Before you buy a 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van in Uganda

by Edwin

The Sprinter might not be the first vehicle that pops into peoples’ minds when they think Mercedes, but the van has certainly grown in popularity, even in Uganda. 2014 brought the versatile van a new look inside and out, along with a host of additional safety features and upgraded engine options. What’s more, 2015 brings the addition of the Sprinter 4x4 to Uganda. That makes Mercedes the only automaker to currently offer a 4WD van.

Before you buy a 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van in Uganda

Astute van fans will recall General Motors’ Chevy Express and GMC Savanna vans offered AWD, but it the system was geared more towards foul weather than muddy job sites. The AWD system was limited to the 1500-series versions with the short wheelbase. That’s not the case with the Sprinter, as it boats an electronically operated transfer case with an available low range with each body configuration.

Speaking of body configurations, the Sprinter comes in nearly every shape and size, fitting the needs of small business owners to church groups needing to haul people. Mercedes offers no less than a dozen possible configurations between wheelbase lengths, roof heights, and weight classification (2500 and 3500 series).

Click here to buy a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van spare parts in Uganda

Buying a foreign used 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van from a Ugandan car bond

If you opt to buy Mercedes-Benz Sprinter from the a car bond in and around Kampala, then things could be a little bit more simpler for you because you will not have to face all the lengthy processes and journeys to the port of Mombasa to bring own the bus. Here most of the work has already been done for you. Most taxes have been cleared. All you have to do is simply pay for the car from the car bond and drive home. However, you can also find that some cars have only cleared the CIF fees only. So it would mean that if you want a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter then you will have to clear the rest of the taxes. You can find the Cost, Insurance and Freight of a premium Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (that is from Japan to Kampala) to be around $ 8,051 or even above. However, the total sum of the CIF can change due to year of manufacture, condition of the car, mileage and the dealer.

Importing a foreign used 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van from Japan

Importing a foreign used Mercedes-Benz Sprinter from Japan is different from buying from car from the car bond here in Kampala. You can prefer to import your own mini-bus directly from Japan. This means all the costs are going to be met by you the owner of the bus right from say Japan to Mombasa up to Uganda. Here, you will need to determine the cost of the van while still in Japan from which the Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) are calculated. The Sprinter’s price fluctuates depending on which wheelbase, roof height, engine option, and drive system you choose. Prices range from $35,995 to $43,530.

After arriving in Kampala, then the required taxes have to be cleared. The taxes charged by the Uganda Revenue Authority include Import Duty, Value added (VAT), Withholding Tax, Environmental Levy, Infrastructure Levy, and Registration Fees.

Click here to buy a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van spare parts in Uganda

Availability of 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van spare parts in Uganda

With an authorized distributer in Uganda, Mercedes-Benz spares can be accessed with a lot of ease. You can get refurbished in Kiseka market or brand new from the authorized distributer.

General 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van reviews in Uganda

The Sprinter is one of the world’s most well-known full-size vans. It’s paraded around Europe and other parts of the world for decades, and even made the jump to the U.S. It’s overall boxy look hasn’t changed much, but the details sure have. For 2014, the Sprinter got a revised front fascia with a more modern look. Its three-bar Mercedes grille adds the corporate Benz look to its nose while projector beam headlights with LED daytime running lights add class.

Sprinters fitted with 4WD get a revised front bumper with an SUV-like radiator shield that extends to the front suspension. The slat just above the license plate holder serves both as an air intake and a foot step, aiding in cleaning the windshield and servicing the engine. 4WD vans also get a leg up – literally. Mercedes raised its suspension 4.3 inches up front and 3.1 inches in the rear, giving it increased ground clearance.

Contractors and coachbuilders will appreciate the Sprinter’s available raised roof. It offers the average person the ability to walk around standing up, along with extra storage room along the walls with aftermarket storage shelves.

Mercedes has given the Sprinter a slight update inside, with minor changes to the dashboard’s finishings, and most noticeable, its new steering wheel. More importantly, updates have been made to the safety and stability control systems. Headlining the software is Crosswind Assist. In a nutshell, it helps keep the van in line despite crosswinds buffeting at its sides. The system reduces the need to counter steer, making piloting the van at highway speeds much less harrowing. Crosswind Assist comes standard on 2500 models and becomes active at speeds above 50 mph.

The Sprinter also incorporates electronic nannies normally only found in Mercedes’ luxury vehicles. Collision Prevention Assist helps keep the driver from causing a rear-end collision. The radar-based system monitors the road ahead, keeping the driver alerted of slowing vehicles in the Sprinter’s path. If needed, the system will actively apply the brakes to slow or stop the van.

Dynamic Proximity Warning alerts the driver should the van be approaching another vehicle at a high rate of speed. Blind Spot Assist keeps an eye on blind spots and Lake Keeping Assist will actively help steer the van within its given traffic lane. The van even offers High beam Assist which automatically controls the high beam headlights without driver intervention.

Of course, what makes a Sprinter special is its versatility. The rear area can be ordered as a cargo area with options for third-party shelving and drawer units, or as a passenger compartment with several rows of seating, the number of which depending upon the wheelbase. Lastly, the Sprinter can also be had as a chassis cab, giving third party up fitters the ability to install anything from RV units to flatbeds.

Click here to buy a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van spare parts in Uganda

Mercedes is offering two engine choices in the Sprinter, both featuring the automaker’s BlueTEC technology. The standard engine is a 2.1-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that produces 161 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy is high on the four-banger’s list. It uses a two-stage turbo, along with its high-pressure, common rail fuel injection system to appropriately conserve fuel when it can. Each injector features seven tiny holes to atomize the fuel as it enters the cylinder, giving each compression a clean burn.

The optional mill is the 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel. Offering up 188 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, the V-6 provides customers the ability to haul heavier loads. The V-6 is also the standard engine on 4WD Sprinters as it delivers the best torque output of the engine offerings.

Between them, both engines have similar construction attributes. Both are under square in their design, meaning the bore diameter is shorter than the stroke length. This gives the engines impressive pulling power for their size. Both also feature a dual overhead cam design for added control of the valves. Keeping things clean is Mercedes’ after treatment system. Like all modern diesels, the system uses DEF fluid to clean the exhaust of nitrogen oxides, lessening the amount of harmful tailpipe emissions.

Sprinters equipped with the four-cylinder and 2WD feature a segment-only, seven-speed automatic transmission. The unit boasts two overdrive gears for fuel conservation and low NVH at highway speed. The unit also features a upgraded lockup clutch that reduces slip for a quicker engagement of the gears. Those with the V-6 and 4WD make do with an older, five-speed automatic transmission.

The 4WD unit itself is fairly compact in terms of weight, only adding 265 pounds to the van’s curb weight. In practice, the system offers rear-wheel drive for standard driving, bypassing the front axle altogether. When the pavement ends, the driver simply selects 4WD via an electronic push-button. The system engages with a 35/65 torque split front and rear. Mercedes also offers a 4WD system with a low range, giving the transfer case the ability to multiply the torque headed to all four wheels.

Other alternatives available in Uganda similar to the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van

For such a class, we have the Volkswagen Crafter Van, FORD Transit Van and the Iveco Daily.

Click here to buy a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van spare parts in Uganda

Our Verdict

Cargo and passenger vans might not be the sexiest vehicles on the road, but they offer unbeatable versatility. The addition of 4WD to the Sprinter lineup means contractors, postal services, and taxi companies can now operate year round and through the most unfavorable of conditions in Uganda.

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