Advanced RV's 4 Cyl vs 6 Cyl Tests

Davydd

Active member
I'm guessing by next May there will be 4 cylinder Bs out on the road and experience reports will be forthcoming. Maybe as soon as Advanced RV has one done. I noticed in their latest videos they had at least 5 maybe 6 Bs in their shop at one time. We will be heading toward Washington DC in March on an indirect trip to Texas so maybe a stop in Willoughby could be made on the way.

Anyone know what the other converters, RT, LTV, P-W, GWV, Airstream, Winnebago, are doing in regard to the 4 cylinder?
 

Boxster1971

2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
...
I thought the 4cyl wasn't new to NAFTA, thinking it was being used also in some or one other MB SUV? ....
Correct. I meant it was new to the NAFTA Sprinters. At Sprinter-East this year I talked to a couple who had the same 4cyl diesel and 7-speed auto in M class SUV. Both the V-6 and I-4 diesels are widely used across the MB line.
 

4-Day

Member
I test drove a 170 wb 2014 4 cylinder in Colorado. I went up 285 from 470 to Conifer. Pretty good climb. I was doing 70 with no problem. Van was a cargo van and it was empty. I did not want to go any faster do to police and curves. Not to be confused with curvy police. So we ordered one. Being built on December 20th.
 

mikeneundorfer

New member
It is good to see all the interest and comments on the performance differences between the new (in the USA) 4 cylinder/7speed and the 6 cylinder/5speed engine/transmission combinations. Answers and clarifications:

Test objective was to create a limited performance comparison under one set of conditions.
Our test scope was narrow but consistent between vehicles. We didn't mean to give the impression that we were trying to maximize performance or do a comprehensive test.


The reason for our test: We have been asked by clients and others for our opinion on the trade-off between performance and efficiency in deciding which engine/transmission to select in the 2014 Sprinter chassis. Since we didn't find a lot of empirical information, and we had both 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder 2014 chassis in stock, we decided to do a limited comparison.

Both chassis were 2014 with the same rear axle ratios.

Each 3500 extended chassis were run up the same long, fairly steep hill with the accelerator on the floor until the speed topped out. (We kept the accelerator on the floor in testing both chassis in order to have a consistent comparison, not to necessarily get the maximum performance.

The 4 cylinder chassis was approximately 300# heavier than the six cylinder because we had installed the subfloor, air conditioner, a full vs half tank of fuel and a few other differences. However they were both essentially bare chassis.

I too have owned MB class B's with the 5 cylinder engine. I found the performance of that engine acceptable. I think the 4 cylinder 7 speed combination should perform a bit better based on horse power and torque numbers. If the 4 cylinder gets the mileage predicted by MB, I will be pleased and would personally choose that combination. We do have clients who will spend a lot of time in the mountains and who will be towing and the 6 cylinder may be a better choice for them.

Marcia and I will be taking our new Ocean One 2014 demo to Florida in a few weeks. This will give us a better feel for both performance and efficiency. We look forward to hearing the experience of others and will share what we learn.
 

Davydd

Active member
I too have owned MB class B's with the 5 cylinder engine. I found the performance of that engine acceptable. I think the 4 cylinder 7 speed combination should perform a bit better based on horse power and torque numbers. If the 4 cylinder gets the mileage predicted by MB, I will be pleased and would personally choose that combination. We do have clients who will spend a lot of time in the mountains and who will be towing and the 6 cylinder may be a better choice for them.

Marcia and I will be taking our new Ocean One 2014 demo to Florida in a few weeks. This will give us a better feel for both performance and efficiency. We look forward to hearing the experience of others and will share what we learn.
Mike,

That's the comparison I am most interested in (4 cyl. vs. old 5 cyl.) As I mentioned previously, I don't worry so much about mileage, but I miss those fantastic 500 plus mile driving ranges on a tank of diesel. Looking forward to your experience and report.

We tentatively are coming through Ohio on our way to Virginia in March then down to Florida and over to Texas where we have to definitely be April 18 for a BEE Social. Then we have to be back up to Indiana for the Indianapolis Grand Prix Indy Car race May 10. So it is possible we could make it back to Ohio on May 2.
 

adj2000

New member
I test drove a 170 wb 2014 4 cylinder in Colorado. I went up 285 from 470 to Conifer. Pretty good climb. I was doing 70 with no problem. Van was a cargo van and it was empty. I did not want to go any faster do to police and curves. Not to be confused with curvy police. So we ordered one. Being built on December 20th.
Hi, I am in the progress to do the same, who is the convertion company?
Thanks,
adj2000
 

Davydd

Active member
In the latest Advanced RV newsletter sent out in email that I just got, this is what was reported on the trip from Ohio to Tampa...

On a trip down to Florida last week in our new 2014 demo motor home--built on a Sprinter chassis with the 4-cylinder/7-speed drivetrain--Mike Neundorfer reported that the fuel economy on the latest tank checked was 21.3 MPG. These are preliminary results, but promising.

The engine also performed well in a range of driving conditions, although on steeper grades Mike did notice the difference in torque from the 6-cylinder engine.

"At 65 MPH, the engine mostly stayed in gear 7 at 2250 RPMs with hardly any noise," he said. "On longer freeway hills, it sometimes shifted to gear 6 and pulled at 2500 RPM to maintain 65 mph. On steep hills, it sometimes dropped to gear 5, which turns the engine at about 3000 RPM to maintain the cruise set speed of 65 mph. On a couple of long hills with signed gradients of 6-8% and a 20-knot head wind, the sustained speed dropped from 65 to 57 mph."

"Some of our clients will spend a lot of time driving their motor homes in the mountains, or plan to tow behind the vehicle, or both," Mike continued. "The 6-cylinder may be a better choice for them."

We will continue to measure the mileage of the 4-cylinder chassis and will publish results when they are available.
 

Davydd

Active member
We had a chance to test drive Mzungo, the Advanced RV concept B with the 4 cylinder engine and VB Air Suspension. We drove a route that simulated most of the conditions from town driving to accelerating onto a freeway. The 4 cylinder seemed up to the task and one 5 cylinder older Sprinter B owner said it performed better than his. I found the acceleration on the ramp onto the freeway was the most notable difference from my 6 cylinder but it got us on. We decided to stick with the 6 cylinder.
 

Boxster1971

2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
What did you think ok the air suspension? Is it worth the high cost?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Davydd

Active member
Is the air suspension worth the high cost? It takes out much of the bone jarring catapulting ride in the rear and the bang you hear and going over bumps. It also reduces that lean on curves and the rebound bounce back. Much smoother ride. If you thought your Sprinter was OK before then maybe not worth it. It's subjective I guess. I liked it and the feeling that I was driving a two ton luxury car.
 

casmith32

Member
Hi - can you tell me your experience thus far after having the van loaded up with the 4cy 7spd ? I'm in CO as well and my upfitter (outside van) says I should get a v6, but the MB dealer is telling me that the new 4 cyl 7spd engines are up to the task and that CME is ordering those vs the v6 on all their new 12-15 passenger vans - which they load up with people and luggage to head up to the resorts. Says they are very happy with them.

I'm leaning towards the 7spd 4 cyl engine - looks like not that much difference and runs much cleaner and better mileage - I will be towing a trailer in the future but nothing super heavy - maybe 2000lbs max.
 

casmith32

Member
I test drove a 170 wb 2014 4 cylinder in Colorado. I went up 285 from 470 to Conifer. Pretty good climb. I was doing 70 with no problem. Van was a cargo van and it was empty. I did not want to go any faster do to police and curves. Not to be confused with curvy police. So we ordered one. Being built on December 20th.
Hi - can you tell me your experience thus far after having the van loaded up with the 4cy 7spd ? I'm in CO as well and my upfitter (outside van) says I should get a v6, but the MB dealer is telling me that the new 4 cyl 7spd engines are up to the task and that CME is ordering those vs the v6 on all their new 12-15 passenger vans - which they load up with people and luggage to head up to the resorts. Says they are very happy with them.

I'm leaning towards the 7spd 4 cyl engine - looks like not that much difference and runs much cleaner and better mileage - I will be towing a trailer in the future but nothing super heavy - maybe 2000lbs max.
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Get the I4. No brainier. Our GWV legend weighs in at 9400lb. The 4 has plenty of power and great refinement. This can be confirmed in many other threads on this topic. I have yet to see a message by an actual owner of an I4 who didn't say the same.
 

Davydd

Active member
You will probably never know the difference if you never had a V6 Sprinter as the 4 cylinder performs better than the old 5 cylinder models. What I noticed in difference in my test drive was the difference in acceleration onto a freeway. You would simply learn to adjust to that.
 

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