Review: 2012 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 Cargo Van 170

Posted on 27. May, 2012 by in Auto News

"If I could hold of a sprinter?" Alex was the compilation of a review series on vans, but was not able to get one from Mercedes. Maybe I could? Maybe, but I would not have any idea how to evaluate such an animal. Then Alex posted his series and commentators bemoan the lack of sprinters. So here you go, my best, courtesy of the good folks at Mercedes-Benz of Novi …

Offered for a few years as Dodge, led the American sprinter to Europe the idea of a proper van, the very different traditional American vans. Get used to these big foreign looking Box: Ford and Ram (remember, there is now a brand) have similar truck on the road. GM and Nissan soon newcomers will be the only players the traditional American truck.

The European van concept has several distinct advantages, starting with the riding position. The driver sits high behind a minimal instrument panel and huge windshield. The engine penetrates into the cabin, but much less than in the GM vans so footwell narrowed only slightly. From the knee to the back, there is no engine cover (GM) or massive console (Nissan) get in the way. The seats, much stronger than you find in other transporters, see and feel German, although more than VW Mercedes (this is a truck, after all). Shaped offer good support, accumulate because the hours that they would probably prove back-friendly than the mushy seats in other transporters. One option includes front rel rel back, lean back, and lumbar adjustments. This manual adjustments could be a little less comfortable than the power. Controls in other vans, but they have to break no engines

Mercedes offers the Sprinter in four body styles: 144-inch wheelbase regular roof, 144-inch wheelbase with high roof, 170-inch wheelbase with high roof and 170-inch wheelbase extended high roof (cargo van only). Even the regular roof offers a higher ceiling than you in a GM van, find 60.6 "vs. 52.9". The high roof is another foot, like someone up to six meters in rel around inside without fear of hitting their head can walk on the ceiling. For people who actually work inside the van, this is a major selling point. Under current competitors, only Nissan also offers this feature from the factory. The rear loading opening is also wide, 61.6 "to 57.0", and this is relative to the ceiling from the floor is managed by nearly vertical sides (American Vans Jellybeans are compared). Cargo is 128.5 "169.3" or 185.0 "in relation to the body size, compared to 124.6" or 146.2 "in the GM trucks. Easily Regarding cubic feet of Sprinter 318, 494 or 547 suggests the GM van den 314th 270 or even the short, regular roof Sprinter can hold more than the long GM, and more than twice as much as the typical minivan.

Bottom line: There's a lot more usable space inside the Sprinter. This volume is easily accessed through large, floor-to-ceiling door openings (standard left-right slider controls optional). The rear doors can be opened 270 degrees. The Sprinter 3500 can hold up to 5375 pounds (vs. 3,992 in GM van) and tow up to 7,500 pounds (vs. 10,000). The 2500 has tested 2,872 pounds payload vs. a 3009 GM 2500 in the van.

Passenger capacity ranges from 2 to 12 people, the Sprinter with one, two, three or four rows of seats are fitted. Installs itself with four rows, there are over six feet of cargo space in the 170-incher. Theoretically Mercedes fit a few more lines, but has joined the 15-passenger market of servanthood. Passenger-pleasing options are factory-roof rear air conditioner vents limited, this Mercedes is not even remotely about luxury.

With such high cargo and towing capacity, you might think, the Sprinter has a monster engine lurking beneath his burly, steeply sloping bonnet. But the only engine, a 188-hp (at 3,800 rpm), 325-pound-feet (at 1,400 rpm) 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 is much smaller and less powerful than the V8 engines from GM, Ford offered, and Nissan. The only available transmission Mercedes' tried and true five-speed automatic. Is that somehow enough? Unfortunately I was not able to test adequately powertrain performance. During my test drive, this drive train accelerates the car as fast as I would want in such a vehicle, with no apparent stress, even at 80 on the highway. Thirteen seconds 60 may lag in a modern car, but this is a field large enough to swallow the contents of 3.5 minivans. If you (the white vans preferential subsidies terrorists TV) up to no good or to stop people up to no good (SWAT, the A-Team) are, you are not after a AMG variant. The problem: 60 comes in 13 seconds with no add-ons, no passengers, no cargo, no trailer and no big hills. Add one or more of them and the relatively small diesel like overwhelmed. The engine is obviously a diesel only at idle and at low speeds. There is not much engine noise even with the accelerator pedal to the floor. The transfer could be more responsive. Surprisingly shift paddles are not an option.

Fuel consumption is a major plus. Craig Astrein, Sprinter Specialist at Mercedes-Benz of Novi maintains that the Sprinter low 20s in the city and mid-20s managed on the highway. In view of the vehicle size and 5,545-pound curb weight, this seems hard to believe. But after a 2/3 S, 1/3 freeway loop with a couple of foot-to-the-floor acceleration of the on-board computer performs reported 17.6, which is better than my family, 7-passenger, 85-cubic-foot Ford Taurus X in similar conditions. AdBlue is needed, but that is to be found not nearly as expensive or as difficult as it once was.

Having never driven such a large vehicle before, I was most concerned about handling. Fortunately, the look ahead could no longer open, especially compared to the Nissan. Looking through the huge windshield, there is little sense of the big box behind him. The back view depends on whether the sprinter in question is a freight, passenger, or crew (two lines) as the first van to have no windows behind the front row. Large dual-element mirrors to compensate. For operation in confined spaces, front and rear obstacle detection is an option. The steering is, no surprise, slow and easy, but it seems almost obvious after a few minutes on the road. Body movements are narrower than the typical van controlled, but the ride is just a touch jiggly even without load, at least in the 2500th (A Nissan NV 3500 rides like the truck it is in comparison, but it's probably not fair, a 2500 compare with a 3500.) Stability control is standard, but with visions of a big white box on his side I did not press the Sprinter hard enough to test its operation.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter starts at $ 37,285 for the 144 and $ 42 395 for the 170th The high roof (standard on 170) pushes the price up by $ 2,670, the extended wheelbase adds $ 2,440, and the extended rear overhang tacks on $ 950. Simple equipment (such as seat adjustment, power mirrors, cruise control and a trip computer) add about $ 895. For vehicle carrying the three-star, that's cheap. For a van, not so much. A Chevrolet Express 2500 extended van der 280-hp 4.8-liter V8 gas and similar features lists for $ 31,740. Opt for the 260-hp 6.6-liter Duramax diesel, however, and the GM van, the price advantage disappears. The choice is then between cubic inches and cubic feet.

Arrive by the new Euro-sourced Ford and Ram vans, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is in a class by itself, with a high roof, large cargo capacity, well-mannered suspension and efficient (if possible unsatisfactory) diesel engine. According to Craig, appreciate artisans who attend affluent customers at home and promote the prestige of the three-star. Although their primary client is a dog.

Craig Astrein at Mercedes-Benz of Novi (MI), provided that the vehicle being tested. He can be reached at 248-426-9600.

Michael Karesh owns and operates True Delta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.