2019 Ram ProMaster Cargo Van vs. 2018 Mercedes Sprinter Cargo Van

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The ProMaster Cargo Van has standard head airbag curtains which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. Head airbags cost extra in the Sprinter Cargo Van.

Both the ProMaster Cargo Van and the Sprinter Cargo Van have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, available daytime running lights and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s 5-year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Sprinter Cargo Van runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 6 times as many Ram dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the ProMaster Cargo Van’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ram vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ram 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

Engine

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 92 more horsepower (280 vs. 188) than the Sprinter Cargo Van’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel.

Suspension and Handling

The front suspension of the ProMaster Cargo Van uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Sprinter Cargo Van, which uses leaf springs. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the ProMaster Cargo Van is 3.7 inches wider in the front and 6 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Sprinter Cargo Van.

For better maneuverability, the ProMaster Cargo Van’s turning circle is tighter than the Sprinter Cargo Van’s:

 

ProMaster Cargo Van

Sprinter Cargo Van

LWB Van

40.7 feet

51.5 feet

Extended Van

46.8 feet

51.5 feet

Chassis

The Ram ProMaster Cargo Van may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 1050 pounds less than the Mercedes Sprinter Cargo Van.

The ProMaster Cargo Van is shorter than the Sprinter Cargo Van, making the ProMaster Cargo Van easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces:

 

ProMaster Cargo Van

Sprinter Cargo Van

SWB Van

195.4 inches

233.3 inches

LWB Van

213.2 inches

274.1 inches

Extended Van

236.2 inches

289.8 inches

Cargo Capacity

The ProMaster Cargo Van 1500 SWB has a much larger cargo volume than the Sprinter Cargo Van 2500 144” WB Standard Roof with its rear seat up (259 vs. 220.1 cubic feet).

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s cargo area is larger than the Sprinter Cargo Van’s in almost every dimension:

 

ProMaster Cargo Van

1500 SWB

ProMaster Cargo Van

3500 Ext. LWB

Sprinter Cargo Van

2500 144” WB Standard Roof

Sprinter Cargo Van 2500 170” WB EXT High Roof

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

105”

160”

101.2”/137.4”

193.9”

Max Width

82.7”

82.7”

70.1”

70.1”

Min Width

56”

56”

53.1”

53.1”

Payload and Towing

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Sprinter Cargo Van’s (5100 vs. 5000 pounds).

The ProMaster Cargo Van has a much higher standard payload capacity than the Sprinter Cargo Van:

 

ProMaster Cargo Van

Sprinter Cargo Van

1500 Van

4000 lbs.

n/a

2500 Van

4010 lbs.

3215 lbs.

3500 Van

4680 lbs.

3916 lbs.

The ProMaster Cargo Van 2500 MWB has a much higher optional payload capacity than the Sprinter Cargo Van 2500 144” WB (4260 vs. 3512 lbs.).

Ergonomics

The ProMaster Cargo Van (except Diesel) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Sprinter Cargo Van doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the ProMaster Cargo Van offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Sprinter Cargo Van doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Sprinter Cargo Van doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

Optional smartphone integration for the ProMaster Cargo Van allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones so they can stay connected without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Sprinter Cargo Van doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Sprinter Cargo Van’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Recommendations

The Ram ProMaster outsold the Mercedes Sprinter by 37% during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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