RV vs. Mercedes Sprinter Fuel Efficiency


Photo by Muse & Co. Outdoors

At the time this article is being written, gas prices have hit record highs in many states across the country, and they continue to rise. As consumers pay a premium at the pump, the question is being asked: “Can we still afford that road trip?”

As travel becomes more expensive, it is becoming clear that the “juice” of some recreational vehicles is simply not worth the “squeeze” you’ll feel at the pump. Fortunately, luxury Sprinter camper vans provide a great alternative for those who want to travel with the comforts of home, without emptying their pockets at the gas station.

RV vs. Mercedes Sprinter Van MPG

The Mercedes Sprinter van boasts an impressive 14-17 MPG. For years, the Mercedes Sprinter has been an industry leader for high-roof cargo vans–setting the standard for fuel efficiency coupled with performance, reliability, and comfort.

The Mercedes Sprinter van may not get the mileage of a Prius, but you also cannot fit a queen bed and many of the comforts of home in a Prius. Sprinter camper vans offer an excellent middle ground between fuel efficiency and comfort.

Larger RVs typically manage between 6-10 MPG. With current gas prices, that means that some RVs are burning more than one dollar’s worth of gas, per mile! While large RVs offer more space, they also come with several drawbacks aside from their poor fuel efficiency.

Poor maneuverability and limited off-grid capability mean that you’ll probably be stuck in an RV park. Plus, RVs are factory manufactured with cheap materials. Quality Sprinter van conversions , on the other hand, are all about customizability, craftsmanship, and comfort.

How Do Sprinter Vans Achieve Such Great Fuel Efficiency?

The Mercedes Sprinter comes with three engine options: a turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine, a turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine, and a 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine (available with optional 4-wheel drive).

The vans’ relatively small engine size, coupled with Mercedes’ tried-and-true turbocharging system, is what yields great gas mileage without compromising on performance. Each engine option performs best in specific environments:

  • The 4-cylinder gasoline engine will really shine in city environments. For this reason, this engine is the least popular for camper van conversions. Gasoline engines run more efficiently than diesel engines in stop-and-go scenarios.
  • The 4-cylinder diesel engine offers a good compromise between performance and efficiency. Diesel engines typically run longer than gasoline engines and are more fuel efficient in highway driving environments. They also require less frequent maintenance.
  • The 6-cylinder diesel engine is Mercedes’ most popular engine choice for camper van owners. This engine offers enough power to couple with the larger Sprinter vans that have a long wheel base and a high roof. It also offers impressive torque for off-road scenarios when paired with a 4×4 drivetrain. And despite being Mercedes’ largest, most powerful engine offered in the Sprinter van lineup, it still manages impressive fuel efficiency.

Best Sprinter Van Conversions

Don’t let high gas prices hold you back from your road tripping dreams. Luxury Sprinter van conversions offer many of the comforts of home on the capable, comfortable, and efficient platform of the Mercedes Sprinter.

Muse & Co. Outdoors is California’s top Sprinter van conversion company. Our team combines innovative design with decades of woodworking and craftsmanship experience to bring our beautiful van interiors to life. And if you care about fuel efficiency, you’ll care that unlike most builders out there, we’re committed to building vans with sustainable, human-healthy materials. You can read more about that in our blog post on our sustainable builds here.

Contact us now to learn more about our models and chat with a team member about your future van life!

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