Is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter the Most Reliable Van?

The Mercedes Sprinter has been a popular choice for both cargo van and camping van since the days that it was assembled in the US by Dodge. And for good reason. It is a good van. Many people who have owned one have bought a second. But sometimes brand loyalty isn’t the best factor to go by if you are choosing how to make an auto investment. Is the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter a reliable van?

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van
Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van | Mercedes

By looking at websites such as US News and World Report or Consumer Reports, we can see what the experts say about these common work vans. Additionally, we will take a look at the data on the Car Complaints website and a “best work vans” list from AutoWise. Then we can weigh in on whether the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is reliable––or not.

US News and World Report

Though US News and World Report hasn’t done a full review of the Sprinter since 2012, what the review has to say is still relevant. The Mercedes-Benz work van hasn’t changed all that much since then––apart from tech updates and modern driver assist amenities to keep up with the times. Additionally, it is common for buyers to look into the used market in order to find a used van at a cheaper price which will fit their needs.

white Mercedes sprinter van driving down a forested road
Mercedes Sprinter | Mercedes-Benz

Praise for the 2012 Sprinter

US News and World Report’s review of the 2012 Sprinter shows a 4 out of 5 reliability score from JD Power. Also, US News praises the Mercedes cargo van fro having a wide range of options and an upscale interior. But a look at the endorsements US News displays from other publications shows that––at least in the 2012 model year––the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is respected. Car and Driver, Consumer Guide, and Edmunds are all quoted in the US News review giving high praise to the Sprinter cargo van.

Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports reliability and owner satisfaction ratings are spotty at best, but they can give us insight regardless. This is where we see some lower scores for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. Over the model years, we see mostly 2 out of 5 for reliability ratings of the Sprinter cargo van.

2017 Mercedes work van

Owner satisfaction is also not looking great from CR. The 2015 Sprinter and 2016 Mercedes cargo van option both received 2 out of 5 owner satisfaction scores. But in 2017 we see a much improved 4 out of 5 rating. Plus, in 2020, the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter cargo and passenger van gets a 3 out of 5 rating. So, while these scores aren’t great they aren’t terrible either. And––as with all vehicles––some years are better than others.

Are Sprinters reliable?

If we review the data on CarComplaints, we don’t see very many complaints posted from owners of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. There are only 11 complaints for the Sprinter van total. Compare that with 33 complaints on file for the Ford Transit, most of which are in relation to problems with the engine, and it’s safe to say the Mercedes van hasn’t caused much trouble.
2020 Ford Transit Cargo Van
2020 Ford Transit Cargo Van | Ford

In the work van rating from AutoWise, The Mercedes Sprinter is ranked the number one work van. Not only does it make a statement and leave a good impression on clients, but it offers many configuration options. Though it is the more expensive van, there are many out there who think it’s worth the extra dollar.

What is the best work or camper van?

It isn’t a perfect van. But overall it’s probably safe to say that it’s a good choice for a work vehicle. A quick look at used Sprinters shows so many high mileage options.

A Sync Vans conversion on a Mercedes Sprinter van
A Sync Vans conversion on a Mercedes Sprinter van | Sync Vans

Apocalyptic Survival With a Minivan Twist

It is hard to believe a vehicle isn’t the most reliable in its class with so many of them breaching the 200 and even 300 thousand mile mark on the odometer. Being the Mercedes that is it, the Sprinter work van has many compelling features that make it a top choice among commercial buyers.