TEST DRIVE | MELLOR STRATA ULTRA
miniplus.co.uk | January 2019 | 21
Leg room in the rear area is good enough,
although tall passengers’ knees may touch
the back of the seat in from. The view
throughout is excellent, helped by deep
glazing and narrow pillars. Additionally, the
large rear window admits much natural light.
Twin LED strips provide saloon
illumination in either bright white or muted
Four sliding window vents are
fitted, while heat comes from either an
Eberspächer or a Webasto diesel-fired air
heater rated at 5kW. In both cases it is at
roof height above the wheelchair bay and
there are four outlets split between the front
and the rear.
The prototype Ultra has an audio-visual
next-stop announcement system as a further
example of what can be included on the
New Sprinter excels
The chassis OEM aspects of the new
Sprinter’s cab are completely different
to the previous model’s. Welcome will be
the removal of the selector lever for the
7G-Tronic. Gears are now chosen via the
Mellor fits a small cab door that is held
shut magnetically. The opening is rather
narrow and it may be awkward for larger
drivers. Above it are two money trays and a
ticket machine mounting point.
Mellor has already developed an antiassault
screen for the Strata, while as tested
the Ultra has a large luggage pen ahead of
Storage space to the left of the
hydraulically-suspended seat is good, but
there is none behind or to the right of it.
Room around the pedals is reasonable,
although the driveline tunnel intrudes
slightly, as is usual on front-engined
A powered one-piece blind and a
small signalling window are both fitted.
The former, like other body functions, is
controlled from Mellor’s switch bank that
also includes warning lights for items such
as the emergency door.
Although non-standard, the prototype
has Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX infotainment
system. It consists of a large touch-screen
display at the centre of the dash that
delivers a huge amount of information.
As an example, it can produce graphs
depicting the engine’s power and torque
outputs at any specific time. It also includes
an electronic owner’s manual to complement
more mundane functions such as satellite
navigation and radio controls.
Mirrors are adjusted electrically, while
the cab heater controls are simple. They
use a dial for each of temperature and fan
speed, and buttons to direct to airflow to the
driver’s feet and/or the windscreen.
Visibility from the cab is largely good, and
the driver almost has the feeling of sitting in
a fish tank, such as the extent of glass. The
base of the A-pillars is substantial, however,
and the nearside mirror is very slightly
obscured as a result.
On the road
The OM 651 is modestly sized for use at
6,000kg GVW, but it still delivers a power-
Sprinter is a
pleasure to drive
and the Strata
can deliver almost
anything a large