The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van is the diesel-powered workhorse of many a commercial operation located around the planet. It's a vehicle with serious capability, a truly wonderful and efficient engine, and a level of safety that far exceeds what the rest of the commercial van market employs. Now, for the 2014 model year, it's been given a bit of a makeover, complete with a new face, even more safety features, and a brand-new four-cylinder diesel base engine.

Certainly the most important bit of news surrounding the refreshed Sprinter is the addition of the new four-cylinder engine. This 2.1-liter turbodiesel unit produces 161 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. All of that twist is available from 1,400 rpm up through 2,400 rpm.

Paired with the four-cylinder unit is a seven-speed automatic transmission, which is a first in the van segment. This gearbox is designed to maximize fuel economy while also boasting serious levels of refinement showcased in the reduction of noise that it generates. The oh-so-sweet 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine remains available, but it is now an optional unit.

Besides the engine tech, Mercedes also went ahead and upgraded the safety features of the Sprinter. Now this large luxe liner offers up Collision Prevention Assistance, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist, and Lane-Keeping Assist. All four systems are designed to keep you and your occupants safer, and this is a vehicle that was already quite safe from a driver's standpoint. Traction and stability control are both top-notch and standard on the Sprinter.

Moving from the inside to the outside, Sprinter fans will notice that this van features a new face. Up front, Mercedes tweaked the grille and headlights, while also cutting out space for LED daytime running lamps. Additionally, the hood has been revised to improve protection for pedestrians, which is great news for anyone who will someday be hit by a Sprinter van.


Follow Motor Authority on Facebook and Twitter.