2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Diesel AWD: First Drive,
It was imagined to be an off-road journey. However in a van. A dynamic check of the brand new all-wheel-drive diesel-powered 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Only a tall car crawling up a mud street and perhaps, simply perhaps, we’d get that one-tire-in-the-air picture for this text.
Rain, destroyer of baseball video games and seaside days, ruined the day. Apparently, the off-road course Mercedes had secured for the group of invited journalists was foolish with sharp rocks. There was seemingly additionally concern concerning the giant vans sliding sideways off the path attributable to extremely slick mud. A Mercedes leaning in opposition to a tree, boulder, or discarded Suzuki Samurai isn’t an excellent search for the automaker. However for a (very) temporary second, I used to be in a position to put the 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter diesel with all-wheel-drive to the check.
Full Disclosure: Mercedes wished me to drive the 2023 Sprinter with all-wheel drive so badly, the corporate flew me to Germany and fed and housed me, all within the identify of driving this newly-updated van on the sort of terrain the place you’d least count on to see it.
2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD: What’s New
Proper off the bat, Mercedes has gone with a less-is-more powertrain. New for 2023, the automaker changed the six-cylinder diesel engine with a brand new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel powerplant. It’s accessible in both normal or high-output variants, with 170 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque or 211 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, respectively.
On asphalt, the brand new engine is a big improve. Paired with Mercedes’ nine-speed G-Tronic computerized transmission, smoother acceleration and fewer in-cab vibration mix with elevated low-end torque for a greater driving and hauling expertise. On the street, the van displayed much less street noise than the final technology. Lastly, the smaller engine means fewer journeys to the gasoline pump, which ought to make fleet managers and cash-strapped van-life vagabonds pleased.
The Sprinter’s steering has additionally been up to date from old style hydraulic energy help to much-improved digital energy steering. Each on-road and off, the result’s lighter steering that delivers the feeling of driving a smaller car and doesn’t require further oomph whereas tackling tight maneuvers. It grew to become particularly useful when the navigation despatched us down the improper road, requiring a really tight three-point flip to flee.
In the meantime, the 4×4 system has been discontinued for 2023 and changed with always-on all-wheel-drive. Gone is the driver-selectable four-wheel drive — and the blood-curdling thud that seemed like a bowling ball dropped right into a shallow nicely with a lead ground everytime you’d interact the entrance axle. On various events, the previous 4×4 system left me questioning if my subsequent motion can be to name a tow truck after destroying one thing within the Sprinter’s driveline.
Mercedes says the brand new fully-automatic AWD system takes the guesswork out of when and the place the driving force ought to interact or disengage the system. The up to date drivetrain can transfer as much as 50 p.c of the car’s energy to both axle. To cut back slippage at every particular person axle, Mercedes makes use of brake-controlled torque-vectoring — when one wheel slips, the brakes sluggish it down, sending torque to the opposite aspect of the axle for higher grip.
In apply, on a patch of slimy mud with the viscosity of pudding, my Sprinter outfitted with Continental VanContact winter tires held its personal in a straight line and had no challenge advancing ahead or backward from a useless cease. Nonetheless, these non-compulsory tires (all-seasons are normal) did little to battle lateral motion when driving the car perpendicularly alongside a small slope (once more, seemingly the rationale Mercedes canceled the complete off-road expertise after it began raining).
Whereas turning and sliding the wheels, the drivetrain would switch energy to whichever nook had probably the most traction. This was after the van’s tire tread was full of mud and small bits of gravel. For campers and fleet drivers that have to sort out filth roads throughout wet situations, the newest model of the Sprinter felt nicely outfitted to get them to their vacation spot. With correct off-road tires, reasonably rugged filth roads and trails must be no downside — so long as the van’s 144- or 170-inch wheelbase doesn’t get it hung up on the nice open air.
2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD: Inside and Tech
The inside of the 2023 Sprinter is actually the identical because the earlier technology, however with a know-how improve. Mercedes’ infotainment system MBUX has made its means into the sprint through a ten.25-inch touchscreen. The display appears comically small in such a big cabin, but it surely’s the identical system we’ve seen from the automaker because it was launched in america on the no-longer-available-in-the-US-because-we-can’t-have-nice-things A-Class.
MBUX features a better-than-average Mercedes voice assistant. Though the bar for voice assistants working in automobiles (and typically) remains to be fairly low, “Hey Mercedes” did an honest job of understanding my instructions. Exterior of a improper flip that result in to a recently-closed street, the navigation stored the van heading in the right direction to my vacation spot, the off-roading that wasn’t.
Along with the patron pleasant inclusion of MBUX for fleet corporations, Mercedes presents 12 months of complimentary Mercedes Me. The business-focused service presents up “environment friendly fleet administration” and “knowledge interfaces for vans,” and may be overseen by a fleet supervisor through a cellphone or desktop app.
A brand new possibility that frankly ought to have been accessible years in the past is the non-compulsory rear-view digicam that turns the rear-view mirror right into a tiny show of the world behind the van. It is a secondary characteristic along with the federally mandated backup digicam required on all new automobiles. Now, when the rear doorways are opened, the back-up digicam activates so the driving force can see who’s again there loading, unloading, or simply getting in or out of the van.
2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD: Pricing, Choices, and Conclusions
The extra traction of the brand new AWD system doesn’t come low cost, although. The bottom-model standard-output diesel 2023 Sprinter begins at $47,000 for the rear-drive 144-inch-wheelbase mannequin. Including AWD requires you to possibility the high-output diesel engine, including $12,550 in whole. The bigger 170-inch-wheelbase Sprinter begins at $54,290, and including AWD will set you again an extra $11,550 together with the upgraded engine. That brings the big-body Sprinter previous $65,000, and all of the above-mentioned costs are earlier than the $2,295 supply cost.
The marginally-less-expensive gas-engine 2023 Sprinter doesn’t provide the choice of all-wheel drive. So that you’re both a diesel-based explorer otherwise you’re caught with a rear-drive Sprinter.
Sadly, the principle thrust of our media drive was lower extremely brief by rain. Whereas I used to be unable to partake within the pleasure of seeing how nicely a Sprinter van’s AWD system can sort out the foothills round Stuttgart, Germany, I as a substitute needed to make do with a mud pit with a really brief downhill part. Nonetheless, even in that brief time frame “off-road” and driving round Stuttgart, the modifications Mercedes has made to the diesel Sprinter van (accessible now in US dealerships) must be welcomed by each fleets and people on the lookout for journey in a tall van.
2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van 2500 Customary Roof I4 Diesel HO 144″ 4WD Specs
Intercooled Turbo Diesel I-4
, #MercedesBenz #Sprinter #Diesel #AWD #Drive