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2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 vs Ford Transit

Unless you're a commercial van driver or operator you probably don't give too much thought to cargo vans like the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 and Ford Transit, but competition between these two is as fierce as it is in any passenger vehicle segment.

The Transit is the new kid on the block that comes with a fearsome reputation from its native Europe, so let's see how these two commercial legends stack up against each other.

Man opening door of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 250

Image and style

Although how a cargo van looks isn't anywhere near as important as it is for a passenger vehicle, it still matters. They project an image of the business they're representing and few cargo vans present an image as positive as that of the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500. It's a good-looking van in its own right, but it's also a Mercedes-Benz. The Ford Transit isn't unattractive van by any means, but it does still seem to be working out some kinks. The front fascia is a little odd and it doesn't quite pull off stylish as well as the Sprinter 2500. But even if the Sprinter wasn't a more attractive design than its Ford rival, which it is, the Ford cannot compete with that badge.

2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 250 at a construction site


No matter how high on the agenda looks and image are, vans are first and foremost all about capability. There are a number of different configurations of 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500, including standard and high-roof versions and two different wheelbases of 144 and 170 inches. The maximum cargo capacity offered by the Sprinter 2500 is a pretty cavernous 530 cu.-ft., the maximum trailering capacity is 7,500 pounds, and the maximum payload is 5,507 pounds. The Ford Transit is no lightweight in this area either, of course. The most cargo capacity offered by a Transit equivalent to the Sprinter 2500 is 487.3 cu.-ft., the maximum payload is 4,080 pounds and the trailering capacity is 7,500 pounds. Another comprehensive win for the Sprinter here then.

2017 Ford Transit in a storage facility

Fuel Economy

Fuel consumption is vital for commercial operators, so it's a shame the EPA doesn't offer official ratings for all commercial vehicles. However, online estimates suggest that the most economical 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 is the diesel option, which comes in just under 17 mpg. Accurate figures for the diesel Transit are hard to pin down, but most evidence points to a combined rating of around 21 mpg. Even if you view that figure with a degree of skepticism, it's still fairly well ahead of the 2017 Sprinter 2500. We give this round to the Ford.

2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at a work site

Features & Comforts

If you'd expect the 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 to be well-equipped, you'd be right. Standard features include air conditioning; driver and passenger armrests; an AM/FM radio with USB, AUX, Bluetooth® and 5.8-inch color screen; hill-start assist and more. The Transit does offer air conditioning and hill-start assist, but you will have to pay more to get infotainment and connectivity to match what comes standard with the Sprinter. When you consider how much time drivers spend in their vans and how much we rely on connectivity, it's another clear advantage the Mercedes has over the Ford.

 The Ford Transit is a fine cargo van and no manufacturer should underestimate it, but it's just not the cargo van the 2017 Mercedes Sprinter 2500 is. As well as presenting a more prestigious image for your business, the Mercedes is also better equipped and more capable. After all, it is a Mercedes-Benz--and that distinction and reputation extends to commercial vans.

Learn More About the Mercedes-Benz Lineup:

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

2016 Mercedes-Benz GL

2016 Mercedes-Benz C-Class