We take seriously the rigor we apply the testing and evaluation of new cars, but occasionally we lean a little toward the absurd. Responds fly to Kelowna, British Columbia, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4×4 on the road, miles of trails in the forest, two steep lanes are 2015 inclusive. Mercedes was eager to show the Sprinter has serious four-wheel off-road chops, sure, but were experiencing general curiosity about how proposed a $ 40K-plus ,, performs four by four in full size van.
These two objectives converge to a drive of 115 miles of Kelowna easy to ski semi-remote Revelstoke, where we were given a safety briefing and logistics. Among the instructions: they are not lost too far from our van because the local bear waking from sleep and came following command could not use strict roads with trees, single lane, the “bad mood” shot our way uphill winding mountain. ,, Because timber trucks loaded down that “really can not stop.”
Off-road Vannin simply “not stand not push
To get an idea of where we were, dragging the map of Google, imagine a straight line from Vancouver to Calgary, and insert a pin somewhere in between. This is Revelstoke. Our potentially dangerous route would take us to a forest road in the remote Mica Creek, which promised to take it off-road circuit by man, where we tested a prototype last year 4×4 Sprinter more challenging. As we climb the mountains, our first impressions of the streets are prototypes Sprinter 4×4 drove last fall not allowed on public roads, and in this environment, which drives like the standard version does not 4×4.
Mercedes-sockets on the 4×4 4.3-inch front suspension and 3.1 in the back, but apart from the high ground clearance and a switch on the right side of the steering wheel to participate on all wheels, there is little evidence the 265-pound 4WD system, not at all. The steering is precise, the large van tracks straight and true, and the new Crosswind Assist function oncoming trailer truck always took things on the straight and narrow air directly into the van the edge. (Works with the stability control program, Crosswind Assist brakes individual wheels to mitigate rising due to high winds and sudden gusts of wind.) The brake pedal is firm and reaction linearly, and exhibits surprisingly good control Sprinter the body to something so big.
4×4 different skills were visualized, but one of the Mica Creek forest roads, where we had radios in hand to alert us about logging trucks from the other direction. Uneven, rugged, indented with deep grooves made by giant machines, the road would have a flush Jeep Wrangler. The sides were covered with snow, while others offered a peatlike mud in which sprinters sank to the centers; Sometimes the forest road all included in one place, and launched into a nearly 30 degrees steep class for fun.
The Sprinter 4×4 diesel standard 188-horsepower V-6 of 161 horsepower four-cylinder base Sprinter diesel can not be combined with 4WD drive one to setup automatic five-speed type decent part-time and four wheels (on dry pavement, you must run to avoid binding) to feel agitated by the swamp and not surprisingly, since the light work. the van in drive mode Our sprinters had two wheels with winter tires, which have been appointed by the Law of 1 October to 31 March in British Columbia required; vehicles were completely different values.
Our RV SUV models include a rear axle of one wheel, as well as some with a dual configuration. There were versions of high and low ceiling, and variants of short and long wheelbase. Each configuration has the forest road, no doubt. Some of the vans were (an additional $ 6,500 to $ 300 for the top of the 4×4 configuration) box equipped with optional low-end changes, but successfully climbed the rough roads with a long reach only a 35/65 percent against solid Features / rear torque distribution. Besides slowing crosswind stability system and traction control also detects a spinning wheel and brake individually to send torque to the drive wheels; This ensures that the Sprinter puffing held, even if one or more tires lose contact with the ground particularly twisted.
Having proven himself a worthy SUV, we could not help but wonder who could simply buy the Sprinter 4×4. Mercedes does not answer the question exactly, but has given us, that the vehicle, which starts at $ 44.475 for a short wheelbase, the indoor load model has already been sold by the end of September this year. And that somehow feared an encounter with a pissed ursine or a huge truck full of dead trees were to the sawmill, we discover that this truck is a tool essentially without competition. If you have a large family and living in a remote area, or perhaps you need large, capacity weatherproof load and often walking through construction of mud, the Sprinter 4×4 is the only way to follow. Now if you are happy then maybe you build a taste for the absurd and silly an equal amount of cash, a fleet of Mercedes G500 6×6 4×4²s or have.