Mercedes Sprinter Van Curb, Payload, and GVWR Weights

The Mercedes Sprinter’s weight depends on which model it is: 

Curb weight (how much it weighs): 4,597 to 5,952 pounds 

Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR), how much it can carry, including its own weight: 8,550 to 12,125 pounds 

Payload (what it can carry excluding its own weight (GVWR): 3953 to 6713 pounds 

Knowing your van’s weight ratings is important so that you are aware of the weight your van can legally and safely accommodate without straining. 

In today’s article, we’ll look at three Sprinter van weight ratings, why they’re important, and how cargo weight affects your van’s performance.  


Curb Weight vs GVWR vs Payload 

But first, here are some van weight terms that you should know. 

Curb Weight: A Sprinter van’s curb weight is its unloaded weight with a tank full of fuel. It includes any fluids and batteries essential for the van’s standard operation.  

GVWR: The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR is the maximum permissible weight your van can handle without the trailer. It includes its curb weight and its payload.  

A van’s GVWR depends on its engine, transmission, suspension, chassis, and braking; hence it’s a fixed figure and not a measurement.  

Payload: A van’s payload is all cargo it can carry, minus its own weight (GVWR). 


Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van Weight Ratings 

And now, let’s take a deeper look into the weight ratings of specific Sprinter vans. 


Mercedes Sprinter Cargo Van 

Van Trim Level Maximum GVWR Base Curb Weight Payload Capacity 
Cargo Van 1500 4-Cylinder Gas 8,550 4,597 3,953 
Cargo Van 2500 4-Cylinder Diesel 9,050 4,861 4,189 
Cargo Van 3500 6-Cylinder Diesel 9,990 5,368 4,622 
Cargo Van 4500 6-Cylinder Diesel 12,125 5,390 6,735 
Cargo Van 4500 4-Cylinder Diesel 12,125 5,335 6,790 
Cargo Van 4500 4-Cylinder Diesel (extended high roof) 12,125 5,952 6,173 


Mercedes Sprinter Crew Van 

Van Trim Maximum GVWR Base Curb Weight Payload Capacity 
Crew Van 2500 4-cylinder Diesel 9,050 5,247 3,803 
Crew Van 2500 6-cylinder Diesel 9,050 5,302 3,748 
Crew Van 3500 6-cylinder Diesel 9,900 5,743 4,247 
Crew Van 4500 6-cylinder Diesel 12,125 5,765 6,360 


Mercedes Sprinter Passenger Van 

Van Trim Maximum GVWR Base Curb Weight Payload Capacity 
Passenger Van 1500 4-cylinder Gas 8,550 5,467 3,082 
Passenger Van 2500 4-cylinder Diesel 9,050 5,467 3,583  
Passenger Van 2500 6-cylinder Diesel 9,050 5,490 3,560 


Mercedes Sprinter Cab Chassis  

Van Trim Maximum GVWR Base Curb Weight Payload Capacity 
Cab Chassis 3500 XD 4-cylinder Gas 11,030 4,619 6,411 
Cab Chassis 3500 XD 4-cylinder Diesel 11,030 4,674 6,356 
Cab Chassis 4500 4-cylinder Diesel 12,125 4,641 7,484 
Cab Chassis 4500 6-cylinder Diesel 12,125 4,696 7,429 


Here’s How to Know Your Sprinter Van’s Curb Weight 

Your van’s curb weight doesn’t include the weight of the passengers or the trailer weight that you might be towing.  

It‘s an important determinant of your van’s performance as additional weight puts more strain on its drivetrain resulting in a poorer fuel economy.  

Here’s how you can know your van’s curb weight. 


Checking the Owner’s Manual 

The owner’s manual that comes with every Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van,  contains all relevant information such as setup instructions, maintenance schedules, dashboard warning information, and your van’s weight capacities.  

If you’ve misplaced yours and can’t seem to find it, you can look up your van’s curb weight online. You’ll only need to have its year, model, make, or vehicle identification (VIN) number. 

Also, you can look it up at Mercedes-Benz’s website. 


Using a Vehicle Scale Is the Most Accurate Method 

Checking the user’s manual for weight measurements can sometimes be misleading since most vans are modified after leaving the auto shop. Therefore, your van’s rated/base curb weight may be less than its actual weight.  

The reason is that any permanent modification to your van, such as adding a racking system or changing the rims, will add additional weight.  

As a result, using a vehicle scale is a more accurate way to know a van’s weight.  

Here’s how you can use a vehicle scale 

  • Ensure that your Mercedes Sprinter van is unloaded without any temporary cargo or trailers.  
  • Fill up all fluid tanks such as the gas tank and check that your van has sufficient brake fluid, engine oil, coolant, transmission fluid and any other fluid that the van needs.  
  • Drive your Sprinter van onto the vehicle scale and take note of the weight reading.  

The figure you get is your van’s actual weight or its curb weight.  


Subtracting The Maximum Payload From the GVWR   

A Sprinter van’s GVWR will always vary with the different van models. Additionally, the payload will depend on the weight of passengers or cargo that you’re transporting.   

For example, the 144″ wheelbase 2500 Crew Van with a 6-cylinder engine has a maximum available GVWR of 8,550 pounds and a maximum payload of 3,237 pounds.  

To get its curb weight, deduct the maximum payload from the maximum available GVWR. In the above example, the van’s base curb weight is 5,313 pounds.  


Why It’s Important to Know Your Van’s Weight 

Knowing your van’s weight is very important, especially if you use it for commercial purposes. A van whose weight exceeds the rated GVWR is overloaded and will be subject to traffic penalties.  

To avoid such a case, you must know your van’s weight, and here’s why.  


Lighter Vans Have Better Performance 

The GVWR is an important vehicle rating that affects a van’s performance, especially when not towing. Loading a van beyond its GVWR lowers its stability, makes it difficult to steer, and increases its braking distance making it difficult to judge its braking distance.   

Additionally, frequent overloading will lower your van’s lifespan.  

Signs of a frequently overloaded van include: 

  • Irregular tire wear. 
  • Unresponsive steering and suspension. 
  • Premature brake wear. 
  • A sagging rear end. 


Overloading the Axles Is Dangerous 

In addition to the GVWR rating, you must know your van’s gross axle weight rating (GAWR). GAWR is determined by the manufacturer and not a measurement of how much weight you’re placing on your van’s axles.  

Sometimes, a van might exceed its axle weight ratings despite being within the GVWR rating.  

It can result from placing too much weight on a particular axle.  

For example, overloading the back of your van puts too much pressure and weight on the rear suspension and wheels, making the steering harder and less responsive.  

You’ll also affect your van’s braking performance since it won’t be getting sufficient traction from the front wheels. 

Additionally, too much stress placed on the rear axles will cause a tire to burst, and you might lose control of your van.  


Lighter Sprinter Vans Have Better Fuel Economies 

A lighter van will always have a better fuel economy than a heavier one, given that both have the same drivetrain components.  

You can expect a 1-2 percent increase in miles per gallon ratings with every 100 pounds that your van loses.  


How to Load Your Sprinter Van Safely 

Now that you’re well aware of your van’s GVWR and curb weight, it’s equally important that you know how to load safely. Improper loading will lower your van’s stability.  

Additionally, it’s illegal to drive a van when the weight or distribution of the load is in a manner that endangers your life and that of others.  

Here are some tips that I use to load my van safely


Distribute the Cargo Across the Cargo Area 

Load distribution will affect how you accelerate, corner, brake, and maneuver through traffic. Place the heavier items on the van floor and put the lightest items highest for your safety.  

Furthermore, ensure that the weight is distributed equally between the front and rear axles. And since it can be difficult to get each axle’s gross axle weight, be sure to load the heavier items between your van’s axles.  


Secure Your Cargo 

Securing your cargo reduces the chances of injury, death, or significant damage to your van during the transportation and unloading of cargo. When cornering, poorly secured or unsecured cargo will sway, making your van unstable.  

Additionally, the cargo will bang against your van’s walls when accelerating or decelerating. I’d recommend that you frequently secure large items with tensioning/ lashing straps attached to your van’s anchoring points.  

Racking may help improve stability, especially if you’re transporting smaller items.  


Use Pallets for Heavy Items 

Pallets are more beneficial than placing items on the van’s floor if you’re transporting heavy items or a cargo that needs to be secured.  

They are also beneficial if you’re transporting many smaller items that would be difficult to secure to the van’s anchoring points.  

However, you need to ensure that your pallets are in excellent condition and you’ve secured the loads.  


Final Remarks 

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans have very high towing and payload capacities compared to its rivals. Additionally, the vans are equipped with powerful 2.1 and 3-liter engines to ensure that you reach your destination in good time.  

However, some Sprinter van owners might be tempted to exploit the huge cargo volume and load their van excessively. I don’t recommend doing so as it strains your van’s powertrain and may even lead to road accidents.  

And as we’ve seen, loading your van safely and legally will not only save your life but will also extend its lifespan.