchanged since 2006, the 2019 model marks some big changes for their signature cargo vans – and for van lifers or outdoor adventurers here in the states. One of the biggest changes for American Sprinters is the opening of the new MB Sprinter plant in North Charleston, South Carolina – as an addition to their current assembly operation that’s been in place since 2006. The state of the art facility means that this is the first Sprinter to be made completely here in North America (not just reassembled), which will result in slightly lower prices by avoiding the “Chicken Tax” and shorter lead times.

#vanlife: Mercedes-Benz rolls into the new year w/ all new 2019 Sprinter cargo vans #vanlife: Mercedes-Benz rolls into the new year w/ all new 2019 Sprinter cargo vans #vanlife: Mercedes-Benz rolls into the new year w/ all new 2019 Sprinter cargo vans

While the body style has changed slightly, the vans are still available in 144″ or 170″ wheelbases (170″ extended is also still there for the cargo van only), and you can choose from the standard or high roof for the cargo van, while the Crew and Passenger models only come in high roof. As with previous models, the Cargo van is bare bones with seating up front for up to 3 people. The Crew Van adds a rear bench seat and windows for seating for 5. And the Passenger van is now available in a 12 or 15 passenger version (144″ or 170″ respectively).

Sprinters will still be offered with a 6 cylinder, 3.0L turbo diesel engine with a 7G-Tronic 7 speed auto transmission, but 2019 will also see the introduction of a gasoline engine. Available early 2019, the gas powered Sprinters will include a 4 cylinder, 2.0L turbo gasoline engine coupled with a 9 speed 9G-Tronic transmission. It will be interesting to see what kind of gas mileage the gas engine will provide, and if it proves to be less maintenance intensive than current diesel Sprinters. An electronically activated 4×4 version will also be available around the same time as the gasoline engine option.

#vanlife: Mercedes-Benz rolls into the new year w/ all new 2019 Sprinter cargo vans #vanlife: Mercedes-Benz rolls into the new year w/ all new 2019 Sprinter cargo vans

On the inside, the Sprinter has received a major interior update with plenty of upgrades to driver and passenger comfort, safety, and efficiency. These are still work vans after all, so a lot of the updates include things like the Mercedes PRO connect packages which help to manage a fleet of vans – say, if you’re a massive organization like Amazon.

But there’s also an improved “Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX)” with optional 7″ or 10.25″ touch screens and a sleek cab area with improved venting, storage, and more. Given all of the standard and optional safety features, the new Sprinter might be the safest cargo van yet. The 2019 models offer Active Brake Assist, Blind Spot mirror assist, Attention Assist, an option for a crazy 360° camera that will make parking easier than ever, Active Distance Assist Distronic, Traffic Sign Assist, LED performance headlights, Emergency call assist, and Active Lane Keeping Assist. Fully loaded, it’s not quite self driving, but almost.

#vanlife: Mercedes-Benz rolls into the new year w/ all new 2019 Sprinter cargo vans
All photos c. Mercedes-Benz

Given the fact that this is an all new platform for 2019, likely only the well-heeled vanlifer will be considering the new Sprinter for their build. But the additional options and South Carolina plant have helped to drop prices overall. The 2019 Sprinter starts at $33,790 for the Cargo model with a gasoline engine, or $39,790 for the Cargo van with a Diesel. Everything else starts int the $40k range, and quickly adds up once you start adding optional features.

2019 Sprinter Details from Mercedes-Benz

What’s New

  • Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) with optional 7″ or 10.25″ Touchscreen Multimedia Display
  • Gasoline option for 1500 and 2500 Cargo, Crew and Passenger Vans
  • 15 seats for 14 passengers plus the driver available for Passenger Vans
  • Increased GVWR on 2500 and new 4500 models
  • 7-gear transmission standard on 6-cylinder Diesel
  • Window and thorax-pelvis airbag now also standard on all Cab Chassis
  • Increased visibility with LED headlights and taillights
  • Mercedes PRO connect optional packages: Optimized Assistance, Efficient Fleet Management, Data Interfaces for Vans
  • Increased cargo space and usability with loadable wheel arches, interior roof rack and shelf above roof trim
  • Rain sensor with an integrated Wet Wiper system
  • Improved heating and cooling
  • Variable stowage concept

Standard Feature Highlights

  • Mercedes PRO connect service bundle “Optimized Assistance” standard with 36 month complimentary runtime. “Efficient Fleet Management” and “Datainterfaces for Vans” with trail period.
  • Keyless start
  • Increased powertrain warranty
  • Hold Function
  • Charging capabilities with 2 USB-C sockets in the dashboard
  • Passenger vans include USB-C charging capabilities in the rear
  • Trailer hitch prep package
  • Red diesel tank filler cap
  • Load-adaptive electronic stability program
  • All-season tires
  • Adjustable steering wheel (angle) with standard shift paddles
  • Wheelbases of up to 170″ along with overhang available for the 170′” EXT wheelbase for even more cargo space
  • Load compartment volume of up to 533 cu. Ft.
  • Loading width of around 61″
  • Metal load compartment floor (Cargo Vans)
  • Front, Side Thorax-Pelvis and Window Airbags

Optional Feature Highlights

  • Reclinable seats offered in the passenger van
  • Power front seats
  • High performance air-condition
  • Electrical sliding door and step
  • Robust, washable paneling on the load compartment walls
  • MasterUpfitter solutions offers for the load compartment to be individualized with shelving systems, a workbench or heavy-duty wood floors for heavy loads.
  • Optional lightweight plastic floor
  • Heated and pivoting power luxury seats
  • Reinforced seat bases with three-point seat belt
  • Heated windshield
  • Optional all-wheel drive
  • “Hibernation Mode” available for all variants
  • Heated, electrically adjustable and foldable exterior mirrors
  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Automatic climate control

Technical Highlights

  • Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX): A completely new multimedia system featuring innovative technology based on Artificial Intelligence and an intuitive operating system. MBUX technology is pioneering a new level of in-car experience. MBUX can be operated by Voice Control, the Touchscreen, Touchpad and Touch Control Buttons on the steering wheel. The system has learning capabilities and intelligent Voice Control with natural language understanding and a verbal cue of “Hey Mercedes” or “Hey Sprinter” for Freightliner models.
  • DISTANCE REGULATOR DISTRONIC® PLUS is able to follow a vehicle in front at a pre-selected distance at wide range of speeds and relieves driver strain on long journeys and when following vehicles.
  • BLIND SPOT ASSIST Now new with rear cross traffic alert (RCTA), recognizes vehicles in the blind spot using two short-range radar sensors located in the rear bumper. The detection area extends from the B-pillar approximately 11 feet to each side of the vehicle and 9 feet behind the rear end.
  • ACTIVE LANE KEEPING ASSIST is able to detect unintentional lane departure, warn the driver and help to guide the vehicle back into its lane with one-sided brake actuation.
  • PARK ASSIST: Utilizes twelve radar sensors installed on the front and rear bumper. When the car’s in reverse, Park Assist displays a top-view 360 degree pictogram of the car and parking space, providing helpful steering guidance.
  • TRAFFIC SIGN ASSIST: draws additional attention to speed limits, no-entry and no-overtaking restrictions
  • CROSSWIND ASSIST: Detects strong gusts of crosswind and helps the driver to stay on course. At speeds over 50 mph it corrects the vehicle’s course by means of automatic braking intervention on the wheels on the side of the vehicle facing the wind.
  • ATTENTION ASSIST: Gives the driver visual and acoustic warnings if it detects typical signs of drowsiness or inattention, and urges the driver to take a break. Steering wheel movements are recorded and used to create an individual driver profile.
  • Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function continuously checks the safe distance to the vehicle immediately in front, warns the driver optically and acoustically of potential collisions and autonomously brakes the vehicle to a full stop if required.
  • Car-to-X communication: One of the new Mercedes PRO connect services. Receive a warning in your new Sprinter with Car-to-X communication if there is heavy rain, fog, icy roads, or accidents ahead. Based on automatically collated data from all the vehicles using this technology, drivers get notifications when other drivers encounter a hazardous condition.
  • Internet in the Car The driver and passengers can use the multimedia system’s Wi-Fi hotspot to easily go online with mobile devices. The Internet in the Car service requires a Mercedes PRO account, additionally a contract must be made with a 3rd party mobile network operator.
  • Touch Control Buttons: touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel for instrument cluster and infotainment system control, similar to a smart-phone interface, which respond to vertical and horizontal swiping movements.

6 Cylinder 3.0L Turbo Diesel starting prices:

  • Cargo Vans                    $39,790
  • 4×4 Cargo Vans             $47,590
  • Crew Vans                     $46,090
  • 4×4 Crew Vans              $53,890
  • Passenger Vans            $48,990
  • 4×4 Passenger Vans     $56,790
  • Cab Chassis                  $39,790

4 Cylinder 2.0L Gasoline starting prices:

  • Cargo Vans                    $33,790
  • Crew Vans                     $41,290
  • Passenger Vans            $42,990

*Price excludes destination and delivery

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4 years ago

There are two front seats in all the Vans and not three up front as the article states.

Marc L
4 years ago

Didn’t want to roll the dice on a first-year refresh and am not real excited about the integrated ICE, but I sure wish that our 2018 had been available with the 7-speed transmission- the balky 5spd is easily the worst part of the NCV3 and feels under-geared for 80mph+ western highways.

For those shopping, the lane sensors in the driver assist package have been super-flaky and all of the alerts are the same tone- I probably wouldn’t tick that box again. Power mirrors (passenger side is 6′ away), factory aux battery for conversions, and maybe the upgraded headlights will do it. Everything else is better aftermarket.

Karl P
Karl P
4 years ago

I’d rather see e-bike reviews than info about new vans. Yes, I know many cyclists use vans to live in the parking lots of trailheads. However, there are plenty of other places to get info about new vehicles.
If you’re going to continue with these stories, then why not add some news stories about other products that cyclists use too? How about a toilet paper review? Surely everyone here uses that product. How about a review of the newest iPhone? Lots of people use that too. Maybe some info about a new lawn mower? I’m sure plenty of people here have yards and need to mow their lawn before going on a ride.

4 years ago
Reply to  Karl P

Mercedes is the title sponsor of the MTB world cup, they get a pass for funding racing.

warren trout (@warrentrout)

Make an EV and I’ll buy it. I’m not going to be stuck with antique engine.

4 years ago

LOL – never, ever would I buy an EV if I wanted something dependable. Who is going to work on it when it has a failure out “in the woods”….I bet you find a good diesel tech however….my god it is beyond foolish.

Casey Carnes
Casey Carnes
4 years ago
Reply to  roadstain

Finding a good diesel tech for the 3.0L MB Diesel “out in the woods” is likely more improbable than finding a good EV technician. We have had issues with the same engine in our Jeep Grand Cherokee and every MB or Chrysler dealer we have gone to has no clue how to work on it and are it costs an arm and a leg.

The new Transit is a much better value, and will actually be easy and affordable to get serviced. I keep trying to convince myself to get the Mercedes, but it doesn’t make sense in much of the Midwest and West where MB dealers are few and far between.

4 years ago
Reply to  roadstain

EVs put complex gas motors to shame.

4 years ago

Thank you! Now let’s see who gets upset you hit something….

Disgruntled Sprinter 906 owner.
Disgruntled Sprinter 906 owner.
4 years ago

Shame they still come full of holes as standard on the side panel clips. Those are just one example of how it is a lazy update in many ways, hopefully it is a sign they are investing time in something genuinely good for the non to distant future.

Fred Gravelly
Fred Gravelly
4 years ago

Very sweet. I love the vanlife! And this new van starts at only $33,000.00!!! Awesome! It’s hellafied !!

4 years ago
Reply to  Fred Gravelly

Braj you wouldn’t be caught dead at a trail head in the $33K model would you? How much gnar could you possibly be hauling in a 2wd, non diesel, SWB? Everyone would know! You need to spend at least $48k before you have a van you can start sinking money into….

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