DThe new Sprinter from Mercedes-Benz, which has been on the market for over a year, has blossomed from the stand to become an extremely popular base vehicle for motorhomes. It seems as if many Wohnmobilisten have been waiting for him because the quality of the manufactured in Dusseldorf transporter is rated higher than that of the long-running Fiat Ducato. At La Strada, the small manufacturer from Echzell in the Wetterau, the Sprinter under the awe-inspiring name Regent S becomes a versatile camping van. 68 375 euros costs the base model, but no one orders so well. Covetousness arouses the extensive listing of special equipment, which make the travel and the holiday really enjoyable. At the end of the addition is the number 86 569 euros in the car we drive, which the end of all possibilities was far from reached.
The Regent S is a relatively modest 5.93 meters long. This allows the trip to the centers of the small spots along the way, where usually a regular parking space can be found. Just on the height, it is advisable to pay attention, at just over 2.80 meters bay windows, balconies or branches should not be overlooked, if they protrude on the road. La Strada has to be reworked in the standard layout. Because the structure of the Sprinter comes just above the two-meter mark. In order to be able to install a double bed in the rear transversely with acceptable dimensions, the Echzeller help themselves, where otherwise metal or window find, with two small alcoves. That brings the decisive centimeters, which makes the 1.98-meter-long bed (with a width of 1.19 to 1.44 meters) comfortable even for taller sleepers. The mattresses are of high quality and lie on disc springs, which ensure fine sleep quality.
Clever is the substructure of the bed. The rear doors allow you to use the large storage space underneath, as well as the 100-liter fresh-water tank and the box for two 11-kilogram gas cylinders. The middle frame of the double bed can be folded upwards, the drawer module, which is filled from the interior, can be lifted out. Then the Regent S offers a throughput length that does not have to surrender even in front of classic surfboards and is also suitable for transporting two bicycles. The passage between the galley on the right and the washroom on the left closes on request, a curtain, the darkening of the cab must be closed during a stop over night not mandatory. All windows in the living area can be exhibited and are equipped with combination blinds for light protection or for fly defense. There is also an insect screen on the side sliding door above the 70 cm wide, electrically extending entry level.
The pantry shines with an 81 liter compressor refrigerator. The gas cooker will have only two instead of three flames in the next model year, which should do the space well. The sink is rectangular instead of round, therefore it is more difficult to clean, but also creates more space for rinsing. The room in the hygiene compartment is scarce, especially the storage options are manageable. Showering requires a certain flexibility. The core of the living area is the dinette, which is located on the left in front of the laundry room. However, the table in front of the two-seater bench can only be used when the two seats in the driver's cab have been turned. While driving, the Sprinter, compared to the Fiat Ducato, lacks six centimeters in length, so the table top and pillar must be removed and stowed away. This is the only way the driver fits behind the steering wheel on his retracted seat. This is not an exhausting action that can be done quickly, but you would like to use the storage space in a folding compartment above the cab, in which the plate is preferably housed, for the transport of other equipment.
The interior and installation of La Strada is consistently high quality. Nothing creaks or rattles while driving, the roll-mounted extracts of the kitchen block defy even bad roads and do not get upset. Light sources and power outlets, including two USB jacks, are in the right places. The processing and choice of materials gives the manufacturer a unique selling point in the industry, it is not for nothing that used ones from Echzell are traded at high prices.
That should also apply to the sprinter. And indeed, the criticism is limited to the high entry into the cab, which means more than a small step for a man, and on the soft Vorderachsfederung. Although this enhances the ride comfort, the body can be faltering violently on bumps. The mass distribution in a converted van is still far more advantageous for the handling than in a mobile with body.
The 2.2-liter diesel proves to be the ideal partner in the 163-hp version, especially in connection with the nine-speed automatic transmission makes driving in the Regent pleasingly easy. The automatic changes the translations with gentleness and puts the 380 Newton meters of torque of the four-cylinder always in the right light. The consumption of 10.2 liters of diesel per hundred kilometers is acceptable, the surcharge for the machine of almost 2600 euros less.
The Sprinter also plays among the motorhomes in the first division. In conjunction with the functional and solid La Strada expansion creates a very harmonious combination, but also in its own price range is traveling.