In the ring: Mercedes Sprinter van vs. Ram Promaster. Who will reign supreme in this battle of the vans?
If you’re interested in a cargo vehicle for camping or utility purposes, we’ve got you covered.
We’re getting down and dirty with two of the most popular vans in their class to see who has what it takes to be the ultimate champion.
Let’s get ready to rumble!
What Is a Sprinter Van?
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a top-of-the-line cargo van with all the comforts of a luxury vehicle. Roof heights and body styles vary so that they can meet the needs of just about any driver.
Sprinters are highly desirable for campers looking to live out of their van. They’re customizable, and DIYers can convert them into a livable space for life on the road. They offer plenty of upgrades and trim selections to give drivers exactly what they want.
The Benefits of Sprinter Vans
Sprinters outweigh the competition on several fronts. First of all, they’re highly customizable. Wheelbases are either 140 or 170 inches. Both come with options for high or low roofs. The longer model offers an optional extension that provides an additional 44.5 square feet of cargo space. For van lifers, that extra room can go a long way.
The factory four-wheel drive model sets it apart from the competition. In the Sprinters vs. Promaster vans battle, the Mercedes takes the cake for off-road capabilities.
They have a towing capacity of 7,200 pounds and a payload capacity of 6,812 pounds. These stats alone beat just about any other vehicle in their class.
The two-wheel drive model has surprisingly high gas mileage at 20 miles per gallon. The diesel option boasts a whopping 400,000-mile lifespan.
Finally, Sprinters hold their value better than other cargo vans. They have a huge market, especially among campers and road warriors.
Pro Tip: We uncovered all you need to know about Springters in our Guide to 2023 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Vans.
The Disadvantages of Sprinter Vans
Cost is the biggest drawback of the Sprinter van. Purchase price and maintenance costs are both higher for Mercedes than its competitors. And it can be tough to find dedicated service locations.
The four-wheel-drive option has lower gas mileage at 13 to 16 miles per gallon. And for the higher price point, seeing rust on your Sprinter might surprise you. That’s a major disappointment if you spend lots of time camping.
What Is a Ram Promaster?
The Ram Promaster is another popular cargo van. It’s a bit lighter on features than the Sprinter, but it’s still a capable vehicle for most purposes. Several body styles mean there are plenty of options for all drivers.
All new Promasters come with a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. A 3.6-liter V6 engine boasts 276 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque.
This sensible cargo van is spacious and customizable for a handy driver who doesn’t mind doing the work.
The Benefits of Promasters
These vans are priced to sell. They’re the most affordable vehicle in their class, making them great for anyone on a budget. In the Promaster vs. Sprinter van smackdown, the latter wins in the price arena.
That isn’t the only place you’ll save. Overall, they’re less expensive to maintain. Even better, there are plenty of Ram service centers throughout the country, so it’s easy to get work done when needed.
Despite their lower cost, Rams still have a seven-inch infotainment center, so you won’t feel like you’re living in the stone age.
This baby has a payload capacity of 4,680 pounds and can tow 6,910 pounds. It doesn’t quite match the Sprinter’s abilities, but it’s not lagging too far behind.
For those looking to convert a cargo van into a living space, the squared-off body makes for an easy DIY project. Even better, it’s wide enough for most people to sleep sideways.
The Disadvantages of Promasters
The Promaster has its hangups, though. There’s no factory four-wheel-drive option. That means you won’t have the flexibility of an off-road vehicle. It also has relatively low clearance, so you’ll need to be mindful of that when maneuvering.
However, your distance from the ground will be hard to forget as this van has significantly louder road noise than some competitors. There’s also a lack of aftermarket upgrades, so the features it has are the ones you’ll get.
Additionally, these rigs are a whole three feet shorter in length than their luxury counterpart. If you’re living on the road, you’ll need to consider everything you bring on board carefully. When it comes to Promasters vs. Sprinter vans, the Mercedes wins on size.
Is There a Shortage of Cargo Vans?
A critical semiconductor chip was in short supply between 2020 and 2022. This was due to supply chain issues and a surge in demand for cargo vans. In turn, the availability of both brands dropped considerably.
At the same time, Amazon started buying as many Sprinters as they could get their hands on. Suddenly, used vans were selling for high dollar amounts.
Since 2022, more chips have been available, and it seems the market for new and used vans has leveled out. Today, we’re seeing more of them on the lot, and, for the most part, prices have fallen back into place.
Pro Tip: Check out these 15 Best Class B RVs perfect for starting van life.
So, Who Wins the Sprinter Van vs. Promaster Throwdown?
In the Sprinter van vs. Promaster fight, both have their advantages. But if you have the budget for a premium ride, the Mercedes van is the reigning champion of this battle royale. Factory four-wheel drive, loads of cargo space, and all the comforts of a luxury vehicle make this one a no-brainer.
But the Promaster isn’t half bad, especially for the price range. This cargo van can get you and your gear where you need to go!
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