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Old 08-19-2014, 09:10 AM   #1
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4 cyl vs 6 cyl

Looking for a little input on the new 4 cly vs the 6 cyl that is still available as an option. I will be utilizing the 3500 High Roof 170" WB in a build GVWR around 7400 lbs post build anyone with a 2014 model sprinter have any input on how the 4 cyl performs?

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Old 08-19-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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Re: 4 cyl vs 6 cyl

Hi caseylee55, I have a 2014 Sprinter 2500 4Cyl (RB, hi top). It was built out by Sportsmobile North. I took delivery in early April this year. I'm not sure what our total weight is but it must be close to max when fully loaded for a trip. We are very pleased with performance. On flat roads going 65 (no more) I get on avg 23-25 mpg. And it is surprisingly peppy. We would get the 4 cyl if we were to do it all again... we really like it. Hope this helps, jim

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Old 08-19-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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Re: 4 cyl vs 6 cyl

We have a 2012 6cyl 3L 3500 GVWR 11,030 lb EB high roof 170" Sprinter. I would not mind a smaller engine as we pass semi's on hills all the time. I also would not mind better than highway 18 mpg, 17 mpg overall. We have lots of heavy things like the diesel generator, 40 gal fresh water, and lots of storage, and our weight loaded is 10,900 lb! Not sure how you will keep the weight down to 7400 lbs.

Vanessa: Sprinter 3500 170 EB with RV interior and lots of unique features including water below 0 degrees, screen door, diesel generator, huge rear storage compartment for 2-person kayak and much more. See my web site for all the details.
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Old 08-20-2014, 06:02 AM   #4
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Re: 4 cyl vs 6 cyl

Hi caseylee,

Hopefully some euro's can weigh in as the 4cyl just became an option for us here in the states on the Mercedes with the 2014 model.

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Old 08-20-2014, 06:16 AM   #5
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Re: 4 cyl vs 6 cyl

Having worked at a towing company with 95% Mercedes trucks and a car rental company with mixed fleet in Germany, I would take the V6 over the 4 cyl anytime.
We used both in the previous generation Sprinter, the V6 as crew cab with a 5th wheel trailer (~16k lbs gross) and the 4 cyl van (158hp) with a bumper pull trailer (~12k lbs gross).
The V6 took about the same amount of diesel as did the 4 banger while the 4 cyl shat engines around the 70k mls mark (and we went through a lot of engines).
The V6 only needed regular service and about a pint of oil every 600mls or so, which is common for these engines. We also used ML350 CDI's as tow vehicles with a 7k trailer and they averaged about 75k mls a year with different drivers and always towing a fully loaded trailer. We used to sell them around 300k mls and they still ran like new. The same with the Sprinter 5th wheel. No luck with the 4 cyl ones though.
'98 E-250 5.4 2WD Cargo Van
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:35 PM   #6
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Re: 4 cyl vs 6 cyl

Thanks for the replies definitely gives me some perspective...
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Old 08-28-2014, 05:56 PM   #7
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Re: 4 cyl vs 6 cyl

With regards to the 4 cylinder Sprinters note that the 2014 OM651 is a new long-stroke engine block first introduced in 2008, and quite different from the OM601/611 4 cyl engines found in earlier European Sprinters. There were some reports of injector problems in the first OM651 units but I haven't heard of any recent troubles.

That said, the OM642 V6 is a very stout engine and probably the right choice for towing or heavily loaded 3500 Sprinters. But for lighter units, perhaps 8500 lbs or less, the 4cyl with 7 speed transmission is a nice fuel efficient option.
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Old 08-29-2014, 07:19 AM   #8
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Re: 4 cyl vs 6 cyl

I too am concerned about the durability of the 4 cylinder in a fully loaded 10,000 lbs. plus vehicle. And I don't want to be stuck in the truck lane doing 35mph climbing a 12,000 foot mountain pass. I like the increased fuel economy though. I won't be pulling the trigger on a purchase until 2017 or 2018 so hopefully there will be some good data to look at by then.

Wishing you all sunny days and starry nights!
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:41 PM   #9
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Re: 4 cyl vs 6 cyl

80,000 pound semis typically have engines no bigger than around 15 liters, so it works out to around 1.9 liters per 10,000 pounds. And they usually last longer than most of us will drive a van.

I'm not sure size/displacement alone should be a great concern if engine is built with durability in mind.

Having said that, I also know semi engines don't work as hard on a displacement basis once they get the rig up to speed. That should be considered too.

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