- 2019 Sprinter AWD spec and price announced
- Four-cylinder and V6 models available
- Raised ride-height and low-range gearing included
Available to order now for production in March 2019, the new Sprinter 4x4 costs from £37,540, and includes a number of modifications to make off-road use easier.
What kind of four-wheel drive system does the Mercedes Sprinter AWD use?
The new Sprinter AWD is based on the regular rear-wheel drive model, and uses the familiar 4-ETS four-wheel drive set-up – which Mercedes describes as ‘tried and tested’.
ETS stands for Electronic Traction System and, working together with the Adaptive ESP electronic stability control, this promises to deliver plenty of traction without the need for a manual differential lock.
It still allows you to change between four-wheel drive (4x4) and two-wheel drive (4x2) modes – the latter saving fuel when driving on regular roads – which is done using an electro-hydraulic coupling that’s controlled by a simple rocker switch on the dashboard.
You’ll need to keep it below 6mph to do this on the move, though.
When all-wheel drive is engaged, engine power is split 35% to the front and 65% to the rear.
Mercedes also includes low-range gearing for better control and traction in really slippery conditions – particularly useful when climbing slopes – as well as a Downhill Speed Regulation system (better known elsewhere as Hill Descent Control).
Does the Mercedes Sprinter AWD get extra standard equipment?
Yes. In addition to the four-wheel drive hardware, low-range gearing and Downhill Speed Regulation, 4x4 Sprinters also include extra grab handles around the driver and passenger doors, plus ‘mud and slush’ tyres – both useful in different ways when hauling yourself out of especially sticky stuff.
On top of this, they revert to hydraulic power steering in place of the new-fangled electric power steering used elsewhere in the latest Mercedes Sprinter range. This is presumably because it’s a better fit with the all-wheel drive gubbins.
A 93-litre fuel tank is fitted as standard.
Which versions of the Sprinter are available with four-wheel drive?
The Sprinter AWD comes in 3.5-tonne and 5.0-tonne gross vehicle weight (GVW) variants – known as 3 Series and 5 Series models, respectively.
Engine choices are 143hp, 163hp and 190hp for 3.5-tonne models, or 163hp and 190hp for 5.0-tonne models.
Both L2 and L3 body lengths are available, plus standard and H2 roof heights.
Compared with equivalent 4x2 Sprinters, the AWD models are around 200kg heavier – which means payload will be reduced by about the same amount – and they stand around 165mm taller.
You can see the extra ground clearance that comes with this increase in height in the pictures, handy when covering rougher ground. This results in the following off-road capability:
- Approach angle: 27 degrees
- Departure angle: 16-24 degrees (depending on vehicle length)
- Ramp angle: 18-23 degrees (depending on vehicle length)
The 3.5-tonne versions see plated front axle weight increase to 1,860kg, while in 5.0-tonne versions this goes up to 2,000kg.
Full dimensions details are available on our dedicated Mercedes Sprinter dimensions page.
How does the Mercedes Sprinter AWD compare with the VW Crafter 4Motion?
With its increased ground clearance and low-range gearing, the Mercedes Sprinter AWD appears to be a much more rugged vehicle than the VW Crafter 4Motion. You can barely tell four-wheel drive versions of the Volkswagen from regular front-wheel drive (FWD) and rear-wheel drive (RWD) alternatives on the outside, and they have no low-range gearing.
The Crafter is available with an optional locking rear differential, however, and its Haldex 4x4 system is able to automatically send power to the rear wheels when the front wheels start to slip – so you don’t have to engage a separate driving mode. The Crafter 4Motion is also only 150kg heavier than equivalent FWD models.
We’ll be able to make more of a judgment about which is better once we’ve driven the Mercedes – driving impressions of the VW are already available in our full Volkswagen Crafter review.
How much does the Mercedes Sprinter AWD cost?
Prices start at £37,540 for the 314 L2 chassis cab – or £38,605 for the equivalent van.
The most expensive versions are the 519 L3 models at £49,875 for the chassis cab or £52,050 for the van.
All prices exclude VAT, and the new Sprinter AWD is available to order now.