White mountain peaks rise above the fog banks. Steep, stony paths appear beneath melting, snowy slush. A cool wind blows. This is spring in British Columbia. In other words: The ideal place to truly put an off-roader through its paces. The Sprinter has been a van icon for exactly 20 years now. Since March 2015 the world also knows that the 4×4 version of the Sprinter can hold its own against an off-roader. For three days, 14 journalists had the opportunity to conquer Canada’s tough terrain in the Mercedes-Benz van. Or did the Sprinter 4×4 have a full 72 hours to conquer the hearts of the press? Either way: The mission was a complete success!
Last year the Sprinter 4×4 already managed to convince the Canadians: At the Battle of the Vans, Mercedes-Benz gave small business owners the chance to test the vehicle themselves. At the same time, they also had the opportunity to try out competing vehicles – for four weeks on three different types of route: “closed course”, “street drive” and “measurement state”. The aim was to assess the efficiency, safety, technology, comfort and, naturally, driving pleasure. The verdict from the Canadian testers last year was unanimous: In every category the Sprinter was able to demonstrate its competitors that it actually has none.
This year in spring an exclusive event was organized for the press: the invited journalists had the opportunity to go on a short journey of “only” 338 kilometers in the Sprinter 4×4. From Kelowna to Mica Creek. After travelling along narrow and rough paths and across the rough terrain in the wind and weather, this year’s verdict was once again unanimous: in this vehicle you leave behind the rest of the van world in moments. Costa Mouzouris from Guide de l’Auto stated: “The Sprinter is not a leisure vehicle, it is a true workhorse. And in Stuttgart they have now decided that it is time to do a little work in the mud and dust.” Jil McIntosh from Toronto Star added: “It might not look like it, but it is a surprisingly tough vehicle!” Kevin “Crash” Corrigan finally summed it up concisely and enthusiastically: “Mercedes-Benz takes the lead again!”