The pioneer of the modern Euro-type van movement in North America, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van gets a new look for 2014. And, the company says, it's even more economical, safer and more environmentally friendly than its predecessor.
The current generation Sprinter has been on the market for seven years, during which it has sold about one-million vehicles worldwide. In the face of new competition on the horizon from Chrysler, Ford and Nissan, it's due for an update.
Among the greatest changes in the new 2014 model is the use of a 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel engine as standard equipment, along with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The turbocharged four-cylinder is rated at 161 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque at 1,400-2,400 rpm. Its common rail direct-injection system operates at a maximum injection pressure of 26,000 psi.
The V-6 diesel powertrain used in the past remains available as an option.
Improvements to the operation of the van's alternator, fuel pump and air-conditioning compressor help improve fuel economy.
New available safety features include Collision Prevention Assist, Blind Spot Assist, Highbeam Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, in addition to the latest-generation Adaptive ESP vehicle dynamics control system.
Visually, the new van is identifiable by a higher hood, new headlights and a more upright grille that improves airflow and establishes a close visual link to other Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans.
Inside, drivers of the new Sprinter can look forward to a further enhanced cockpit with new infotainment features.
The 2014MY Sprinter will go on sale in the fall of 2013.