Sprinter vs Transporter. The battle of vans

Well-known automobile companies constantly strive to expand their product range and provide customers with various types of vehicles. The most developed in this regard are the German manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. In addition to many passenger car models, they produce high-quality vans. The most popular and in demand in different countries are Sprinter and Transporter. Let’s compare these vehicles and determine which one is better.


For many, the key criterion for choosing a van is its price. If you compare the cost of the new Sprinter and Transporter models, it will be approximately the same. Everything will depend on the specific modification of one and the second car. Also, the final price will be influenced by the selected configuration option. At the same time, if we compare German vans with their American, French and Italian competitors, then, in most cases, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen models will be more expensive.

If you compare prices at various online auctions, then on average, the salvage Sprinter van for sale is at a higher price than the one that has similar damage to the Sprinter. It should be noted that there are always many offers on such online platforms. So it’s possible that by properly sorting through all the available options, you might find a Transporter that costs less than the Sprinter.


For some drivers, the key benefit of a van is its fuel efficiency. In this regard, the Transporter is slightly ahead of the Sprinter. If we consider various modifications of cars, the difference in fuel consumption for every 100 km will be, on average, 10%-15%. Approximately the same gap is observed in the cost of servicing models. It is also essential to consider that various Mercedes-Benz components are often more expensive than those of Volkswagen. In this regard, we can say that the Transporter completely defeats the Sprinter in terms of efficiency.

Engine and gearbox

When comparing two cars, it is impossible not to pay attention to such critical components as the engine and gearbox. Transporter modern modifications most often have a 2-liter diesel power unit. Earlier versions used larger engines, but these have now been abandoned. The power unit’s power varies widely, starting from 84 hp. and ending with 180 hp. Most Transporter versions are equipped with a 5-speed gearbox (manual). At the same time, some van versions with maximum engine power use a 6-speed manual. Sprinter has more variety. Modern modifications are equipped mainly with 2.2-liter diesel engines with 114 hp – 177 hp power. The van has a 6-speed manual or 7- and 9-speed automatic transmission. Considering all the listed characteristics, we can conclude that Sprinter is slightly superior to Transporter.


A comparison of the two van models would be incomplete without taking into account the reliability of each. In this aspect, both cars show pretty good results, but still, they are not without weaknesses. The Sprinter has a reasonably sensitive fuel system. If you do not use the highest quality fuel, problems may begin after traveling 100-150 thousand kilometers. Also, this van is afraid of overload. Because of this, springs quickly fail. The main problem with the Transporter’s reliability is its finicky gearbox. Due to improper care and careless operation, various elements of its design can quickly wear out. If we consider cars’ reliability in general, the Transporter is slightly ahead of the Sprinter. However, when comparing certain modifications of these vans, the situation may be the opposite.


All German-made vehicles meet strict safety requirements. Both vans in question are no exception. Almost all Sprinter modifications have a basic set of systems and options responsible for safety. It includes Crosswind Assist, which helps control the car’s position on the road during strong crosswinds; Brake Assist System, which analyzes the speed of the driver’s force applied to the brake pedal; adaptive ESP, lane keeping assistant and much more. Of course, the Sprinter also has such familiar elements as airbags. The Transporter’s driver and passenger protection package has almost the same standard systems and options, but their performance is slightly lower. This is confirmed by EuroNCAP (an independent European committee involved in crash testing and safety assessment of various vehicles), which puts the Sprinter above the Transporter in its rating of vans.

External and internal design

The most biased indicator by which various vehicles are often compared is their external and internal design. In Transporter and Sprinter’s case, choosing a favorite is pretty challenging. Both vans have a classic design, in which even professionals cannot find any unique feature. The interior space of both cars is approximately the same. If you pay attention to reviews from the owners of the vehicles in question, the Transporter has a slight advantage over the Sprinter. At the same time, we must not forget that these are certain people’s opinions, and one should not draw global conclusions based on them.


When comparing different vehicles, attention is always paid to the degree of comfort. In this aspect, most modern modifications of the Sprinter have advantages over the Transporter. It develops due to Mercedes-Benz’s more attentive attitude to various little things. The presence of many additional options that do not affect the vehicle’s operation but help drivers and passengers feel as comfortable as possible also helps to increase the comfort level. The Transporter also has them, but not in quantities like the Mercedes-Benz van.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Volkswagen Transporter have long been classics in vans. Each vehicle has its strengths and weaknesses, making it difficult to name a clear winner. In some situations, the Sprinter will be a good assistant and become indispensable for its owner, and in others – the Transporter. The only thing that can be said for sure is that both vans are among the best in the world, and today, only some models from other well-known manufacturers can compete with them.