2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Goes All In On All-Wheel Drive

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is going under the knife for the new model year and while the core design of the big van itself has not been radically altered, Mercedes focused on improving things underneath the skin and there’s plenty to dissect here when it comes to that side of things.


Sprinter Axes 3.0 Liter Diesel Goes Four-Cylinder Only

A big change for 2023 is that the 3.0 liter V6 turbodiesel has been scrubbed from the lineup and the Sprinter will now be a strict four-cylinder only proposition. While that means the big Benz will no longer go after V6 equipped Ford Transits and the 2023 Ram ProMaster, it makes up for it by getting an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel four-banger which will join the existing gasoline fed 2.0-liter engine in the equipment lineup. The latter engine has been a staple in Europe for many years and here in the U.S. it will make 188 hp (other markets benefit from 168 to 208 hp.)

All Sprinters will now come with a nine-speed automatic which not only helps improve its acceleration, but the extra two gears will also help the van make the most of its fuel-sipping potential when out on long freeway jaunts. Rear-wheel drive is still the default configuration, but buyers will now be able to order a full-time all-wheel-drive system that replaces the part-time unit that was on the outgoing model. This new system can send up to 50 percent of the engine’s torque to either axle and it also promises additional refinements to improve other aspects of the system’s operation.


When Can I Buy One?

Mercedes-Benz revealed that the first wave of models will be entering dealer inventory in the next few months however, the German auto giant stopped far short of revealing exact pricing and the full pool of optional extras. That said, look for the pricing situation to not change much from the 2022 model which has a base sticker of $38,800 (excluding various markups and fees) but rewarded you with the gasoline-powered 2.0 liter, standard height roof, and a usable 144-inch wheelbase.

There’s also no word on whether an EV version is coming to challenge its rivals from Ram and Ford but if it doesn’t happen, the Sprinter will be a noticeable outlier in a segment that’s rapidly embracing green technology including alternative fuels.