Mercedes-Benz’s Vans division is expanding the Sprinter lineup towards the lower end of the market with an entry-level model called Worker.
The Worker is aimed at business owners in need of an affordable, no-nonsense work van. Unlike the 2500 and 3500 models, the base Worker trim is exclusively available with a standard roof and a regular, 144-inch wheelbase. It nonetheless boasts a 137.4-inch cargo floor, an interior standing height of 66.5 inches, and can carry up to 319 cubic feet of cargo. Befitting an entry-level model, it ships with black bumpers, black steel wheels with plastic hubcaps, and cloth upholstery.
Related: Mercedes’ X-Class pickup won’t hit the US market in 2018
Although it’s the most affordable Sprinter on the market, the Worker benefits from a generous list of standard equipment offerings including Bluetooth connectivity, a four-speaker stereo, five cup holders, six airbags, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and Mercedes’ safety-enhancing Crosswind Assist technology. Buyers who need more features can select one of three option packages called Convenience, Utility, and Overtime, respectively.
Mercedes has pared down the Sprinter Worker’s specifications sheet in a bid to keep costs in check. While more expensive variants are offered with either a four- or a six-cylinder engine, the Worker can only be ordered with a 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel engine that delivers 161 horsepower and a generous 266 pound-feet of torque. While 161 ponies doesn’t sound like a lot on paper, the Worker can haul about 3, 500 pounds, tow 5, 000 pounds, and return about 23 mpg. In those regards, it’s identical to the more expensive Sprinter 2500.
The oil-burner is bolted to a seven-speed automatic transmission that spins the rear wheels. Notably, the Worker can’t be ordered with the four-wheel drive system that’s optional on Sprinter 2500 and 3500 models.
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker will go on sale nationwide shortly after it greets the show-going public in the Windy City at the Chicago Auto Show. Pricing starts at $32, 495 before a mandatory $995 destination charge is factored in, meaning it undercuts the mid-range Sprinter 2500 by $2, 000 and the more capable 3500 model by nearly $10, 000.