Freightliner Cargo 3500XD — These days, when you order something off a company like Amazon, all you need to do is click a button, sit back and wait. But it’s not a magic fairy that takes your package from three states away and to your door step. There is an entire process that runs like a well-oiled machine (most of the time) taking your precious package to a shipping facility, then into a van and on to you in a very timely fashion. Of course, if one of those cogs breaks down, then the whole process falls apart, and seen as how the automotive transport of that line has the most variables, having a top notch vehicle is of the utmost priority and the 2021 Freightliner Cargo 3500XD is a perfect example of just that.
You can have your Freightliner Cargo 3500XD in one of four wheelbase/roof height combinations: 144” standard, 144” high, 170” standard, or 170” high. But those are not all the options you have to choose from. Opt for the Premium Plus Package and you’ll be treated to an upgraded interior that keeps road noise and most of the outside world where it belongs – outside. But inside, the MBUX Multimedia Infotainment system featuring a 10.25” touchscreen keeps the controls fun and easy. The leather wrapped steering wheel adds a nice soft touch, while the intelligent navigation is just what every delivery driver needs. Keeping with the idea that drivers will be driving quite a bit, the Traffic Sign Assist and Active Distance Assist work in conjunction with one another to help keep deliveries on schedule.
The Comfort Plus Package adds electronically adjustable driver and passenger seats, as well as heat for both driver and passenger. The Heavy-Duty-Cargo Protection Package allows all those precious packages from flying around by adding head, waist, and floor-level lashing rails, wood flooring with six D-rings, a loadable wheel arch and side wall paneling with full hardboard. There are also heated and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors, a rear view camera, backup alarm, SiriusXM and a security alarm with interior motion sensors.
Power in the Freightliner Cargo 3500XD comes from an MG5 3.0-liter turbo-diesel six-cylinder engine that produces a respectable 188-horsepower at 3,800 rpm and a very impressive 325 pound-feet of torque at an extremely low 1,400 rpm. That power is then routed through a seven-speed automatic transmission and then on to all four wheels to help the XD keep its footing no matter what the road conditions happen to be.
in terms of statistical performance, the Freightliner Cargo 3500XD, when equipped with the 144” inch wheel base and standard roof has a total cargo volume of 281.1 cubic feet, and can haul a payload of 5,419 pounds, and has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 11,030 pounds. Ironically, although it is called a Sprinter van, the 3500XD isn’t much of one. 0-60 mph takes a rather uninspiring 12.4 seconds, while the quarter mile actually takes less time posting a 11.6 second run. Braking from 60-0 mph takes just 97 feet, which for a 6,074 pound hauler, is very good.
Color options are actually fairly extensive compared to most of the Freightliner’s competitors. Standard colors alone offer up shades of white, grey, blue, green, and red, while there are eight more premium non-metallic colors you can choose from and then five more premium metallic colors beyond that. So you can have your van match whatever sort of style and personality you’d like to exude.
The Freightliner Cargo 3500XD is an exceptional cargo van, and with a base price of $34,495, it will not break the bank and cost more than delivering all those packages will bring in. The all-wheel drive option will drive that price up a bit, but it will also allow you to continue to drive through all sorts of rain, snow and over gravel roads to get to those hard-to-reach mailboxes. So next time you click that ‘order’ button, remember that the end result that entire process might just end up being a pretty amazing vehicle.