2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: Big Van With a Tiny Diesel Engine

Published in MotorTrend
1 week ago   by Alexander Stoklosa

In the movie Tommy Boy, there is an iconic scene in which Chris Farley’s eponymous character dances around wearing his (much smaller) costar David Spade’s blazer singing “fat guy in a little coat!” before tearing the jacket apart. What does this have to do with the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van? Well, we just can’t get the tune “big van with a little engine!” out of our heads—because the recently redesigned full-size workhorse van now is available with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine that pumps out 161 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.

What’s perhaps even more surprising to those who aren’t German work van wonks is that this new diesel four isn’t the Sprinter’s only 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine offering. A 2.0-liter turbocharged gas engine is also offered (190 hp, 258 lb-ft), and beyond that a big 3.0-liter diesel V-6 (190 hp, 324 lb-ft). That means the little turbodiesel makes the least horsepower, but a smidge more twist than the gas engine—perfect stats for holding down the middle of the Sprinter’s engine lineup.

Mercedes claims the diesel four engine can, depending on configuration, tow between 5,000 and 7,500 pounds—the same as many of the V-6 van configurations, and more than the 5,000 lbs the gas engine versions are limited to. Both diesel engines use Benz’s 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission.

The small new diesel engine option comes with a few caveats. It isn’t really new—the same OM651 engine was introduced to the U.S. market in the previous-generation Sprinter for 2014 and sold through 2017. Also, the new/old diesel is only available on the Sprinter Cargo vans—whereas the other two engines can be installed in Sprinter Passenger, Crew (half passenger, half cargo), and Cargo variants—and only with rear-wheel drive. (Sprinter buyers can specify four-wheel drive with the diesel V-6.) Mercedes allows the diesel four to be combined with the Sprinter’s 140- and 170-inch wheelbases, as well as low- and high-roof body configurations.

Price-wise, the 2.0-liter diesel four falls between the entry-level turbocharged gas engine and the 3.0-liter diesel V-6. On 140-inch-wheelbase Sprinter Cargos, that translates to $40,265 to start. The same van with the 2.0-liter gas model starts at $35,990, while the 3.0-liter V-6 version starts at $42,115. See below for wheelbase-by-wheelbase, engine-by-engine pricing for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo. The new 2.0-liter diesel four will be available later in the year.

2020 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Pricing:

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