2018 Ford Transit vs Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

2018 Ford Transit vs Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

2018 Ford Transit vs Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Even Ford fans would probably concede that a Mercedes-Benz is going to be more desirable than a more affordable Ford when it comes to cars and SUVs, but is it the same story when it comes to commercial cargo vans? Let's find out by comparing the 2018 Ford Transit with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.


Those who are not familiar with cargo vans might expect the Mercedes to be more expensive and more stylish than the Ford Transit. That's not how it is though. The Sprinter is actually a pretty mundane-looking van most wouldn't know was a Mercedes if it wasn't for the tree-pointed star in the grille. On the upside, it also doesn't cost much more than the Ford. Vans are not sold for their looks, but a van is often the face of a business so it doesn't hurt to clean up nice. The Sprinter has the Mercedes name, but the Transit is the best-selling cargo van in America and abroad, and that probably carries more weight in this commercial realm than the Mercedes badge and name.

Engines and Performance

It might not be too much of a surprise to find there's only one engine available for the Sprinter at the moment, and being German it's probably even more predictable that it's a turbo diesel. The unit in question is a 188 horsepower V-6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, which isn't much to write home about. By way contrast, the Transit is available with a choice between two gas engines and a turbo diesel, and all three are better than the Sprinter's relatively underpowered oil-burner.

Comfort and Load Capacity

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter offers an impressive maximum cargo capacity of 530 cubic feet, which is much better than something like a Ram Promaster. With the front passenger seat removed, the Ford Transit can offer as much as 542.2 cubic feet. Not a huge difference. What might come as a shock is the cabin and seats of the Ford are quite a bit more comfortable than those in the Mercedes, so it's another win for the Transit.


Although towing and hauling capabilities are perhaps not quite as important as they are with pickup trucks, they still matter in this class. Unsurprisingly, the Ford is pretty good in this area with a maximum payload of 4,650 pounds and a maximum tow rating of 7,500 pounds. The Sprinter has the same maximum tow rating, but its maximum payload is 5,507 pounds and that's the more important number in this vehicle class, so it's a victory here for the Mercedes.