What is the towing capacity of the Mercedes Benz Sprinter van?

In this blog, we find out the towing capacity of the Sprinter van and answer the following questions: what are the different configurations of the Sprinter van? Which configuration can tow the most? How to connect a trailer to a sprinter van?

What is the towing capacity of the Mercedes Benz Sprinter van?

The towing capacity of the Mercedes Benz Sprinter van is from 5,000 pounds to 7,500 pounds, depending on the configuration. Mercedes Benz dominated the commercial vans segment in Europe with the TN van. In 1995 Sprinter was launched as a successor for the outgoing TN model. The first generation won the prestigious international van of the year award on its debut. 

The sprinter van is assembled from complete knocked down kits in the international markets such as America, Japan, Iran and south-east Asia. 

As Daimler and Chrysler were partnered during the period, the sprinter was also re-badged and sold at Dodge dealerships in America and North America. Volkswagen also sold the sprinter model after some modifications. Today Sprinter is fully under the Mercedes Benz AG and it is primarily sold to business owners.

There is no special licence required to drive a sprinter van as it is not a commercial vehicle and comes in the van category. Although based on the country and the purpose it is used for; a special licence may be required if it is used as a people mover or a minibus.

Currently, Mercedes Benz is using the third generation of the Sprinter van. It is available in a variety of different configurations. There are petrol, diesel and compressed natural gas engines powering various sprinter models. The following table contains the different sprinter models along with the engine options.

ModelEnginePower & Torque
218 CDI318 CDI418 CDI518 CDI319 CDI519 CDIOM 642 V6 diesel181 horsepower400 Nm
224324424524M272 V6 petrol naturally aspirated254 horsepower 340 Nm
215 CDI315 CDI415 CDI515 CDI216 CDI316 CDI516 CDIOM 651 inline 4 cylinder diesel161 horsepower 330 Nm 

The inline 4 cylinder diesel engine is more efficient than the V 6 diesel engine and saves 18 % in fuel cost. All the engines are mated to a 7 G Tronic automatic transmission and in a few markets, the 4Matic drivetrain is also available. All the engines are reliable and can last for more than 100,000 km without any major repairs. The new generation of the sprinter will get the OM654 and OM656 latest Mercedes Benz diesel engines along with the 9 G-Tronic automatic transmissions.

What are the different configurations of the Sprinter van? 

The different ways a Mercedes Benz Sprinter Van can be configured are as follows:

  • Cargo/ Worker Cargo van 

The sprinter in the cargo van configuration is available in two wheelbase lengths, 144 inches and 170 inches. The roof height is also good and it has 486.5- 586.1 cubic feet of cargo space. The cargo-carrying capacity of the sprinter van in this configuration is 3500 to 5000 pounds. An all-wheel-drive model with a load adaptive electronic stability control program is also available. The ESP helps to minimise the wheel spin and prevent oversteer or understeer under various cargo loads. 

  • Crew van

The cargo van is converted into a crew van by removing parts of its body and replacing them with windows. There are 367.5 cubic feet of cargo space along with seats for 5 passengers. This is a great configuration as it can carry a small crew along with luggage or equipment. The interior headroom is also at 75.4 inches allowing for easier entry and exit into the van. Air conditioning vents are located in front as well as in the back of the van.

  • Passenger van

Mercedes Benz sprinter passenger van or minibus is a really popular configuration as it can transport up to 15 passengers. Some of the models in this configuration are sprinter Mobility/ transfer, sprinter Travel, sprinter city and for Japan sprinter Inkanyezi. The Japanese name is different in order to avoid confusion with the Toyota sprinter model. There is a dedicated commercial air conditioning unit for the rear cabin. The interior is also slightly better equipped than other sprinter configurations. Some of the equipment like multi-function steering wheel, and a command media system with a 6-inch display come as standard. Advanced driver assistance systems like blind spot assist, Parktronic and Map pilot can be added at the time of purchase. 

  • Cab Chassis 

The sprinter van is most powerful in the cab chassis configuration. Customers can convert it to a pickup truck or use it to tow trailers. It comes in both shorter and longer wheelbase of 170 ich. And it also has the highest towing and payload capacities at 7500 pounds and 6400 pounds respectively. The frame of the cab chassis is completely empty and the GVRMs or gross weight of the vehicle is 11000 pounds. 

How to connect the trailer to a sprinter van?

To connect the trailer to a sprinter van it must be equipped with a trailer hitch mechanism. Following are the steps involved in connecting a trailer to a sprinter van.

  • Lift the trailer on a support wheel or stand, and align the sprinter van in front of the trailer.
  • Lower the trailer hitch on the sprinter van and connect it to the trailer. Make sure the ball of the trailer hitch is not corroded.
  • Connect the safety wire to the trailer hitch and also attach the electrical coupler for the brake lights and side lights.
  • Lift the support wheel/jack sp so that complete trailer weight is supported by the trailer joint.

Always perform a visual inspection of the trailer lights and trailer hitch mechanism. The towing capacities are also specified in the owners’ manual. The behaviour of the vehicle changes when it is towing a trailer, crosswinds can affect the stability and the braking distances can be increased especially if the trailer is unbraked. Mercedes Benz has ESP with trailer detection and in newer models, there will be Active crosswind assists in vans. Active crosswind assist will perform small steering correction in the opposite direction of the wind

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The Mercedes Benz sprinter van is very versatile and thanks to different configurations it can be modified to suit the needs of different business owners. It can also be used as a personal vehicle by converting it into a recreational vehicle and no special licence is needed in most of the markets the sprinter is sold.