D ie search for large-capacity devices that Asserting oneself off the beaten track used to lead to specialists like Iglhaut or Seikel. But for some time now, the manufacturers themselves have also wanted to earn money in this segment. The latest addition is the all-wheel-drive Sprinter, which has been available since 2011 and can be regularly ordered from authorized dealers. We asked the all-wheel-drive Sprinter to be tested in the most common version, as a high-roof panel van with the most powerful four-cylinder diesel that activates 163 hp and 360 Newton meters.
Mercedes Sprinter 4x4 in countless combinations
Mercedes relies on a relatively unconventional system for the Sprinter all-wheel drive: the all-wheel drive can be activated via a button, but can then be used as a permanent all-wheel drive. The power distribution is done by an open transfer case in the ratio 35:65 front /rear, there are no manual locks. When the wheels spin, the traction control has to work. For coarser areas, there is a switchable reduction ratio, which is not too dramatic with a factor of 1.4: 1.
The raising of the 4x4 box, on the other hand, is quite huge: it is at the front compared to the series Lifted by 12, at least eight centimeters at the back. The ground clearance is thus suitable for off-road use, it is 225 millimeters under the axles. The elevation not only gives more clearance for the tires, the values for slope and ramp angles also improve significantly.
All-wheel drive not for everyone
Although all-wheel drive is not for all Mercedes Sprinter versions are available, the choice of the base vehicle turns into a lively hurdle race for which you can plan a while. Almost countless variants of engines, bodies, wheelbases and equipment versions can be combined. In no case is it a cheap pleasure: The basic car of the test vehicle, the medium-length high-roof box, costs 42,268 euros. The all-wheel drive with gear reduction costs another 10,306 euros, and there is also no shortage of other well-priced extras.
Even starting work in the all-wheel sprinter is impressive. Far up is the second floor with the character of a high seat, from the side window you can see many a 40-ton truck into the cabin. In any case, the concept of the high seating position gets the Mercedes Sprinter 4x4stately dimension.
Chic cockpit in the Mercedes Sprinter 4x4
Although the cockpit is functional with ample use of plastic, it still has a homely character. Today's vans no longer look like old tractors inside, and the Sprinter is no exception. Everything that can be operated is placed within easy reach. The partition wall to the cargo area makes the passenger area quieter than the open box, and it can be air-conditioned more effectively. Really professional: a large number of sometimes huge storage compartments are waiting in the cockpit. In contrast, it is incomprehensible that there is only one single socket for 12-volt devices.
The all-purpose weapon OM 651, currently found in almost every Mercedes car, is also a good choice in the Sprinter, provided you have the version with 163 hp chooses. Then 360 Newton meters are ready to push the high-legged large-capacity box through the wind. The four-cylinder does this with remarkable composure and comparatively restrained thirst; the test average left the giant box at 10.5 liters of diesel. On long journeys the Sprinter lives up to its name when it speeds away with a speedometer 150. To ensure that such express transports remain on the safe side, Mercedes has carefully coordinated the ESP with the working environment of the panel van and also incorporated various load conditions into the control strategy.
The driving experience on the second floor is truck-like, the overview is terrific.