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58Bonne's 1958 Bonneville

2019 June
of the Month

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Car and Driver: They Call Me the Workin’ Van: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Worker Model Debuts

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Although its name alludes to an engineered sociopolitical economic agenda, the Mercedes-Benz “Worker model” has more in common with the writings of Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson than those of Karl Marx. Lean on gimmicks and positioned as a blank canvas for owner-specific configuration, the Worker model is targeted at commercial van buyers such as plumbers, electricians, general contractors, and HVAC specialists.

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Available in both 2500 and heavy-duty 3500 chassis, the Worker comes with a 144-inch wheelbase and standard-height roof, which Mercedes says is the most popular configuration for the Sprinter van. Power for the people comes from the corporate 2.1-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine. Its 161 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of hardworking torque (fully available at 1400 rpm) is funneled to a seven-speed automatic transmission, although fleet owners might be more impressed with the powertrain’s commendable 20,000-mile service intervals. Maximum payload is 3512 pounds, and the Worker can tow up to 5000 pounds. Strong like bull, the Worker model can even carry up to 660 pounds of tools for the revolution on its roof.

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Exterior color choices are limited to white or white, as Mercedes figures small-business owners and contractors will want to use the ample real estate for advertising propaganda of their own. Offering respite from the workday is the front passenger compartment, which features power windows, air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, five cupholders, adjustable armrests, and a standard four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth wireless music streaming and an auxiliary port.

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Three preconfigured packages are available to streamline the ordering process: The Convenience Package ($1499) includes heated power mirrors, cruise control, automatic windshield wipers, a multifunction steering wheel, an enhanced info screen, and trailer hitch pre-wiring. The Utility Package ($2999) includes all contents in the Convenience Package, plus a wood cargo floor, a rear step, LED lights in the cargo area, two additional keys (for a total of four), plus grab handles and glass windows in the rear cargo doors. The decadent Overtime Package ($4499) includes all of the above, plus an upgraded audio system, high-beam assist, a blind-spot monitor, a rearview camera, a first-aid kit, and an emergency flashlight. Workers are advised to choose wisely, as bourgeois leaders frown upon indulging in such creature comforts.

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Available for order now, the Sprinter Worker Van has a very humble starting MSRP of $33,490, blue collars not required.

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2016 Chicago Auto Show Full Coverage

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