Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Edmunds Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.
If we had a nickel for every time someone asked us, "Hey, I'm thinking of buying a 12-passenger 2013 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500. Does it slalom well?" we would have absolutely no nickels. And yet we had the Sprinter, we had the track, we had the time, and hey, who doesn't love a good laugh?
No doubt many of you have already noted that we tested the 2013 Sprinter instead of the 2014 edition that sees several key changes. Actually, if you did note that, it's probably about time you take a break from the Internet and explore something called "outdoors." Anyway, the 2014 Sprinter gets an upgraded cabin, a bigger grille (it is a Mercedes, after all), newly optional safety technologies and a standard four-cylinder turbodiesel connected to a seven-speed automatic. For 2014, the now-standard 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that sends 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque through a five-speed automatic transmission becomes optional.
So there, you've caught up on your Mercedes Sprinter news. And for the record, it's not the slowest Mercedes-Benz we've run through the slalom. The Mercedes-Benz G550 still takes that prize with a 49.7-mph slalom speed. The G550 is just a tad quicker from zero to 60 than the Sprinter, though.
How slow is this 6,008-pound people carrier? Read on to find out.
Driver: Chris Walton
Drive Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Five-speed automatic
Engine Type: Turbocharged diesel V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,987/182
Redline (rpm): 4,200
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 188
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 325
Brake Type (front): Ventilated rotors with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): Solid rotors with single-piston sliding calipers
Tire Size (front): LT245/75R16 120/116Q M+S
Tire Size (rear): LT245/75R16 120/116Q M+S
Tire Brand: Continental
Tire Model: Vanco FourSeason
Tire Type: All-season
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 6,008
0-30 (sec): 3.7 (4.5 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 7.0 (7.9 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 11.8 (12.6 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 11.5 (12.2 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 19.8 (20.7 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 18.4 @ 72.4 (19.0 @ 72.2 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 35
60-0 (ft): 138
Slalom (mph): 51.7
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.62
RPM @ 70: 2,600
Acceleration: Only after raising the revs more than 2,500 rpm on the brakes could I get under 4 seconds to 30 mph. It's just a big-old conference room on wheels, so what should one expect? Pretty smooth upshifts and a higher redline than I anticipated from a turbodiesel. It was also interesting to find a (left/right) manual-shift mode on the stalk, but it would still auto-upshift at redline regardless. Not a bad performance all things considered.
Braking: Again, not a bad performance, all things considered. It also displayed good fade resistance after holding steady between 138 and 139 feet across several stops. Medium-soft pedal, but appropriate given the purpose of this truck.
Slalom: What can I say but, "I made it!" Nah, seriously though, the 2013 Mercedes Sprinter's steering is more reactive and precise than I anticipated (I've driven much worse in trucks and minivans half its size), it holds a line remarkably well (as long as I remembered there was another 20 feet before the rear wheels passed the cone), and the stability system doesn't shut the entire run down if it reaches a point where it needs to slow the vehicle down a little. This isn't the "slowest" a vehicle has gone through our slalom course.
Skid Pad: No drama here, just a big, old throttle cutter when the limit is approached gently. If I tried to blast through that electronic limit, then the brakes would activate and the driver would know something had occurred.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.