A 1965 Volkswagen transport got me through school in the 1980s, and I’ve had a Dodge Ram Wagon as a family hauler since 2000. Square shaped, to me, is beautiful. So I savored my ongoing chance to drive a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter up to my niece’s wedding in Livermore, California.
Numbers don’t lie: The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is gargantuan, somewhere in the range of 50 inches longer than a Chevrolet Suburban. With an overall length of 274.1 inches, a wheelbase of 170.3 inches, a stature of 110.0 inches, and a width of 95.5 inches, the Sprinter Passenger Van is viably a 23-foot transport with a 14-foot wheelbase.
Estimate has its advantages. The Sprinter seats 12 comfortably in four columns (2,3,3,4), which meant children John and Andrew had the spacious rear seats to themselves for rest. Similarly as handy, the high-roof Sprinter has overflowing head room and a superbly flat rear load floor that’s 6 feet long and nearly 6 feet wide, with 52 crawls between wheel lodgings. Because of all this room, we could transport all the wedding blooms to the banquet room on Saturday morning. This was a party for 220 individuals, and all the floral arrangements fit effortlessly in the Sprinter, arranged neatly on the load floor and shielded from the components amid transport.
While we cherish the Sprinter Passenger Van’s versatility, there are a few negatives related to its size. It’s hard to park. You can’t experience the drive-through at In-N-Out Burger. It doesn’t fit in most parking structures. You can’t get it cleaned at an automatic car wash. And despite the fact that it has a tight turning radius for its size (54.8 feet), don’t consider making a u-turn on a residential road. Also, it is difficult to take a right hand turn into a driveway from the correct lane: You have to drive well past your typical turn-in point and then head in significantly later than usual to guarantee that your correct rear wheel—the one 14 feet behind the front one—doesn’t climb the check. Another con: The long-wheelbase/high-roof Sprinter won’t fit in many garages or today’s short driveways. The short-wheelbase form, which also seats 12 yet is just 9 inches longer than a Suburban—fits much better in traditional parking spots.
In our 870-mile round excursion to Livermore from Southern California (which included a fair amount of city driving at the two finishes), the Sprinter Passenger Van consumed 39.2 gallons of ultra-low-sulfur diesel, which equates to 22.2 MPG. That’s great for a major aerodynamic block weighing 6230 lb.
Credit here goes to the proficient 2.1-liter turbodiesel, a demonstrated 4-barrel press square motor that produces 161 drive at 3800 RPM and 265 lb.- ft. of torque from 1400 to 2400 RPM. Internal balance shafts help keep it smooth, and it’s all around insulated from the Sprinter’s huge cabin. The main gearbox available is a smooth-moving 7-speed automatic, and at 65 MPH in best gear, the motor is running at 2100 RPM. While that’s higher than you’d see with a large-displacement V8, this is a small motor completing a great deal of work, yet it never feels strained, notwithstanding when climbing Interstate 5’s infamous Grapevine at 60 mph. Click here.
Although this particular Sprinter—a 12-seat 2500 Passenger Van with long wheelbase and high roof—was far larger than I required, it allowed me to welcome extra family individuals along and have them bring any amount of extra luggage they figured they may require. The best part is that our 870-mile round outing gave the six of us a lot of time to learn the various pros and cons of living with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as a family van.