Mercedes Sprinter vs. Ford Transit: What’s the difference?

When deciding which adventure van is right for you, you may be asking yourself: Mercedes Sprinter or Ford Transit?

Storyteller Overland builds three models on the Mercedes Sprinter (the Classic, Stealth and Beast MODEs) and one model on the Ford Transit (the MODE LT). While the interior cabin of each model is mostly the same, other things are different, like interior height and serviceability.

Questions you’ll need to ask yourself are…

  • Am I OK with using diesel to fill my gas tank and maintaining it with diesel engine fluid?
  • Will I need an extra two inches of headspace?
  • What Ford and Mercedes service options are available near me?
  • What’s my budget?

 

Keep reading for a full breakdown of the Sprinter vs. Transit vans made by Storyteller Overland.

4×4 vs. AWD

The Mercedes Sprinter adventure vans currently come with four wheel drive, while all Ford Transit vans have all wheel drive.

However, starting in 2023, Mercedes will begin manufacturing its Sprinters on an all wheel drive system.

So don’t rule out the LT just because it’s not a 4×4. While Ford never designed the AWD Transit to serve as your vehicle of choice for rock crawling or hyper-aggressive offroading, it’s still a super capable and agile travel companion that can take you from urban adventures to your next trailhead.

Length, width and height

Storyteller’s Classic, Stealth and Beast MODE adventure vans are all manufactured on the Mercedes Sprinter 144” wheelbase. The interior height on these models is 6’3”, and the DreamWeaver bed folds out to a length of 78” at its longest point.

The MODE LT comes in a little bit longer, wider and taller than the other Storyteller models. It’s manufactured on a 148” wheelbase. There’s an extra two inches of headspace – the interior height of the LT is 6’5”. It’s also two inches wider at the bed, with a total of 80” at its longest point.

Fuel requirements

The MODE LT takes regular gasoline, so if you don’t like pumping diesel or using DEF, then you may want to consider this model. The Sprinter models are typically more fuel efficient than the Ford models, though.

The Transit fuel capacity is 31 gallons, and the Sprinter fuel capacity is 24.5 gallons.

Serviceability

One reason so many customers requested a model on the Ford Transit chassis is because of the accessibility that Ford is known for. The Ford Transits typically have lower maintenance costs and are easier to service.

Technology

If you hate parking large vehicles, then you’ll love how the Sprinter vans offer 360-degree surround view cameras. While the Ford Transit only offers a standard backup camera, there are aftermarket cameras you can add to the MODE LT if this piece of technology is important to you.

The MODE LT is the only model that offers remote start. Both vehicles have keyless entry.

The Sprinter vans come with heated driver and passenger seats. The seats on the LT are cloth.

Both van options have CarPlay, and the Sprinter vans also have wireless smartphone charging.

Price

The MODE LT is Storyteller Overland’s most affordable adventure van, coming in at $171,429 in 2023.

But the Classic MODE on the Sprinter chassis isn’t much more expensive: $175,887 in 2023. You won’t notice much difference in price until you look at the other Storyteller models on the Sprinter: the Stealth MODE is currently $188,941, and the Beast MODE is $218,620.

Things they have in common

The interior of every Storyteller Overland adventure van has trademarked elements that you can’t get anywhere else. This includes the Dreamweaver™ bed/convertible work surface, the GrooveLounge™ 2-Seater convertible sofa bed, the Halo Interior Shower™ system (folds up into a cabinet!) and the FlexSpace™ concealed shower pan.

Each galley has a stainless steel sink with a folding faucet, exterior fold down table (perfect for cooking outside), a dual voltage refrigerator/freezer, a stainless steel microwave and a portable induction cooktop.

The vans are all also insulated with sheep’s wool, which not only offers a quieter drive but will also keep you warmer on cool nights.

See it in person

Ready to see a side-by-side comparison in person? The Storyteller team is traveling all across the country on our Stay Awesome tour, and we promise to bring at least one van from each chassis to every Overland Expo and Adventure Van Expo. Come hang out with us!

You can also reach out to your nearest Storyteller Overland dealer and see if they have a demo on the floor.