February 27, 2024

The steep, unpaved driveway was once so unfastened and mud-slicked from fresh rains that I may just really feel the bottom sliding ever so relatively underneath the tires, even once we’d stopped. 

I used to be advised via my information within the passenger seat of a giant 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD passenger van, on the mucky off-road park close to Stuttgart, to opposite and again up the small hill, and he didn’t appear in the least anxious in regards to the concrete wall only a foot or two away. 

With out attractive any particular modes or following any particular tactic for accelerating out, I frivolously then fairly pressed the accelerator. The Sprinter, using on Continental VanContact Iciness tires, didn’t waste any energy to the rear wheels. As an alternative, it gently labored the entrance wheels bearing just about the entire large van’s weight, gaining traction aspect to aspect to push the van cleanly up the incline and out of the dust pit.

It was once a nerve-wracking however fast demonstration, and despite the fact that we did different riding within the dust, it was once essentially the most spectacular of the day. Engineers conceded that it could have ended slightly in a different way within the outgoing van. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD

2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD

Taking the starring position on this maneuver was once a brand new four-wheel-drive device that makes use of a multi-clutch device to incessantly range the torque break up, sending as much as 100% to the entrance or 100% to the rear, or any aggregate in between, with the assistance of brake torque vectoring. Necessarily a transplant from the Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLS SUVs, it’s a large growth over the former device, which was once a part-time device locked to a break up of 33% to the entrance and 67% to the rear.

Usual downhill lend a hand keep watch over can also be became on when wanted to average an overly low, controllable fee of descent, even if the going will get slippery. The velocity is adjustable fairly larger or decrease by way of the cruise keep watch over toggle. 

Those that need all-wheel-drive within the made over 2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter lineup should move with the diesel engine, and what’s below the hood is advanced, too, taking part in crucial position on this new traction and refinement. The brand new-generation 2.0-liter inline-4 turbodiesel engine is obtainable in a selection of two other energy outputs—170 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, or 211 hp and 332 lb-ft—however all-wheel power is obtainable simplest together with the higher-output engine. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD

2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD

It’s hooked as much as a brand new 9-speed computerized transmission. First tools for the automated is if truth be told 25% not up to the former setup afforded with a low vary, so that they’ve eradicated that layer of transfer-case complexity completely. 

This is similar OM654 engine that’s used around the Mercedes-Benz automotive and SUV lineup in Europe. Mercedes says it’s a “extra succesful engine” than its turbodiesel predecessor, an inline-6. The corporate additionally notes that the brand new engine and transmission deliver advanced potency, reduced noise ranges, decrease emissions, and extra sprightly efficiency, together with faster launches. 

That’s precisely what I skilled in a brief on-road power. Whilst I didn’t enjoy the imaginable larger sound and roughness of a chilly get started, it’s quiet and easy. It additionally pairs smartly with the transmission, which delivers beautifully damped upshifts and fast downshifts that feelborrowed from a luxurious SUV. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD

2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD

Electrical energy steerage additionally replaces hydraulic-boost steerage for 2023, and it has a gentle, actual really feel that makes the van more uncomplicated to put on tight town streets, round roundabouts, and such. 

That mentioned, this van isn’t a fancy SUV that may do maximum of its miles at the day-to-day shuttle, or on the best way to football apply. Mercedes-Benz has so much using on its Sprinter vehicles. They’re the selection for supply drivers, act as brawny upfits for plumbers and electricians, and likewise serve ski motels, rafting corporations, and outside lovers. The Sprinter has been to be had with four-wheel power since 2015, and just about from the outset that made it one of the crucial best new-vehicle choices for the overlanding craze. 

Again to the slippery stuff. The best way the enhanced Sprinter AWD scrambles for traction rings a bell in my memory extra of dual-motor electrical automobiles than different all-wheel-drive vehicles I’ve pushed. There’s a degree of finesse that truck platforms reminiscent of this hardly ever showcase. 

Mercedes engineers showed that whilst the device is carried over from SUVs, it has advanced an unlimited, expanded keep watch over map to deal with other loading (and upfit) facets of the van, upsized tires, lifts, and the entire leisure that an overlanding consumer may throw at it. 

2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD

2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter AWD

I couldn’t assist however ponder whether all this traction experience shall be shared with upcoming electrical Sprinters, as the logo shifts towards a complete electrical lineup via 2030. For now, that query stays unanswered, however there have without a doubt been hints. Mercedes has already introduced that beginning in 2023, a brand new eSprinter shall be inbuilt South Carolin, and designed on a modular Electrical Versatility Platform that may position an electrical motor on the rear wheels. As for an all-wheel-drive eSprinter, I stay positive that it’s going to stay an possibility with the Van.EA devoted EV platform for mild business automobiles. It’s onerous to consider Mercedes giving up such capacity within the shift to electrical. 

The 2023 Sprinters are arriving now within the U.S. The beginning value of the U.S.-spec Sprinter is $47,000 in Shipment Van shape, ranging as much as $52,610 in Passenger Van shape, and it’s a hefty $12,500 improve to any of the ones for the diesel engine and all-wheel power. For any person occupied with development the overlanding rig in their desires, it’s just the beginning for the upfit, now with higher footing for the long run.


Mercedes lined transportation bills and lodging so lets  get our footwear all muddy and most likely be told one thing about long term Sprinters