By Mario Cywinski
By Mario Cywinski
December 21, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz Vans Canada recently held a fleet event at its training academy in Mississauga, Ont., for the Canadian debut of its 2019 Sprinter van, which it promotes as ‘built for electricians.’
While the all-new Sprinter was launched in Germany back in February 2018, for many attendees this was the first opportunity to see and touch the vehicle in person. Now in its third generation, the Sprinter has seen a plethora of changes from the previous model.
“The Sprinter has been the leader in its segment since it was introduced to Canada in 2010,” said Nicolette Lambrechts, vice-president (VP) of vans for Mercedes-Benz Canada. “The 2019 model comes equipped with new features and capabilities that make it stand out even more.”
A four-cylinder engine has been added to the lineup, featuring 258 lb-ft of torque and 188 hp, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. It joins the six-cylinder diesel engine, which offers 325 lb-ft of torque and 188 hp, mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The outgoing model’s four-cylinder diesel engine will no longer be available.
Two new trim levels are available, with the 1500 and 4500 joining the 2500, 3500 and 3500XD. The 1500 level trim is available only with the gas engine, single tires and 144-in. wheelbase, while the 4500 is only available with the diesel engine and dual rear-wheel drive (RWD).
Four body styles will be available for 2019: cargo, crew, passenger and cab chassis. RWD and all-wheel drive (AWD) are available depending on trim level; e.g. four-cylinder engine models are RWD only).
For professionals using the Sprinter as a work vehicle, one of the most important aspects is how much load can be transported. With the various trims, engines, and body styles, that can vary. Cargo vans with the six-cylinder diesel engine have a maximum payload of 3,010 kg, passenger vans offer 1,298 kg and cab chassis can handle 3,395 kg. Maximums for four-cylinder models are not yet available. Also of importance is towing capacity, which is 2,268 kg or 3,402 kg, depending on model specifications.
“With these updates, Mercedes-Benz now offers solutions for an even wider array of commercial vehicle needs,” said Lambrechts. “The new Sprinter is truly able to deliver, no matter the requirements.”
A new multimedia system is added, as the company brings the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) to the Sprinter. The system works similar to digital assistants on various smartphone platforms, as saying “Hey Mercedes” will cue it up. It can be operated by voice control, touchscreen, touchpad and touch control buttons on the steering wheel. The system is paired with optional 7-in. or 10.25-in. touchscreen displays.
New safety features include attention assist, active brake assist, parking package with 360-degree camera, backup camera and active distance assist.
Mercedes-Benz Canada also offers a ServiceCare product, which allows customers to buy a package that offers maintenance (service), extended limited warranty (repairs), extended limited warranty and maintenance or a complete solution (service, repairs, and wear and tear). Prices vary depending on the package and vehicle type.
The Sprinter has been a reliable choice for those who rely on a van for their day-to-day operations. With the 2019 model, Mercedes-Benz has modernized it for the current automotive landscape.
Mario Cywinski is editor of Machinery and Equipment MRO magazine, a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and a judge for the Canadian Truck King Challenge, with more than 15 years’ automobile industry experience. He can be reached at email@example.com.