Mercedes-Benz 2500 High Roof Sprinter Cargo Van RWD-170
“A Righteous Beast of Burden”
By Arv Voss
There are vans and then there are VANS – Vans of all shapes and sizes, not to mention varied intended purposes. Mercedes-Benz is the producer of one of the broadest range of vans available in today’s marketplace. There is a plethora of engine choices, drive configurations, sizes and overall forms.
I most recently was afforded the opportunity to experience a humongous “beast of burden” in the form of the Mercedes Benz High Roof Sprinter 2500 Cargo Van Rear wheel drive with an extended 170” wheelbase.. It was virtually a versatile rolling cavern. The use of a stepladder for entry and exit would have made my time with this behemoth more pleasurable and I happen to be 6’4”.
My test Sprinter drew its motive force from a front-mounted 3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 coupled to a seven-speed shiftable automatic transmission with overdrive sending power to the rear wheels. The engine was more than adequate producing 188 horsepower at 3,800 rpm while generating 325 pound feet of torque at 1,400 rpm – more than enough to haul around a cargo payload of 4,034 pounds.
Let’s be serious here –first you take a bread box (I think they still have those) and explode it to monstrous proportions, raise the roof and stretch the wheelbase to 170-inches, allowing for a more than generous payload capacity, add a healthy V-6 power plant along with the iconic Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star logo and you have the gargantuan-sized, Sprinter 2500 Cargo Van.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE:
You don’t get S-Class level amenities here, but the seating comfort is a cut above most other vans. The ride quality is on the stiff side of the equation, but tends to smooth out when carrying a full load. It doesn’t serve up an overly impressive inventory of convenience features, but there’s a backup camera – a necessity to be sure and a base model stereo.
The turbodiesel V6 mill is definitely the way to go for the most satisfying power delivery and overall operational efficiency. Steering and handling characteristics rival many sedans, but the cargo areas’ barn-shaped mass can pose a bit of a challenge in a heavy cross-wind. There is however, a Crosswind feature. power could be improved upon for our taste, especially with a full cargo hold.
OUR FINAL IMPRESSION:
This Sprinter will cost you more than most other vans in its category, but you get what you pay for, and it is literally one of the best in its class that you can purchase. It offers more refinement with pleasing utility while serving up heightened driving dynamics. As far as technology goes, it’s always possibly to upgrade over the base offerings. Ingress and egress can be awkward for those whoa are vertically challenged, so bring a boarding step along.
If this particular Sprinter model doesn’t float your boat, chances are that the is a model that will, choosing from 1500, 2500, 3500 and 4500 models in a variety of configurations.
SPECIFICATIONS: Mercedes-Benz 2500 High Roof V6 Sprinter Cargo Van RWD-170” WB
Base Price: $50,660.
Price as Tested: $59,160.
Engine Type and Size: 3.0L turbodiesel V-6
Horsepower (bhp): 188 @ 3,800 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 325 @ 1,400 rpm
Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic with OD
Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / RWD
Suspension: Front – Independent
Rear – Stabilizer Bar.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs – Vented front with ABS and brake drying.
Tires: Michelin LT 245/75 R16 mounted on steel wheels.
Wheelbase: 170 inches
Length Overall: 290 inches
Width: 80 inches
Height: 107 inches
Curb Weight: 5,016 lbs. – maximum payload-4,034
Turning Circle: 23.6 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 24.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 15.9 average
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested
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