Mercedes 516 CDI Minibus – Taxi Serbia
When your work takes you far from the bitumen, this four-wheel drive Sprinter proves a surprisingly capable companion.By a comfortable margin, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dominates sales in Australia’s large van market. ‘Benz offers the Sprinter in a massive range, from traditional panel vans in various wheelbases, GVMs and roof heights, to minibus variants and cab/chassis models in both single-cab and dual-cab guise.Inside there’s seating for six as the rear seat is equipped with three-point seat belts for four occupants. Four burly blokes might be a bit squeezed for width, but leg room is entirely adequate.All that posibilites in Taxi Serbia .
Up front, the individual driver and passenger seats are comfortable and give easy walkthrough access to the rear of the cabin. Getting into the cab requires quite a step up to the single footrest, but a grab handle is provided for those up-front (no such luck for the rear seat passengers).
Once behind the wheel, the driver has a superb view over the traffic – in fact, the high-riding perch puts you nearly on par with prime mover drivers. A broad windscreen and decent side mirrors ensure excellent forward and side vision, but the tray’s sturdy headboard somewhat obscures the view out-back.
We confirmed that competency while exploring some pine tree plantations north of Melbourne, where significant rainfall had turned the tracks into slick, slippery affairs. Mercedes’ ADAPTIVE ESP/4ETS system is an all-wheel drive set-up, rather than a true four-wheel drive one – thus there are no differential locks and torque is directed to wherever there is traction (rather than the path of least resistance). In normal running, 100 per cent of drive is sent to the rear wheels, whereas all-wheel drive sees it split 33 per cent to the front and 67 per cent to the rear.