Experienced by Kyle Aye
We have all seen the business elite at construction sites donning business suits and hard hats standing out from the rest of the crew workers because they are blatantly different. While the hard hat is a safety requirement on all work sites the business suit however is not. It usually signifies a sign that this particular individual is from corporate, engineering or part of management. Similarly, this is the most appropriate description of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz 2500 Sprinter Van. Many may be more accustomed to the M-B brand that represents ultimate luxury in the form of touring sedans, sports cars and SUVs, but the German brand also has a deep rooted history with utilitarian vehicles. If you don’t believe me just search for “UniMog,” but that is a story for another day.
Automotive Rhythms’ had the pleasure of experiencing a Dolomite Brown Metallic Sprinter recently in the Los Angeles suburbs while participating in a few sporting events. Upon first glimpse, the gargantuan ‘people mover’ stands out in a very unique manner. It’s aggressive but passionate. The exterior design may look a bit awkward, but with all German engineered vehicles “form follows function’ in typical fashion. Once inside you begin to appreciate the added gains by that extra tall ceiling. The Sprinter mimics the feel of standing in a building opposed to a vehicle; ample headroom is an understatement. The high roof is also very useful when hauling cargo or accommodating larger objects that normally would require a box truck. Though, we know Sprinter owners with custom interiors that resemble campers and VIP club rooms. Step towards the back for 270-degree rear access doors that make entry into the cavernous interior simple. Our $40,015 test model was loaded with a cadre of M-B technologies and packages that increased pricing to $59,840.
Powered by a 2.1-liter I4 161-horsepower Turbo Diesel BlueTEC engine which is paired to a 7-speed transmission, the Sprinter had ample highway power and was able to keep up with traffic on busy streets as well as climb steep inclines effortlessly. There is also an optional 3.0-liter Turbo Diesel V6 engine (188-horsepower) mated to a 5-speed transmission. With a 5,000 lb towing capacity and a 26.4 gallon fuel tank the Sprinter is a very legitimate utility vehicle with long legs. My fellow editor Leon Brittain also enjoyed the ride of the multi-faceted Sprinter. “I was happily surprised with the Sprinter’s maneuverability. I was able to make a u-turn in a relatively tight radius. Also, the Sprinter gets favorable marks for mass appeal, everywhere I travelled to on-lookers kept gawking. I even had neighbors and friends waiting to see the interior.”
Consumers will be happy to know that Mercedes-Benz offers the Sprinter in a plethora of variations from cargo versions with no rear seating to fully equipped luxury VIP limo variants. Two wheelbases and a high top model are also available. Seating is comfortable for both the driver and passengers which is especially important for those long work days behind the wheel. The driver seating position was relaxing for me at 6’3” and the chair and padding was very supportive.
No stranger to work vans, I was highly impressed with the abundance of technology Mercedes had installed in the Sprinter. We all know that cargo space, towing capacity and overall engine power are traditional characteristics of a utility vehicle, which the Sprinter has in addition to safety and technological enhancements borrowed from its more luxury-laden classmates. Navigation, a rear view camera, heated seats, lane departure warning, blind spot assist and collision prevention assistance set the Sprinter up as a premier worker getting the job done efficiently and safely.