Any reviews on Distronic/Brake Assist

JIB

Member
I love the similar system on my Subaru. There was no question that I would order it on the Sprinter.

jack
 

HRvan

New member
Has anyone with these options provide their findings on using these features in the 2019 model.
Yeah, Distronic is freakin' awesome. Works great on fwy and in town. Smooth and confidence inspiring. Can't imagine driving without it, frankly.

Lane keeping assist is more of a 'ruh roh' for when you are actually driving out of your lane. The brakes grab pretty solidly and pull you back into lane. I.e., does not steer you down the road, but keeps you from going off the road or killing someone on the shoulder.
 

pdxhiker

Member
Lots of discussion about it in this thread that I located using the Search function. https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=78604&highlight=distronic

Short answer is, everyone is raving about it.
thank you.

I love the similar system on my Subaru. There was no question that I would order it on the Sprinter.

jack
ditto! I love the adaptive cruise control in Subaru Outback, I think Mercedes variant will be slightly inferior than Subaru version since Mercedes only uses bumper sensors while Subaru uses EyeSight technology utilizing cameras and sensors.

Yeah, Distronic is freakin' awesome. Works great on fwy and in town. Smooth and confidence inspiring. Can't imagine driving without it, frankly.

Lane keeping assist is more of a 'ruh roh' for when you are actually driving out of your lane. The brakes grab pretty solidly and pull you back into lane. I.e., does not steer you down the road, but keeps you from going off the road or killing someone on the shoulder.
same experience with Subaru Lane assist, it hardly turns the steering.
 

BigDC

Member
The Distronic system is awesome. Beats the pants out a similar system on a Toyota I have (and I happen to like the Toyota system). The system seems very smart.

As another poster said, the lane keep assist is a little rougher and less predictable but will step in as a last resort. I think both combined can add a lot of safety on long hauls (especially at night).
 

Gski

Member
I like the distronic a lot, which was a surprise for me. It is a bit lead-footed in stop and go traffic, so you lose some fuel economy and save a lot of frustration. It not only works, but it works well. I think distronic uses the windshield camera and big sonar sensor in the grill to do its magic.

The lane assist is half good for me. I like the steering wheel feedback if I drift out of the lane, but really, truly, hate the panic braking that randomly occurs. About one in three times I cross the line to give a cyclist or runner some extra room, the van panic brakes down to 55kmh. If I could keep the warning and lose the panic braking, I would love this feature.
 

pdxhiker

Member
I like the distronic a lot, which was a surprise for me. It is a bit lead-footed in stop and go traffic, so you lose some fuel economy and save a lot of frustration. It not only works, but it works well. I think distronic uses the windshield camera and big sonar sensor in the grill to do its magic.

The lane assist is half good for me. I like the steering wheel feedback if I drift out of the lane, but really, truly, hate the panic braking that randomly occurs. About one in three times I cross the line to give a cyclist or runner some extra room, the van panic brakes down to 55kmh. If I could keep the warning and lose the panic braking, I would love this feature.
Good to know it uses cameras. I am concerned with Lane assist braking randomly, can it be disabled?
 

BigDC

Member
Good to know it uses cameras. I am concerned with Lane assist braking randomly, can it be disabled?
Yes, lane keep assist can be disabled while still keeping the cruise control radar working. I do not find it to break unintentionally very often. If you are consciously steering over a line it will not intervene typically. If you utilize your turn signal it will definitely not intervene. I was testing it, and I had to completely let the vehicle drift without any steering input before it would engage. I think I experienced the unintentional break-in once, but I was also on A winding mountain highway
 

cacaw

Active member
... Lane keeping assist is more of a 'ruh roh' for when you are actually driving out of your lane. ...
I'm disappointed with Active Lane Keeping Assist. In my Mazda, lane assist was like someone sitting next to me saying "excuse me" before reaching over and making a slight correction to the tiller. In my Sprinter, it's like someone at the stern suddenly throwing out an anchor.
 

pdxhiker

Member
I'm disappointed with Active Lane Keeping Assist. In my Mazda, lane assist was like someone sitting next to me saying "excuse me" before reaching over and making a slight correction to the tiller. In my Sprinter, it's like someone at the stern suddenly throwing out an anchor.
In my Subaru, it’s like someone telling me watch it watch it - oh wait let me help you - oh, I can’t do this.:idunno:
 

Gski

Member
Yes, lane keep assist can be disabled while still keeping the cruise control radar working. I do not find it to break unintentionally very often. If you are consciously steering over a line it will not intervene typically. If you utilize your turn signal it will definitely not intervene. I was testing it, and I had to completely let the vehicle drift without any steering input before it would engage. I think I experienced the unintentional break-in once, but I was also on A winding mountain highway

Hmmm. Maybe it brakes when I move across the line too smoothly? I will experiment with that this weekend.... The feature only works if there are two painted lines, and we don’t have much of that near home.

There is no mistaking when the braking is automatically applied, as it uses maximum braking force. @cacaw’s ‘throwing out the anchor’ is a good description. It also puts the fear of god in tailgaters.
 

BigDC

Member
Hmmm. Maybe it brakes when I move across the line too smoothly? I will experiment with that this weekend.... The feature only works if there are two painted lines, and we don’t have much of that near home.

There is no mistaking when the braking is automatically applied, as it uses maximum braking force. @cacaw’s ‘throwing out the anchor’ is a good description. It also puts the fear of god in tailgaters.
I think that’s the case. You need to drive jerkier:) I would only keep this on when doing a long highway haul for an added level of safety. It definitely needs two good lane markers left and right. You also need to be going over 40mph, I think

Bottom line, the distronic is amazing. Lane keep assist is a little less so.
 

BigDC

Member
Does anyone know if the brake lights illuminate when either lane keep assist intervenes or distronic has to brake hard (and not coast)?

Our Toyota Highlander can brake rather aggressively with the adaptive cruise, but the tail lights don’t illuminate. I’ve always felt that to be a safety hazard.
 

VanGoSki

Active member
Does anyone know if the brake lights illuminate when either lane keep assist intervenes or distronic has to brake hard (and not coast)?

Our Toyota Highlander can brake rather aggressively with the adaptive cruise, but the tail lights don’t illuminate. I’ve always felt that to be a safety hazard.
Does the braking significantly slow the van? I was under the impression it only braked on one side to steer the van. If that were the case then brake lights wouldn't be appropriate. But yes if it's slamming on all four brakes (I hope not).
 

cacaw

Active member
Does the braking significantly slow the van?
It's hard to say. It's disruptive enough that I'm sure some people would say it slows the van quite a bit. But when it activates, it's certainly not as if the car behind me has to slam on its brakes.

My biggest concern is how would affect driving on ice. It almost seems like if your goal was to break traction, the best way to do it would be to apply the brakes unevenly to initiate lateral movement. But, maybe the system is smarter than that - I don't know.
 
The distronic is FREAKIN AWESOME. I can't imagine having the van without it.

It will bring the van to a full stop, manage bumper to bumper traffic like my tesla and just make the van a heck of a lot more comfortable to drive. I use it everytime the van is on the freeway. The only time I get nervous is when the traffic looks like its slamming to a halt 3 cars in front of me and the van is only watching the car in front of me. Surprisingly, it figures it out and also hits the breaks really hard.

The lane keeping assist is a total PITA and I would have it permanently disabled if I could figure out how. You can turn it off each time you drive the van but its under the settings menu and takes many clicks to get it turned off. On long drives, turning that feature off is the first thing I do. I hate it.

I would NOT buy a sprinter without the distronic now that I've had it.
 

cacaw

Active member
The distronic is FREAKIN AWESOME. I can't imagine having the van without it.
:thumbup:

...The only time I get nervous is when the traffic looks like its slamming to a halt 3 cars in front of me and the van is only watching the car in front of me.
Yesterday we were in heavy traffic with traffic entering the freeway merging into tight spaces. It seemed that the Distronic system, pacing the car in our lane that was directly in front of us, ignored merging cars they tried to pull in. I pressed it as far as I dared and the Distronic system never recognized cars that were only overlapping by a foot or so - it felt like it would have driven right into them as it followed the car in front of us.

Do you suppose that there will be any opportunity for software upgrades like the Tesla offers? I'd rather have the Lane Assist be more of a warning system than an automatic course correction. I was goofing around with it yesterday and it seemed like there's the potential to be rear-ended.
 
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