The Sprinter is around for a good number of years and during its history it took many shapes. The Chassis cab version of the model is sold very well in Europe and has starting to have a bit of success in USA too.
The Sprinter chassis cab comes with the proven Mercedes build quality and reliability, while its engine are also among the most efficient in the segment. With gros vehicle weights ranging from 2.8 -4.6 tonnes the Mercedes Sprinter Chassis Cab is available with either single or double cabs and has a starting price of $34.820.
The Mercedes Sprinter chassis cab features a typical European design which is very different that the US products. Though, this isn’t a bad thing at all, as the Sprinter is one of the best looking chassis cab models that managed to make their way into the US.
The truck keeps a lot of elements from the typical Mercedes design language and features a dynamic look enhanced by the hood creases which flow seamlessly toward the grille forming a vague “V” shaped pattern. The radiator grille is also elegantly shaped featuring two horizontal bars and baring the three pointed star in its center, while the petal shaped headlights add the finishing touch to the front fascia.
Viewed from the side, the Sprinter looks pretty dynamic, thanks to its sharp side. The vehicle is available with 16 inch wheels which despite their relatively small size, cope well with the flared wheel arches.
Hop inside and you’ll find a nice atmosphere that reminds you about the famous Mercedes sedans. However, even if the cabin feels a bit better than Ford or Chevrolet models, a close inspection reveals a few of those hard plastic parts typical for this segment still surfacing, particularly on the center console. Despite the materials, the interior feels pretty airy and relaxing with good soundproofing and big glass areas which offer a great all-round visibility. The head room is also the best in class and can’t be compared with the typical American cabin configurations which have a relatively low roof.
We also like the captain chairs even if they don’t offer plenty of side support, which by the way, is a common issue in this segment. The seats come with numerous adjustment options and even with optional manual lumbar support, hence it won’t be hard to find your favorite driving position. Talking about driving position, the steering wheel is also worth to be mentioned as it can be adjusted for height and reach, and is fitted with a host of controls for radio and trip computer.
The Mercedes Sprinter Chassis Cab is also available with optional power-folding heated exterior mirrors and cruise control. There is a wide range of practical and innovative equipment as well, allowing you to create a complete package tailored to your needs. Like all vehicles in the commercial segment, the Sprinter comes with a relatively short list of standard features including power front windows, an AM/FM radio, air conditioning and an armrest for both the driver and the front passenger.
Engines and transmissions
Mercedes-Benz is already known for its reliable and fuel efficient engines and it should come as no surprise that the Sprinter power-plants are among the most efficient units in the segment.
The lightweight truck is equipped with the latest V6 BlueTEC diesel engine which develops 186 hp and at the same time offers clean combustion, low emissions, and a good efficiency. Thanks to its generous peak torque rated at 325 lb-ft, the V6 BlueTEC diesel engine offers strong towing capacitates even on hilly and mountain roads. The peak torque is also available at low revs to enhance the vehicle performances.
The engine is mated on a 5-speed automatic transmission which comes fitted with the Start-off Assist system.
The engine copes well with the necessities of the urban driving, but on the highway it could prove to be a bit sluggish especially when it needs to deal with overtaking maneuvers.
Ride and suspensions
Compared to the Detroit based vehicles, the Mercedes Sprinter is surprisingly easy to drive and its ride is also pretty pleasant, being able to absorb most of the bumps with ease. Its smooth manners are also enhanced by the light responsive steering which can be comparable with a passenger car. The steering also gives you more road feedback than most of the trucks in the segment giving the vehicle a good handling on the narrow city streets.
The Mercedes Sprinter Chassis cab is pretty well represented in the safety department too, with a lot of electronic nannies designed to keep the vehicle in check. Among them we there is the ADAPTIVE ESP Electronic Stability Program which, intervenes actively in critical situations by applying a brake force to one or more wheels and adjusting the engine output in order to help stabilize the vehicle. The system uses the anti-lock braking system (ABS), acceleration skid control (ASR), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BAS), and Start-off Assist to improve the directional stability.
The Brake Assist (BAS) Brake Assist can help to prevent a head-to-tail crash or at least reduce the impact speed. Based on the speed with which the driver presses the brake pedal, it is able to detect a situation in which emergency braking is required. If these situations occur, the system increases the braking power automatically, aided by the anti-lock braking system (ABS), which prevents the wheels from locking up.
The Mercedes Sprinter has already proven its reliability and tough character in its long and succesfull history. The Chassis Cab model is one of the best built vehicles in its segment, but unlike other rival trucks its versatility is a bit limited. Moreover, the Sprinter is also available with only one engine option which is a big disadvantage when compared with models like the Ford E Series, Chevrolet Express or GMC Savanna which come with a plethora of engines and transmissions.
Not to mention about the acquisition price and the owning costs which are also pretty big compared to its rivals. However, if you want to leave all these disadvantages behind, the Sprinter is one of the most efficient, well build and comfortable trucks in the segment.
Video: Mercedes Sprinter Range