The new four-cylinder diesel standard and high-output engines offer more power and efficiency than the previous model-year.  -  Photo: Mercedes-Benz Vans

The new four-cylinder diesel standard and high-output engines offer more power and efficiency than the previous model-year.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz Vans

Recently, Mercedes-Benz Vans dropped its model-year 2023 Sprinter van. New for the model-year are innovations that improve safety, comfort, and performance. 

The Sprinter lineup includes gasoline and diesel models in the following options: 

  • Cargo
  • Crew
  • Passenger
  • Chassis.

Add upfitting to the mix, and the Sprinter lets fleets dial into the best configuration for their business.

What’s New for the Sprinter?

The model-year 2023 Sprinter includes four key upgrades: a new all-wheel-drive system, a new engine package, a new transmission, and additional safety features.

1. New All-Wheel-Drive System

The upgrade: The ground clearance, approach, departure, and breakover angle have remained the same as the Sprinter’s previous 4x4 system. But new to the model year is an all-wheel drive (AWD) system equipped with an electric multi-plate clutch that replaces the 4x4 switch.

Instead of switching to 4x4 manually, the system shifts to AWD automatically when the torque demands it. Likewise, torque-on-demand allows up to a 50% power split between axles.

What that means for fleets: An enhanced steering feel, better maneuverability, and increased safety.

2. New Engine Package

The upgrade: Mercedes-Benz Vans has transitioned to an efficient all-four-cylinder engine portfolio. The four-cylinder gasoline engine retains its 188 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.

The new four-cylinder diesel standard and high-output engines offer more power and efficiency than the previous model-year.

  • The four-cylinder diesel engine with standard output has increased horsepower at 170 hp and increased torque at 295 lb.-ft.
  • Replacing the six-cylinder diesel engine is a more powerful, high-output four-cylinder diesel with 20 more horsepower (211 hp) and 7 more lb.-ft. of torque (332 lb.-ft.).

What that means for fleets: More horsepower, increased torque, and a more efficient engine.

3. New Transmission

The upgrade: The new 9G-TRONIC transmission replaces the current 7G-TRONIC, offering a higher overall gear ratio.

What that means for fleets: Quicker shifting, quieter noise levels, and increased driving comfort.

4. New Camera-Based Safety Options

The upgrade: The Sprinter’s standard safety features include a rearview camera display in the rear-view mirror, crosswind, hill start, active brake assist, cruise control, and electrically heated and adjustable side mirrors.

Owners of the latest Sprinter model should look for new camera-based safety options such as 360-degree-view camera pre-wiring for several Cab Chassis upfits and a Digital Interior Mirror option for all models, including pre-wiring for the cab chassis.

What that means for fleets: Drivers are equipped with more tools to drive safely without delays for wiring.

“The Sprinter has both factory-standard passive and active safety features, unique in this commercial van segment,” a Mercedes-Benz Vans spokesperson said. “The most popular safety options and features are adaptive braking, crosswind assist, load leveling, rollover mitigation, blind spot warning, lane keeping assist, and Distronic.”

Another notable feature is the Sprinter’s programmable special module (PSM) that allows customers to create specialized interlocks and software adjustments specific to their fleet operations and upfit. The Sprinter is also built to maintain its value.

“Mercedes-Benz Vans is committed to providing our customers with vans that carry a high residual value. On the Mercedes-Benz Vans website, potential owners can calculate an estimated total cost of ownership for their van by simply inserting a few factors like estimated miles driven each year, desired model, estimated time of ownership, etc.,” the spokesperson said.

“The combination of the Sprinter’s durability, safety standards, unique options, high residual value, and mpg versus our competition contributes to an excellent TCO.”

Pre-Qualified Upfitters

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is built for upfitting. The company makes that process easier with its network of pre-qualified eXpert-Upfitters, specifically skilled at tailoring the van to complete any job.

“Depending on the industry need, Mercedes-Benz Vans can help pair companies with our trusted partners, practiced in upfitting our Sprinter vans by up to two roof heights, three body lengths, and GVWRs from 8,550 to 12,125 pounds,” a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said. “Whether our vans are used for commercial fleets or personal lifestyle vans, each product is promised to be uniquely capable and versatile. We have a wide portfolio variety based on GVWR, cargo capacity, cab chassis, etc., and several options can be added to our vans to fit the customer’s list of must-haves.”

What were the top fleet upfitting trends in 2022? Check it out

An eXpert-Upfitter comes with a matching factory and upfit warranty (with the added benefit of a delayed start).

“On vocational fleet applications, our eXpert-Upfitter partners commit to a minimum of matching our three-year/36,000-mile warranty,” the spokesperson said. “Van factory warranty start can be delayed up to 24 months after production of the van, allowing time for the upfit to be completed. This allows the van factory warranty and the upfit warranty to start at the same time upon delivery of the final product to the end customer.”

Blake Heiser, fleet & strategic sales manager for eXpert-Upfitter Holman, said Sprinters can be configured across industries.

“Holman provides a variety of van interiors that support competencies across all industries, including general services, HVAC, electrical, and security. We believe we can provide a solution for any customer in a commercial industry through our current package offerings and our custom services created in our engineering department,” Heiser said.

“Holman also has a unique offering in which we can support local installs through our 200-plus distributor network.”

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is built for upfitting. The company makes that process easier with its network of pre-qualified eXpert-Upfitters, specifically skilled at tailoring the van to complete any job.  -  Photo: Mercedes-Benz Vans

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is built for upfitting. The company makes that process easier with its network of pre-qualified eXpert-Upfitters, specifically skilled at tailoring the van to complete any job.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz Vans

Holman cites two popular Sprinter upfits: Mobile Service Units and Last Mile Delivery.

One of our offerings is transforming a van into a Mobile Service Unit, which can allow our customers to service vehicles remotely and create a new revenue stream for their business,” he said.

“For our customers with businesses that focus on last-mile delivery, we strive to equip them with fleet solutions, so they can contend with even the most popular international delivery services.”

The Sprinter is built to be customized to fleet needs, and eXpert-Upfitters help make that a reality for their customers.

“Upfits vary depending on the customer and how each company’s employees execute their daily tasks,” Heiser said.

“At Holman, we engage customers early in the process to understand what vehicles they currently utilize and if we can provide new, outside-of-the-box solutions to make their business more efficient.”

Whether before the sale or after the upfit, Mercedes-Benz Vans supports fleet buyers all along the way.

“The Mercedes-Benz Vans fleet team can help businesses of varying sizes and industries find fleet vehicles with the right body style, interior configuration, and load capacity to support any need,” a Mercedes-Benz Vans spokesperson said.

“From model selection to upfitting to financing and service, Mercedes-Benz Vans strives to offer exceptional product quality and consumer care along the customer’s journey from start to finish.”

Today, the eSprinter will be offered with three battery choices globally, but only the largest of which will be offered for U.S. eSprinters at market launch.

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