Mercedes-Benz introduces the 16-seater Sprinter van in the U.S.

Article by Christian A., on August 29, 2010

Sales begin this summer for a 16-seater van from Daimler Vans USA's Sprinter model line. The van is intended to be used for hotel shuttle service, paratransit and other applications. Interested parties may now order directly from a Mercedes-Benz or Freightliner dealership that carries the Sprinter lineup.

Pricing information has yet to be announced but according to Dan Barile, a Mercedes-Benz USA spokesman, Daimler offers four different interior configurations, including a model with a wheelchair lift that can carry up to 8 passengers.

The Sprinter is a full-sized, heavy-duty van that is available in 2500 and 3500 models. Daimler Vans USA's plant in Ladson, S.C. will assemble the semi-knockdown kits as well as cargo, chassis cab and 12-passenger passenger vans.

Daimler Buses North America, Greensboro, N.C., handles the shuttle van conversion. The shuttle van is offered in four 15- and 16-passenger configurations, plus driver. In place of a sliding door, the van has electrically operated split passenger doors.

Barile said that this setup does away with having to talk to a separate conversion company. He said that the one-stop shopping offered by Mercedes and Freightliner dealers is an advantage. Powering the car is a 188-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V-6, with 325 pounds feet of torque.

Selected Mercedes-Benz dealers started selling cargo, chassis cab and passenger van Sprinter models on January 1.

It should be noted that Daimler ended contracts with almost 350 Dodge dealers last year. The van has been sold by selected Freightliner dealers since 2001. Daimler Vans is a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz USA.

For the Citan, Mercedes-Benz wanted a vehicle that would be able to meet all of the challenges customers face on a daily basis. There are a number of functional features like a stowage compartment placed in the middle of the seats in the front. There is also a large glove compartment and an overhead stowage compartment that has been positioned across the whole breadth of its windscreen.

All of these mean that drivers are able to put all the items they need within reach. Another useful feature in the Citan, which is fitted as standard, is the steering wheel that is height-adjustable. Other functionalities include exterior mirrors which can be adjusted even from the inside and the central locking that has a remote control. Going inside the cockpit, drivers will instantly get a feeling of familiarity.

This is not only because of the star that has been placed on the steering wheel but also the combination of the light switches, gearknob, keys on its instrument panel, and other switches. All of these are able to meet what the brand requires for the driver’s region when it comes to function, layout, and appearance. Speaking of the instrument panel, it is just as striking and powerful as its exterior given how it was designed to be around the driver.

With a leather-like grain for the surface, it results in an attractive feel and look. Helping enhance the interior is the trim put on the Citan’s glove compartment. Indeed, the interior of the new Citan is even made more unique with features that follow truly high standards.

Take the driver and the passenger sitting in the front. Both of them are able to benefit from having to use the seats which are not only padded comfortably but are also equally firm. With the backrests having a form-fitting shape, it allows for excellent lateral support resulting in both safety and comfort. Inspired by the design language of Mercedes-Benz, the seat’s fabric cover is breathable and even skin-friendly. It also is durable and rather easy to take care of.

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