For generations, the Mercedes-Benz name has represented luxury vehicles designed by superior engineering and manufactured with the highest quality materials. While the name inspires visions of the sporty sleekness in the 300 SL Gullwing or the iconic Mercedes-Maybach 600 Pullman, Mercedes-Benz is currently conquering the utility van market. These revolutionary work vehicles combine strong performance with Mercedes-Benz’s legendary comfort and style.
Mercedes-Benz Vans: A Short History
In 1896, Carl Benz designed a “combination delivery vehicle”, which featured a box-shaped body that could be detached from the coach. The chain-drive, 3-speed transmission made it one of the most powerful mid-sized engines of the era.
These vehicles most closely resembled modern pickup trucks. In the same year, Mercedes-Benz also manufactured a larger “delivery car”, designed to haul large loads of commercial goods. Their appearance was similar to modern cargo vans.
With the financial backing of motorist Emil Jellinek, the Mercedes-Benz L1000 Express van was released in 1929. It featured a sturdier frame, designed to safely handle large loads at higher speeds. Over the next 75 years, the company continued to produce groundbreaking vehicles.
- 1956 – the L319 revolutionizes the light truck market
- 1967 – the L406D introduces larger capacity vans
- 1977 – the T1 represents a new direction in lightweight vans
- 1986 – the T2 is presented in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the automobile’s invention
- 1995 – the first Sprinter Van wins “International Van of the Year”
- 2006 – 2nd generation Sprinter Vans are released on the European market
- 2010 – 2nd generation Sprinter Vans introduced to United States markets
Modern Trends in Luxury Vans
The Mercedes-Benz company is changing the game once again when it comes to utility vans with new updates and fresh visions for the Sprinter and Metris models, along with the concept Vision Van.
The newest additions to the Sprinter line focus on performance and affordability. The chassis, engine, and body have been reconfigured to offer maximum space while maintaining a comfortable and smooth driving experience.
Cargo, crew, and passenger models are available. Buyers can also choose a cab chassis that can tow independent loads up to 7,500 lbs. This full-sized van comes with a variety of customization options.
Available as both a cargo or passenger model, the new Metris is designed for maximum comfort, versatility, and utility. The Metris is the first mid-size van Mercedes-Benz has produced.
While it is intended to be a work vehicle, the Metris is engineered to handle like a smaller, lighter car. Unique features make these vans light, fast, and super strong.
- Up to 5,000 lbs. towing capacity
- 186 cubic feet of cargo volume
- Over 2,500 lbs. payload capacity
While these vans come equipped with all the luxury and convenience of a minivan, they are built for heavy duty business, like shuttle and taxi services. Recreational users are also attracted to this highly customizable vehicle for its easy adaptability. The basic Metris model is currently the most affordable Mercedes-Benz van on the market.
The Future of Mercedes-Benz Vans
In the future, Mercedes-Benz plans to continue their focus on providing innovative, safe, and reliable commercial and utility vans. Designers are melding ultra-modern technology with high-quality mechanics to provide an unparalleled experience in business vehicles.
- Lane Keeping Assistant feature uses cameras to warn drifting drivers before an accident occurs.
- Ergonomically designed, multifunctional steering wheels reduce driver distraction and increase comfort.
- Vehicles with unmatched turning diameter make driving in tight urban spaces faster and easier.
Marco Polo Camper Van
The Marco Polo, a new line of camper vans, is the result of a partnership between Mercedes-Benz and world-class personal recreational vehicle manufacturer Westfalia. This compact camper will extend the benefits of their current utility line, with added features for style and coziness.
It’s built to take savvy travelers wherever the wind blows safely and securely. These models handle just as well off-road as they do on the highway. More than just attractive and strong, the Marco Polo was built primarily to be practical. It comes included with everything needed for a high-class adventure.
- Durable, easy to clean flooring throughout vehicle
- Kitchenette, complete with double-burner stove, refrigerator, sink, and ample storage space
- Interior designed to feel spacious and home-like
- Bedroom comes with sliding door wardrobe, swing out mirror, and tinted rear glass for privacy
The engineers at Mercedes-Benz are committed to providing superior and inexpensive vehicles for all types of business needs. The Sprinter Van and Metris Worker are evidence that Carl Benz and Emil Jellinek’s vision of a fast, strong, and comfortable vehicle that is affordable, as well as a joy to drive, will continue to be honored.