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2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter First Drive Evaluate: Boxy and beautiful

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2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter First Drive Review: Boxy and beautiful

AMSTERDAM – It isn’t every single day when a test-drive consists of choosing up flowers from a nursery, or shuttling passengers from an international airport. Then once more, it isn’t every single day that Mercedes-Benz introduces a model-new model of the Sprinter, the German automaker’s workhorse utility van.

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter represents a complete reboot, each inside and out, with specific consideration paid to including safety features and tech upgrades not usually related to the world of sq.-edged, work-obligation vans. And whereas it is extremely unlikely that a Sprinter buyer cares a lot about design, one added bonus is that the newest mannequin occurs to be comparatively good-wanting, too. (Properly, at the very least on the earth of vans it’s.)

A narrower grille, slimmer headlights and out there LED exterior lighting add a contact of sophistication to the Sprinter. Do not get us mistaken, that is no AMG GT when it comes to come-hither exterior design. However, consider it or not, throughout our test-drive within the Netherlands, which took us between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the Sprinter received various thumbs-up and nods of approval. Granted, they have been all from dudes hauling plumbing provides or gardening gear, however that is the goal market right here, people.

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This additionally explains why the heck Mercedes hauled us – pun meant – throughout the Atlantic to drive a humble van. The Sprinter could be very a lot a worldwide machine, with greater than three million bought worldwide because it first went on sale in 1995. That is formally the third-era Sprinter, and it ushers in a large range of know-how and safety improvements, together with a cabin that is extra customizable and an infotainment system much more aligned with a few of Mercedes’ true luxurious automobiles.

In range-topping fashions, which have been in ample provide throughout our drive, the dashboard is dominated by both a 7.zero- or 10.three-inch contact display. This large display sits upright from the sprint and is inside straightforward attain for both the driving force or entrance passenger. This infotainment system handles every part from radio and navigation features to quite a lot of voice instructions that work with the Mercedes-Benz Consumer Expertise (MBUX, for brief). Paradoxically, this system proved reluctant to cooperate with non-native English audio system, as proved throughout an indication by Mercedes-Benz engineers earlier than we have been let unfastened onto Dutch roads.

It is truthful to say some positive-tuning of the system is required forward of the Sprinter’s on-sale date later this yr. That turned particularly apparent each time MBUX would chime in with a “How Can I Assist You?” voice message, issued each time the phrase “Mercedes” was spoken within the cabin. Have you ever ever pushed a car and needed to whisper its producer’s identify whereas behind the wheel? It is sort of creepy.

The remainder of the interior know-how is way much less unnerving, fortunately. There are a number of USB retailers, obtainable onboard Wi-Fi, 12-volt and one hundred fifteen-volt retailers and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And don’t be concerned, regardless of all of the added tech and useful plug-in factors, there are nonetheless loads of cupholders for XL-sized caffeinated drinks.

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For fleet consumers, the out there Mercedes PRO Join system permits the cautious monitoring of every Sprinter, which incorporates all the things from monitoring fluid ranges and tire pressures to geo-location and understanding whether or not a window may need been left open. We put the app-based mostly system to the test, by opening and closing the home windows, or leaving the van unlocked, to see how lengthy every change took to register. The reply: It is awfully fast (and fairly cool).

Granted, the identical cannot be stated relating to straight-line acceleration. We examined two fashions, each diesels and in rear-wheel-drive format. The primary was a 314 CDI mannequin, a cargo van completed in Jupiter Pink paint and powered by a 161-horsepower, 2.1-liter turbo-diesel 4-cylinder coupled to a 9-velocity automated transmission. Later within the day, we tried a 319 CDI outfitted for passenger obligation, full with three rows of seating behind the entrance occupants. This excessive-sided individuals hauler is motivated by a bigger, extra highly effective 188-hp, three.zero-liter turbo-diesel V6, mated to a seven-velocity gearbox. The vans simply sustain with visitors and have been nicely-behaved throughout extended drives, with solely a faint quantity of diesel noise within the background. Then once more, fast merging and passing maneuvers require heavy utilization of the fuel pedal. It is higher to chill out and unwind whereas coming to phrases that life within the center- or proper-hand lane of any multilane freeway is the best place to be. Perhaps this Zen-like Sprinter inspiration explains why Mercedes made the entrance seats so snug.

Sprinter vans in the USA shall be provided with these two diesel engines, together with a gasoline-powered 188-hp, 2.zero-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. We’ll have a selection of rear- and all-wheel drive, although the entrance-wheel-drive mannequin out there in different markets shall be a no-present stateside. The identical is true for a guide gearbox, as Sprinter vans might be automated-solely right here in the USA.

Whereas we might usually lament the lack of a shift-for-your self choice, it is no actual sacrifice when speaking about a big-scale van. Serving to drive that time house have been the intrepid journalists who insisted on making an attempt the guide gearbox, then promptly received caught in the identical Rotterdam rush-hour visitors nightmare as the automated-driving contingent. Guess who was a lot happier and extra refreshed on the finish of that specific drive?

2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Credit score additionally goes to the Sprinter’s general dimensions. Regardless of providing the identical interior area as a typical Manhattan studio condo, the Sprinter is not notably large. That made navigating slender European roads a easy process, even in busy metropolis driving. The velocity-delicate electric energy steering allows you to place the Sprinter precisely the place you need it and, dare we are saying it, even supplies a touch of precise suggestions. The Sprinter is extremely straightforward to hop into and simply drive.

It is now additionally simpler to park, because of an obtainable rear-view digital camera and 360-diploma encompass view. Different helpful safety gadgets embrace crosswind help, to assist the Sprinter keep a gentle course when being buffeted by wind, together with lane maintaining help, a driver-inattention monitor, blind-spot warning and even adaptive cruise management. Oh, sure, heated entrance seats and wi-fi telephone charging make the choices listing, too. Whereas these two gadgets won’t precisely save any lives, the dudes hauling plumbing provides or gardening gear will certainly respect them.

Actual pricing and trim specification might be revealed nearer to the Sprinter’s on-sale date later this yr. An electric-powered model, referred to as the eSprinter, can also be set to hitch the U.S. lineup sooner or later, almost definitely towards the latter half of 2019.

– 2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter First Drive Evaluation: Boxy and beautiful –

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