Thursday, April 23, 2015


All new Sprinter 4x4 takes a fairly roundabout course on its approach to American roadstreets. Because of an obsolete of a U.S. law known as the Chicken Tax , Sprinters are completely developed in their Düsseldorf industrial facility just for the trucks to be diminished of their running rigging, which is delivered over to Charleston, South Carolina, for reassembly. Also, so hopefully they can't cheat and reassemble them while in transit, the drivetrains go on one boatship while the bodies go on another.     But not for long. Construction will soon start at the South Carolina plant where Mercedes-Benz will spend $500-million to build a complete factory instead of the reassembly center that now exists. There, 1,300 employees will build the Sprinters from the ground up.

Although the base engine in the Sprinter, available both as a Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner-badged Diesel vehicle, is the 161 horsepower, 2.1-liter four-cylinder engine, the 4x4 is equipped exclusively with the 188 horsepower, 3.0-liter BlueTEC V6 that produces 325 lb-ft of torque. A derivative of the engine also found in other models throughout the brand, including E, S, GLE and others, it is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The addition of the 4x4 system will set you back another $6,500 over the price of a conventional rear-drive Sprinter.

The Sprinter vans join the bulk of the M-B diesel lineup in using the now familiar Diesel Exhaust Fluid  additive system, which for more than ten years, has helped to reduce the nitrogen oxide emissions that result from a non-additive diesel, with the end result being an engine that burns almost as clean as a regular gasoline powerplant.

Accessible in 144- and 170-inch wheelbases, both models can be requested with the Sprinter's new-for-2015 four-wheel-drive framework with its on-interest capacities. At the point when required, the driver can connect with it by the push of a catch just under the van's ignition switch. Every adaptation of the 4x4 undercarriage can be designed by one of M-B's favored system of "upfitters," who can alter one of the traveler, group or freight vans to pull around everything from the NBA's finest to pulling the mail or for this situation Fed-Ex. They are accessible in Low and High roofline models, the last, which is perfect for conveying travelers, and also load. 

Indeed, even Mercedes-Benz itself cops to the certainty the Sprinter 4x4 is not viewed as a 4x4 junkie, but rather its still powerful able for utilization at development locales, sloppy fields and in severe climate. The framework draws in when the driver pushes a dashboard-mounted catch, which thus initiates a torque proportion of 35:65, from front to back axles. The Sprinter's Electronic Traction System  is dependable by then for keeping the four wheels spinning...or not. 

It can likewise be outfitted with an accessible ($300) low-power reach gear for harder landscape that abbreviates the equipping by 42-percent, and also a dually back wheel arrangement. 

The Sprinter 4x4 has gotten such a kneading, to the point that it now rides 4.3-inches higher in front and 3.1-inches higher in the back. Therefore, the Sprinter 4x4 brags a 20-percent increment in approach over its two-wheel drive partner. In general, the 4x4 comes in at a moderately blame free 265-pounds more than the standard model.The Sprinter competes in a segment that was once the exclusive domain of the Ford Econoline, Chevrolet Express and the GMC Savana. Now gaining in popularity, the segment includes thoroughly modern vans like the Ford Transit, Nissan NV, Ram Promaster and, of course, the Sprinter.

Restyled in 2014, the Sprinter received a facelift that left it with a more chevron-like grille. It will also be available as a Freightliner, which is a darling of fleet buyers. It is identical in construction except for its new face.

Safety assists are all on-board and include Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist, Lane Keep Assist and new for 2015, Crosswind Assist, which uses sensors to brake vector its way to stability when it encounters side microbursts of wind. More rocket science than science fiction, we have experienced it. It works.

Specially-prepared Sprinter van examples are currently running in an off-road race in Morocco. Already available for several years in the European market, the 4x4's legend has preceded it to these shores: 4x4 availability is currently sold out until September 2015.

The Sprinter is a stable driving, all-wheel-drive ultra-utility-vehicle that manages to talk softly but pack a big wallop. With its on-demand 4x4 drivetrain, it can deal with mud and ruts as we saw on Canadian logging roads, and smooth highways with equal confidence. Sure it's a truck, but one that doesn't make you feel as though you went 12-rounds with it over the period of a workday. 

Ruddering the electric power assist rack and pinion system saw its handling go light and easy through rougher surfaces, such as our off-road excursions, while it firmed up on paved roads. Acceleration was good for a truck that is geared to hauling parts, packages and people rather than hauling ass. We did think the gearing was high enough that passing required a heavy stab of the accelerator to really get under way when passing some of the ultra big-rigs we encountered on the logging highways. 

Under various configurations, the Sprinter van can appear a touch top-heavy when equipped with the tall roof option, for example. Still, it managed to handle like a low-slung sport machine on the TransCanada highway.

What impressed us further was the quietness that came from the ultra-refined 3.0L diesel. The balance shaft-aided smoothness and lack of diesel clatter allowed for normal conversations with our drive partner that did not require anything other than our "inside voices."

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