I had the chance to test drive this Mercedes Sprinter 4wd and take a few images. Overall, I was impressed, and can see the application for the traveler intending to drive established routes in developing countries. Good performance on maintained dirt roads, sandy wash crossings, snow and light mud.
Alan driving the Sprinter
Driving the Sprinter is actually quite easy, and feels more like a .5ton truck than a large 1ton van. Shifting is easy with a light clutch feel. Steering has good feedback and trackability, especially given the height and weight of the unit. The camper load does a good job of keeping the 1ton suspension smooth and comfortable, yet still manages to control sway at an admirable level. NVH (Noise, vibration and harshness) is lower than expected with low driver fatigue given the intended application. Most of the vibration actually comes from the MTRs. The engine power seems adequate and should return 20mpg efficiency.
The bed is huge and affords monster storage below. I like the fact that the bed requires no set-up.
Lots of room in this thing and full stand-up height
Look at the size of those rear doors
This is where the magic is - a factory 4wd conversion - sweet
Brush guard and a place to mount lights. Notice the recovery points too - nice touch
This is the only factory 4wd sprinter in the US, a pretty rare beast. The cool thing - you can actually buy this one!