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Old 11-12-2015, 02:42 PM   #1
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Default No more swivel seats on 2016 Sprinters...

except for the 10,000+ GVWR models because of new safety regulations and thoracic airbags in the seats. I just noticed this Mercedes change for 2016. For example, the 2016 Pleasureway Ascent won't have front swivel seats anymore. For a small RV, this basically means that you lose the front living area. This would probably be a deal breaker for me. I suppose someone could disable the airbags and modify the seats but this doesn't seem too wise and the RV companies won't be willing to assume this liability. The heavier weighted vehicles must have different safety regulations. Upgrading to the heavier rated vehicle would cost several thousand dollars more.
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Old 11-12-2015, 02:49 PM   #2
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It was the biggest reason we stepped up our shopping and ordered one of the two remaining 2015 chassis's to have our 2016 PW Ascent built on.

To be honest though we initially thought it would be a deal breaker too, not having swivel seats. However, because the table can remain while the rear sofa is raised and lowered, it may have still worked for us...
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Old 11-12-2015, 05:32 PM   #3
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I can't imagine loosing the use of the front area.
We generally leave our bed made up and we do swivel our front seats ( 2006 Lexor TD)...without that we probably would not be in a B.
In day to day use it allows me somewhere to be when the galley is in use.



How safety regs affect anything not classed as a "passenger car" is a very wacky area.

for instance SUV's are not classed as passenger cars, but light trucks.

so the SUV and pickup trick and van do not have crumple zones, 5 MPH bumpers restraints and other 'safety features'.
This is why light trucks appear a "good value"- pound for pound.
and they may do better in an accident than a passenger car, but that is due to mass- not design.
and they do tend to flip

this extends to our B's.

MB has changed up it's airbags systems I think more for marketing/ consumer demand...but that restricts seat movement.
MB has also been a leader with stablity systems.
I don;t think this is in response to any US regs.


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Old 11-12-2015, 06:20 PM   #4
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PW site now indicating no swivel seats on the Ascent "Due To The Addition Of Thorax Air Bags in Front Seats." They still have video of 2015 model showing the swivel seats.

RT specs now indicate Thorax Air Bags, but their floor plans and photos still show swivel seats.

Someone on one of the Sprinter Forums also reported smaller fuel tank for 2016. 2016 MB specs indicate 24.5 gal. 2015 specs say 26.4 gal.
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Old 11-12-2015, 06:40 PM   #5
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PW site now indicating no swivel seats on the Ascent "Due To The Addition Of Thorax Air Bags in Front Seats." They still have video of 2015 model showing the swivel seats.

RT specs now indicate Thorax Air Bags, but their floor plans and photos still show swivel seats.

Someone on one of the Sprinter Forums also reported smaller fuel tank for 2016. 2016 MB specs indicate 24.5 gal. 2015 specs say 26.4 gal.
Just wondering if RT still offers swivel seats because they add their own seats to the coach?
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:54 PM   #6
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Just wondering if RT still offers swivel seats because they add their own seats to the coach?
Do they?

I think they do add their own seats for those models with additional seats - other than the driver + front passenger ones, but I did not think they replaced the factory front seats with their own (maybe re-covered them?)

If they do and continue to offer front swivel seats on their Sprinters, and other RV makers don't, that may make their Sprinter models more attractive to some buyers. I know I would not buy one without the swivel seats.

The smaller gas tank is still problematic.
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:55 PM   #7
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I can't imagine Roadtrek's attorneys allowing them to remove factory seats with airbags. I always thought they just recovered the seats anyway.
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Old 11-12-2015, 10:05 PM   #8
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I can't imagine Roadtrek's attorneys allowing them to remove factory seats with airbags. I always thought they just recovered the seats anyway.
That's what I thought. IIRC there was some mention, when the Travato's first came out, that Winnebago could not touch/fiddle/change anything in the front cab area, without needing to get re-certified by the Feds.
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Old 11-13-2015, 12:14 AM   #9
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yes you are likely right...
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Old 11-13-2015, 01:45 AM   #10
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Promaster is under 10000 lbs GVWR, so I guess this doesn't apply to them. They have airbags built into the seats themselves. So the swivels remain on these I suppose.

Perhaps that is why no swivels on Transits, so far.

I had heard that under 10k GVWR had the same requirements as cars, and that trucks above that weight had lesser safety requirements. Guess that is out the window now?
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:32 AM   #11
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Promaster is under 10000 lbs GVWR, so I guess this doesn't apply to them. They have airbags built into the seats themselves. So the swivels remain on these I suppose.

Perhaps that is why no swivels on Transits, so far.

I had heard that under 10k GVWR had the same requirements as cars, and that trucks above that weight had lesser safety requirements. Guess that is out the window now?
Yes, I had read - somewhere - that all this was related to GVWR.

But I don't see why swivel seats would matter with thorax air bags. The use of air bags is only for when the vehicle is moving. When the seats are swiveled, isn't there an ignition lock that prevents the vehicle being started? At least on my old '99 EVC, there is. Don't all Class B's with swivel seats have that?

Or is this MB trying to reduce price for their cargo vans. Maybe they should make swivels an option for RV up fitters only.

The smaller gas tank is just plain dumb IMO. They must have done other under-chassis mods to require that.
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Old 11-13-2015, 03:35 AM   #12
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I can start my Sprinter with the seats turned around.
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:00 PM   #13
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Found this on https://sprinterguy.wordpress.com/20...ide-tentative/

"Basically the only change in the 2016 from the current 2015, is all 2500 Cargo Vans, Crew or Passenger Vans will have driver and front passenger window air bag and side seat thorax air bags included in the base price. The change in air bag regulations for 2016 means the factory will not build any of the above models, that have the standard air bags, with either the front bucket swivel or suspension seat options that we previously could order. The only model that can be ordered with swivel or suspension seats is a 3500 Cargo Van with the 11,030 GVWR rating."

So it seems there are regulatory changes that prevent the 2500 series having both thorax bags and swivel seats.

CLARIFICATION - It seems thorax airbags (A type of side airbag) can also be built into the vehicle door. MB builds theirs into the seat,which may be why they can't have the seat swivel. One possible explanation.

The questions are (1) what are these regs - US or Eur? and (2) will these regs affect other vehicles like the ProMasters?

A number of Euro RVs have the front dinette/rear sleeping layout (similar to Travatos) in Promaster base vehicles and it seems quite popular. Those layouts will not really work if no swivels allowed in the Promasters.

Anyone know more about this?
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:42 AM   #14
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When we bought our used PW this year I thought swivel seats were a must, but, after a few trips we found we never used the swivel. After a long day of driving, our behinds enjoyed being cushioned by the comfortable sofa seating for a change. Now, swivel-less front seats might be a more palatable option for us.
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Old 11-14-2015, 12:56 PM   #15
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One of the first things we do when we stop for the night is turn the passenger seat around for use inside.
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Old 11-14-2015, 04:53 PM   #16
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David - me, too. I usually leave the bed made up during the day, so tend to keep the passenger seat turned around whenever I'm not driving.

I wonder how Chevy will be handling this new regulation - all the Chevy Roadtreks have a GVWR under 10000 lbs, so they could wind up losing their swivels also.
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:10 PM   #17
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David - me, too. I usually leave the bed made up during the day, so tend to keep the passenger seat turned around whenever I'm not driving.

I wonder how Chevy will be handling this new regulation - all the Chevy Roadtreks have a GVWR under 10000 lbs, so they could wind up losing their swivels also.
I would think all the single wheel units may be at the same risk. Perhaps Chevy could just do a tire capacity change. They are currently at 9600#, which is tire limited, it appears, and their cutway duallies seem to use the same basic parts. It wouldn't take much tire size to get above 10K if that is the limit, but I doubt they would do it for swivel seats as the RV market is tiny.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:28 PM   #18
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I don't think it's clear that the swivels being eliminated thing is required at all by regulation.

It could very well be that the airbag is required and MB is just offsetting the cost by eliminating the swivel part. Often you see items going off the standard features list and joining the options list, or eliminated entirely.

For the first two years, Promaster was not supplied with swivels. Winnebago had them as they sourced a 3rd party supplier for the mechanism. Pleasureway waited until the part was supplied with the van from Chrysler. Would Chrysler/Fiat go to all of the trouble to include it on their vans if the were only going to be regulated out of existence a year later?
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Old 12-12-2016, 10:02 AM   #19
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Time for an update! I assume the 2017 Ascent also does not have a swiveling passenger seat?

I am told the 2017 Lexor does have a swiveling seat. So this cannot be about regulation -- they are the same weight vehicles, right?

We are considering both models and are an hour from the dealer, so wondering about this.

We're real fans of the 2.1L turbo diesel/ 7 speed tranny (only available from PW in the Ascent, though Sportsmobile will also so equip the longer Sprinter). It's really a shame that there is no swivel passenger seat.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:32 PM   #20
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So far as I know the 2017 Ascent does not have swivel seats. My understanding is that is because it no longer comes from MB factory that way in the smaller Sprinter due to side airbags. Due to the weight of the short Sprinter PW would have to do crash testing if they modified the cab section of that van. The heavier Plateau is not restricted in the same way so they can modify the cab. Note that the Ascent also has the factory seat coverings. It appears in contrast that Roadtrek is willing to crash test the SS Agile and does have swivels. In my opinion, given the cost of a PW it seems dumb to me that they dont offer swivels on such a small van and should invest in making it available similar to RT, but it's not my company so too bad for me. RT Agile it is instead (also I can get a RT without propane). Too bad because I really wanted a PW.
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