Mercedes Sprinter Suspension upgrades options Pros and Cons

Which suspension upgrade for Mercedes Sprinter 4x4?

Originally intended as a hotel passenger hauler or a HVAC repair vehicle; the suspension that comes with Mercedes Sprinters 4x4 isn't intended for touring the country and even less going off road. They were meant for commercial fleets which have temporary heavy loads. For years, only two manufacturers offered aftermarket solutions for suspension upgrade (Agile Offroad and Van Compass). However, within the last few months (Spring 2023), there are 6 suspension upgrades for Mercedes Sprinter 2500 with each their pros and cons. Note: Sprinter 4x4 already comes with a lift but it is a spacer lift (metal spacers placed between strut and shock mount as well as below leaf springs). When you upgrade your suspension, those will be removed in favor of a suspension lift. Newer 2023+ AWD Sprinter may not yet be compatible with all those options. 

1. Agile Offroad RIP kit

Agile OffRoad front Suspension Billstein Fox 2.0 Mercedes Sprinter 4x4Agile OffRoad rear Suspension leaf springs Fox 2.0 Mercedes Sprinter 4x4

 (Front)                                                     (Rear)

Agile Offroad Rear suspension reinforcement brackets

(Rear new reinforcement brackets 2022)

Agile Offroad +32 (no spacers) Rims with Apex Fast Deflate and Inflate Valve Stems

(New 2023 Agile Offroad +32 offset "no spacers needed" Rims) Alternative: Owl Van Talon wheel +30 offset. 

When it comes to AO offering, I am very familiar since it is what I chose for my setup. I upgraded to the Agile Offroad RIP kit with Fox 2.0 secondary reservoirs for the rear. Then in January 2023, added the reinforcement rear sheer brackets and replaced the failed oem front struts with coils for those from Billstein. The basic RIP kit will retain your oem struts and add the coils over; this is a good solution for new Sprinters but eventually you will want to replace them, particularly because the coils are not adjustable to compensate for the failing strut. You will want to wear the coil over sock AO gives you to protect the top bearing. As of 2023, you can choose to install in the rear the regular Fox 2.0, the Fox 2.0 remote reservoirs (better performance), or the Fox 2.5 (heavier build). Up front, you can choose to put the coils over the oem struts, or upgrade to Billstein (good off road) or Koni (smoother on road). Once close to finish with building the van, get your van CAT scale weighted; then replace the full leaf pack in the rear with one that is rated for the weight of the vehicle once converted into a camper. Agile Offroad offers a set of Fox shock in the front and rear which are non-adjustable except for the remote reservoirs versions. Agile Offroad removes the factory metal spacers that comes with 4x4 models in favor of a suspension lift. A Sprinter 4x4 should expect over an extra inch after install, and a 2wd, more than 2.5”+.
After the upgrade, you can expect being able to take turns 10-20 mph faster than with oem suspension, and feel more confident when swerving out of traffic. Finally, side wind will no longer easily push the van off the road. Off-road, you will rarely bottom out, vibrations will severely dampen, and most importantly, the rebound will be fast enough that the tires are always touching the ground for traction. The Fox 2.0 shocks are good value but not as durable as the Falcon and they aren't easily adjustable. Off road the AO RIP kit is very smooth at high speed but not as smooth as the Evictus. However, on road performance is proven. For more info on how content I am with the RIP kit, watch this video. As mentioned earlier, the reinforcement brackets are now available for the rear shock and bump stops (See video at 3:42 for more info from John at Agile Offroad), I added those and I think they are mandatory if you off road a lot. AO also has new shock brackets (2022) to push the Fox front away from the control arm, ask for those if you have an older kit. Finally, I really like that the owners also drive their Sprinters as daily drivers, and they are the only suspension who built and raced off road their own fabrications. 


- Replaces oem front strut with Billstein strut with coil overs and also add Fox 2.0 shock.

- Offers full leaf springs replacement that is weight rated for vehicle

- Agile basic RIP Kit offers good value with multiple strut and shock upgrades for front and rear as needed. 

- Proven performance and R&D, being one of the first to offer a complete kit for Sprinter. Backed by AO racing background and in-shop expertise. 


- Fox 2.0 are good value but aren't as durable as other offering and are not easily adjustable. 

-Added coil isn’t adjustable. 

- Requires wheel spacers to clear coil-overs or +32 and below offset rims 


2. Evictus Suspension

Evictus front Suspension Mercedes Sprinter 4x4Evictus rear coil Suspension Billstein Mercedes Sprinter

 (Front)                                      (Rear)

Evictus was released a few months ago for Sprinters and is probably the most capable option of them all. Sold by Mercedes Benz Van Center in collaboration with their Warner Vans location (aka Acorn / Van Builders) in Utah and designed by 4x4 Proyect in Spain; I was lucky to meet and drive with Nico who came to test and do further R&D at the Moab Overland Experience Revel Van Rally (Watch the end (7:23) of this video). With a massive 2.65" diameter, rear struts with Billstein remote reservoirs and adjustable long coil overs, this suspension means business off road. I personally experienced a Sprinter Storyteller Beast Mode travel over 60mph on an uneven trail in Moab and it felt almost as smooth as a Toyota Tacoma with King on long travel control arms. My only concern was the softness of the suspension for on road performance in the rear.

However, in 2023 I was able to do a road test drive with a tech expert driving on a highway ramp and taking turns at high speed. I can confirm that the suspension was very firm in the rear (no sway). To specify, the suspension used on road was equipped with full leafs spring replacement from Agile Offroad and no coil was installed in the rear. The rear coils aren't compatible with weight rated leafs spring since it will cause most Sprinters to be oversprung. The front, in all conditions, stayed planted to the ground without sway and was very stable. The ABS would even kick-on when taking a turn from g-force sensors even though the driver was in complete control. After testing twice the suspension in different conditions along with expert discussion, you basically have two options in the rear based on your usage and preferences. 1) If you prefer a softer ride and off road travel performance, then you will want the rear coils and oem leaf spring. 2) If you prefer stability on road, have a heavy build, and are willing to sacrifice a little off road performance, then you won't be installing the rear coils and instead add weight specific leafs spring for the best compromise. 

Note: I wish that they offered custom leafs spring that was compatible with the Evictus rear coils since the oem leafs spring have spacer block, which isn't ideal long term for off road reliability. If your van is heavy enough, you might be able to run both, the light duty AO leafs spring with the Evictus rear coils on soft setting, but I have yet to see one with that configuration.


- Most capable off road suspension with rear coils installed.

- The ability to increase road stability by removing the rear coils and installing aftermarket weight specific leafs spring. 

- High quality 3-Year / 50,000 mile warranty 


- Price is higher than all other offerings. 

- Do not offer leaf springs that are compatible with the rear coils. Requires oem leafs with spacer block.

3. Van Compass w/ Falcon

 Van Compass Suspension New Factory OEM Strut replacement Sprinter Van Van Compass Suspension New Factory OEM Adjustable Leaf Sprintg Replacement Sprinter Van

 (New 2023 Front suspension Falcon Strut Combo & Rear Adjustable Opti-Rate Leaf Spring)

Van Compass uses Falcon shock suspension instead of Fox or Billstein. Falcon has made a name for itself in the Jeep market and have a larger diameter strut and their main advantage is adjustability. If you are going with Van Compass, I recommend getting the Falcon with remote reservoir and the aDAPT / e-ADJUST system (Stage 4.5) which automatically adjust for terrain but you can also manually set firmness from the interior cabin. Most often, adjustable suspension that requires the users to go out and adjust from the exterior aren't being used properly, since most people don't even take the time to lower their tire pressure. Most people who have experience with both Falcon and Fox say that the Falcon are more heavy duty, and even on the softest setting, are a little firmer than the fox 2.0. Van Compass is the only company to offer body spacers for those who wish to lift their Sprinter for 35"+ tires (Stage 6.5). Here's an article about fitting 35". As of 2023, Van Compass now offers weight specific full leaf springs replacement that are adjustable to the vehicle's weight, instead their previous add-on leafs; unlike AO versions, VC only has one leaf spring set with Opti-Rate which allows the user to adjust them down the road as their vehicle increases in weight. Another new change to 2023, is the ability to replace the factory front strut with a Falcon. Owl Vans is also a Van Compass distributor and installer. If you choose this route, you may also want to consider doing the VC Baja Bracket Rear Shock Mount reinforcement brackets, especially if you off road a lot, since the frame wasn’t intended for suspension add-on in the rear and cracking on the body may occur over time. Note: Stage 5 and above includes a body lift called Stryker 2”, which will add body spacers for transmission, engine mounts, sub frame, along with a steering shaft and hose extension, etc.


- Falcon struts are adjustable automatically or manually from the cab on models w/ Adapt system and are sturdier than Fox struts. 

- They offer body lift spacers for those who wish to clear 35"+ tires. 


- New 2023 complete kit (Stage 4.5 + Falcon strut w/ opti-rate leafs spring) is more expensive than all the other options except for the Evictus. 

4. KW Suspension

Announced at SEMA 2022, RRE Global showcased a KW coil-over spring suspension that is electronically adjustable on a Sprinter. Not yet for sale, but this suspension would be a similar combination of the E-Adjust system of VC Falcon struts and the coils suspension from AO. You may need to contact a distributor such as Adrenaline Vans, since RRE Global doesn’t do direct to consumer sale. The system looks like it would be amazing on road with some minimal off road use but doesn’t appear as robust as some of the other offering. RRE global also showcased their full fender extension to fit larger tires (See pictures below). For more info watch this video at 3:20)

RRE Global KW electonically  adjustable coil suspension Sprinter ( RRE Global KW electronically coil suspension ) 

 RRE Global large fender replacement mud guard Sprinter (New RRE Global / X-bull large Fender upgrade)

5. OHV (Off Highway Van) Suspension kit

Recently, OHV added to their lineup a coil suspension option to complement the Ride Control Shocks and offer a durable alternative to competition. The owner, Erin, has many years of experience working on suspension prior to starting OHV. While sacrificing weight a little, the strut body is made of stainless steel for much added strength and corrosion resistance. The coils have a smaller diameter than the AO versions enabling larger offset rims, such as the factory ones, to still fit without the use of spacers or purchase of low offset rims. If you have a 2wd Sprinter, OHV offers the most comprehensive options; with the LSD they built, they also offer a 2" body lift for 2 wheel drive models to fit larger than 265 tires.

OHV (Off Highway Vans)  Suspension kit (OHV Suspension kit) 

6. King Shocks

Introduced at the 2023 Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, King showcased a coilover strut with 8.5" shaft length and 1" diameter for the front and a 3/4" diameter strut in the rear for the Sprinter. King said that they developing a coil version for the rear as well and will be partnering with Van Up and new Shadowmarq distributor who is owned by Brian, aka More.Van.Ever handle, aka the Sprinter Overland Trip organizer. Shadowmarq used the Agile Offroad bracket in the front for the additional auxiliary King shock absorber but most people will probably have only the main coil strut replacement. It also appears that a rear reinforcement bracket will be offered as seen in yellow in the picture below. The shock will be offered with two coil options depending on vehicle’s weight. The main advantage of King is that both the strut’s hydraulic and the coil are adjustable depending on vehicle’s weight, preferences, and terrain most traveled (not easily adjustable though such as the Falcon or KW electronic system). Performance and reliability has yet to be established. My biggest concern is that King isn’t doing R&D with their own Sprinters and tech experts. 

 Mercedes Sprinter King Off Road Shock Suspension Mercedes Sprinter King Off Road Shock Suspension front and rear

Sprinter Overland Trip / Shadowmarq /  More.Van.Ever / King Suspension Sprinter 4x4 FrontSprinter Overland Trip / Shadowmarq /  More.Van.Ever / King Suspension Sprinter 4x4 Rear

7. Hybrids! 

It is possible to mix match Agile Offroad and Van Compass suspension components to get the exact setup you wish, or to upgrade aging components. A few people have done it with great success such as MyTourig who has AO front Bilstein coils and rear leafs spring with VC Falcon additional struts. The owner said it rides smoothly and is happy with the result (see picture below). If you wish to run 35x12.5 tires with Agile Offroad Rip kit, it is theoretically possible by adding the Van Compass Stryker 2" body spacers and then replacing the AO Fox 5" 2.0 strut with one that is 7" or the Falcon. 

Agile Offroad Bilstein Coil strut & Van Compass Falcon strut Hybrid Suspension on MyTourig Van

Warning : many people switch to Sumo springs or equivalent instead of proper suspension upgrade. Sumo springs are great bump stops but not a replacement for proper suspension. When upgrading to just Sumo Springs,  you are adding pressure to frame and other components to prevent bottoming out. Bump stops are not a suspension, they are intended to prevent damage in the rare case your suspension fully compresses. If you are on a budget, or don’t need much more, I recommend doing Agile Offroad STS kit or Van Compass Stage 1. 


As always, if something is missing or you would like to add more information, please comment below to let me know what you are thinking! :) 


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1 comment

EXCELLENT overview. This is the guide I was looking for. Being new to Sprinter I wasn’t familiar with all the options/leaders in the suspension game. Thanks for taking the time to condense off the info available into a short easily readable post!


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