The Commercial Van Revolution

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

If you’re in the market for a commercial van, you’ll find some of the new “Euro-van” choices revolutionary.  The new breed of compact commercial vans is nimbler with carlike driving and enhanced maneuverability and way more efficiency, while they still maintain their purpose of utility with plenty of cargo capacity.  

Ford Transit

Whether you use one of these new models as a cargo van or a passenger-carrying wagon, lower floors and higher roofs will serve you better and maneuver far superior to yesterday’s lumbering full-sized van options.

Ford was first to the market with its Transit Connect.  At 173.9 inches on the standard-wheelbase model or even 189.7 inches on the extended-wheelbase, it maneuvers similar to a large SUV.   The Nissan NV200 and RAM ProMaster City were designed to comlete.  All offer a variety of configuration options to support multiple uses.  The new Mercedes Metris is a foot longer than the long-wheelbase variants of its competitors but is still garageable.  Its brand name and greater size impacts price and fuel economy, but the Metris answers to buyers seeking more luxury…along with more payload, cargo capacity, and 4,960 pounds of towing capacity. 

As most of these vehicles are meant for commercial purposes, base-models are intentionally spartan.  It makes sense to seek out adjustable mirrors and parking assist options at the least.  Operation costs are also a huge consideration in this category, and the newcomers make great strides here.  The Ford Transit Connect, for example, achieves 25 mpg combined average with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine.  Even when you make the jump to a larger van, the Mercedes Sprinter van’s choice of 161-hp  2.1 liter turbodiesel engine with seven-speed automatic with rear-wheel drive,  or 188-hp 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 with five speed automatic and rear-wheel or four-wheel drive also give the Sprinter a plus over competitors with gasoline engines.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offers a wide variety of features such as having service intervals up to 20,000 miles and offering reliable and efficient transportation to anyone who needs storage and comfort for short or long distances. The passenger hauling version of the Sprinter Van seats up to 12 in four rows.  An optional Super High Roof on the new model allows for more than seven feet of interior headroom.   Its high-tech safety gear includes crosswind stabilization, lane-departure warning and collision prevention.  A Sprinter 2500 can tow up to 5,000 pounds and a 3500 model can tow up to 7,500 pounds. Payloads are also impressive.

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