The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is a complete redesign of the German automaker’s cargo workhorse and marks a significant improvement in driving characteristics and functionality from the previous model. took its first drive of the new van — an early production European model rather than the U.S. version — in the Netherlands this month. The route included about 100 miles of driving and another 50 miles of travel as a passenger. Only the diesel version was available for testing.

Mercedes-Benz will also offer its first gasoline engine Sprinter van for the U.S. when the redesigned model goes on sale in the fall. The U.S. version of the third-generation Sprinter van will be built at a Mercedes factory about to open in North Charleston, S.C.

The bottom line: This is a big step up from the existing version in ease of driving, suspension and technology.

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