SPRINTER CELL (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Mercedes-Benz looks to mark the current state of the art in full-sized vans with its third generation Sprinter range. Jonathan Crouch reports
Ten Second Reviewword count: 41
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has long been the byword for excellence and performance in the full-sized van sector. The MK3 model range builds on efficiency and safety in significant ways, adds some style inside and out but remains focused on sheer practicality.
Backgroundword count: 82
In many ways, the Mercedes Sprinter has come to define the large van sector. It's by far the best-selling LCV across Europe, tracing its lineage back to 1995, with a second generation design appearing in 2006 and this third generation model being launched in the Spring of 2018. This time round, the availability of front-wheel-drive extends the available options. Plus there's a range of fresh connectivity choices that business buyers will like, as well as improvements to safety and running cost efficiency.
Driving Experienceword count: 204
Front-wheel, rear-wheel or all-wheel drive - for the first time the new Sprinter covers all three drive variants, and can therefore be optimally configured for the relevant transport requirement and operating profile. The front-wheel drive especially shows its inherent advantages when the vehicle is lightly loaded or in slippery conditions. Front-driven variants get either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 9-speed automatic 'box, both freshly designed. In the rear-wheel drive variants, thanks to separation of the drive and steering, the classic advantages lie in optimum ride comfort, a smaller turning circle and more agile handling. Rear-wheel drive also allows more control when towing a trailer and at the limits of the maximum permissible gross vehicle weight. The optional all-wheel drive system improves traction, particularly in difficult weather conditions or poor road conditions, thus enhancing driving safety and driving dynamics. Gear reduction is additionally available for demanding operations. As for engines, well not too much has changed here. Most will continue to choose the four cylinder 2.1-litre diesel powerplant. With front or rear wheel drive, it's available with 114 or 143bhp. The top 2.1-litre unit gets 163bhp when rear-driven or 177hp when front-driven. Above that, there's a 190hp 3.0-litre V6 diesel with 440Nm of torque.
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