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Dodge Sprinter



  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    What engine size and which model Chevy Van are you comparing? and which size Sprinter?
         Chevy Astro passenger vans have gone 650,000 and 700,000 miles when used for shuttle service when the round trip is about 160 miles 50/50 Interstate and regular highway.
  • If you are going to make this comparison, you should add a square foot comparison. And I'm not sure I understand your price comparisons.

    A 140" Sprinter in cargo trim, 3500, with the high top starts at $32K according to the Dodge web site. 367 square feet of cargo space.

    A Chevy Express extended, 3500, starts at $26K according to the Chevy web site, with the smallest engine. about 275 square feet of cargo space...

    Should you do that math again?
  • I understand AWD is an option in Europe, will that be coming to the US market? When?
    An outfit in CA indicates they can "retrofit" 140" WB sprinters with AWD, and they can also boost horsepower/torque to 205/330 or 230/360. Has anyone tried something like this?
  • I am glad that some folks are trying to debunk my logic. I posted the analysis just for this reason. To address the points specifically:

    1. Diesel is currently more expensive than gas. Please see

    If we change the gas and diesel prices to be even at $2/gallon, the Chevy costs about .14/mile to run while the sprinter is .09 to run. If we divide the $10,000 price difference by the .05/mile, the break even point is 200,000 miles.

    However, I am still sticking to my guns that diesel is more expensive than gas.

    2. Less maintenance - The point about oil changes is good, but does not change the conclusion. If we say the Chevy requires three times as many oil changes per 20,000 miles at $30 each, that is $90/20,000 miles, or .0045 cents per mile. In my original analysis, that changes the break even to 263,000 miles.

    The warranty difference is also an excellent point. I think the way to make that a like to like comparison would be to assume that one purchases an extended warranty on the Chevy, offering substantially the same warranty as the Dodge. Lets say that warranty costs $2000, bringing the price difference to $8,000. If we combine that with the oil change frequency, the break even falls to 210,850 miles.

    Excellent points both, but that does not change my conclusion.

    3. The tax writeoff is complicated and I do not know how it would apply specifically to my tax situation. However, for this analysis what would matter is the tax implications on the price difference. If the difference is $10,000, then the write-off would be $10,000. If the tax rate is 28%, then the effective price difference becomes $10,000-$2,800 = $7,200.

    Lets combine all of the points you have made. Take the $7,200 difference after taxes and subtract $2,000 for a warranty. The leaves an effective after tax price difference of $5,200. If we divide that by the price difference per mile adjusted for the oil changes, we see a break even of $5,200/.0379415 ($/mile) or 137,053 miles to break even.

    For me, that is still too many miles before the break even point.

    4. Van size - I am comparing 2500 Chevy regular wheelbase to a 2500 Sprinter with the low roof and short wheelbase.

    For me, the cubic foot comparison is not very relevant. The base vans have enough space for me.

    The price difference between the vans is much more relevant. I saw a Chevy on the internet equipped as I want for 21k. The Sprinter was 28k TMV through Edmunds.

    Lets combine all of the arguments presented. We start with a $7,000 price difference. Then we subtract $2,000 for the warranty. The $5,000 is subsidized by Uncle Sam, so that becomes an after tax difference of $3,600. Take the $3,600 and divide it by price difference per mile to run the trucks. $3,600/.379415 ($/mile) = 94,882 miles to break even.

    If I take all of the excellent points into consideration, I still come to the same conclusion, although not as overwhelmingly. 95k is too long to wait for a break even point.

    Of course, if I only have a price difference of $3,600, I would spend that to have a nicer or better truck. Now my problem is that I can't find any of these Sprinters around. Even if I get one at a reasonable price, how would I get it serviced?
  • Excellent analysis. If I were cross-examining your analysis - I would attack some of your assumptions. Nonetheless - I enjoyed reading your rebuttal - but I am still buying my Sprinter.

    You can buy some Sprinters for less than $28,000. I don't know if they fit your needs but you might want to try and review the 700 plus Sprinters listed. There are also a whole bunch of Sprinters listed on the Autotrader website.

    In terms of servicing - I ordered my Sprinter through Freightliner. There are Freighliner dealerships all over the country so I am not too worried about getting a place to service it. Plus any Dodge dealership, selling the Sprinter, would also be able to assist you.

    Bottom line = I think the a Mercedes Sprinter will last longer than a Chevy. That is why I am buying a Sprinter cargo van, which is on order, and having it converted into a 9 passenger conversion van. With 6 kids and my wife and I - I need something that will last 10 years and I am placing my bet on the Sprinter. Plus - I will have the only Sprinter in my town - which will be easy to spot in the mall parking lot and given that there are few on the road - it will make it all the more fun driving it.

    You also might want to check with Fed Ex.If the Chevy's are that much better and/or cheaper - then it would not make sense for Fed Ex to have a whole fleet of Sprinters.

    Good luck with the Chevy.
  • Of course the price difference becomes negligible if, like me, you plan on transporting a person in a wheelchair...and you need a 59" door opening, 64" or greater inside height, and a lift.

    The Sprinter already has the door and inside height, so all I need add is a lift...

    The converted Chevy van (with a lower door height and lower interior height completed) costs $31,000 from one Massachusetts dealer....

    For a few thousand more, I can have a tall roof 118" contest!!

    I'm still looking for the best price for the Sprinter in my area (and the wheelchair lift), but should be buying one soon.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,913
    Interesting - can you set it up to be able to roll right to the driver's seat and lock in place (flat floor all the way, etc.)? I guess hand controls are easy enough for most rigs? What about those programs that kick in a thousand bucks or whatever towards the conversion - does Sprinter have one of those?

    Steve, Host
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,913
    It's all one word:

    A wood and carbon fibre dash kit for a Sprinter seems a touch overkill though.

    Steve, Host
  • I own a 2004 Dodge Sprinter Cargo Van (2500)-factory high roof, 140" WB. I've had it about 4 months and have racked up 10,500 miles on it. Most of it is around the city (I am a plumber in Chicago), and also did a trip to Arizona towing a trailer. We towed a 20' enclosed car hauler w/a Mercedes 560sec on the way there, a 65 VW Beetle on the way back-we dropped down into Dallas to pick up a 67 Triumph motorcycle on the way. We drove straight through-that is, over 5,000 miles in 5 days. We got 15-16mpg pulling the trailer. I get 22 around town loaded w/tools,equiptment. I traded a 2000 Chevy 3500 long wheelbase cargo van that I had bought new. You cannot even compare these two vans. Chevrolet (and Ford0 ought to be completely ashamed to even offer what they do. Besides the fuel milage (my Chevy averaged 9.6mpg), the Sprinter build quality is ten times better than the Chevy. The design is ten times better-everything from door locks and latches to the body structure just feels of much higher quality than the Chevy. The turning radius is almost the same as my old 73 VW Bus (which, by the way, ran better when I sold it at 293,000 miles than my Chevy did at 90,000). The seats are firm and supportive (compared to my Chevy's sponges for seats), the brakes are far superior, the cargo and exterior lighting is far better, the fact that the rear doors open all the way against the body and lock into position(Chevy's do not open as far and flap in the wind-and who puts child locks on a CARGO van??). The front doors open almost 90 degrees! The spare tire doesn't take a half hour to get out. I do not have to do a 3 or 4 point turn in a cul de sac! Price? I do not think the Sprinter is any more money.I paid just over $28,000 for my Chevy which I hated to drive,sucked gas at an alarming rate,had annoying design faults like those mentioned above, and was literally falling apart by 75,000 miles and even though I got the extended warranty,what about down time-and you had to freaking crawl around in the back unlike the sprinter that I can stand up in).That was in July 2000. Four months ago, I paid $31,200 for my custom ordered Sprinter(I wanted blue),but it came with power locks,windows,remote key fob,upgraded seats,upgraded outside mirrors,CD player,factory tow package,and other options I did not get on the Chevy-not to mention other items standard that my Chevy did not have. As for height, what full size van fits into a parking garage-my Chevy fit into no garage I ever came across that my Sprinter will not also fit into.Chevy and Ford full size vans are a joke in terms of quality,design,and engineering in comparision to the Sprinter.Service is another subject people have brought up-I have had my Sprinter in for its 10K oil change and once for a free one month check up-I waited both times. My Chevy dealer always required an appointment even for minor things like that, and when it was in for repair, it was in for anywhere from 3 days to over a week-real fun when its your only service vehicle. Anyone who would buy a Ford or Chevy instead, I cannot even begin to imagine why.
  • Yes, there are other alternator options available:115, 150, or 200amp are available as in an auxialry battery.
  • Does anyone know if Sprinter van can be "imported" to California from another state and registered here? I have seen them on the road a few times, and they all had CA plates, but the vans are not sold in the state. If you have good info on the subject you can e-mail me directly.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,913
    I found two California dealers (Hartzheim and Lithia of Burlingame) that claim to sell them on their lot so my guess is that it's legal to register them there. Maybe you should check with some other Dodge dealers .

    Steve, Host
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,913
    Our pricing pages have been updated:

    2005 Dodge Sprinter

    Steve, Host
  • nixitnixit Posts: 2
    I visit Orange County CA a couple of times a year. Within the past six months Fullerton Dodge had several in their newspaper ad but not listed on their website inventory. Their current website shows no Sprinters. My son reported another dealer with a 'line of them' visible from a south Orange county freeway. I didn't retain the name.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,595
    Perhaps they are selling only the commercial versions as opposed to passenger versions?
  • Thank you all for the response. I contacted Dodge and they sent me a list of dealers in the Sacramento and San Jose areas that sell Sprinter vans. Only some dealers are "qualified/approved" to sell Sprinters.
  • I caught only the tail end of the GM van versus Sprinter discussion but there are two tax incentives for vehicles, one expiring this year, one not.


    If you are buying a light vehicle, new, there is an additional accelerated depreciation of about $4,000 if you put it in service this year. This provision expires this year. It may be renewed, or not.


    There is another provision under Chapter 179 that exentially allows you to take the full depreciation on a vehicle with over 6,000 lb GVWR. GM lists the qualifying vehicles at:


    It does not have to be new, just new to your business. Last list I saw was: BMW X5, Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Astro, Chevy Avalanche, Chevy Express, Chevy Silverado, Chevy Suburban, Chevy Tahoe, Dodge Durango, Dodge Ram Van, Dodge Ram Maxi Van, Dodge Ram Wagon, Dodge Ram 1500, Dodge Ram 2500, Dodge Ram 3500, Ford Excursion, Ford Expedition, Ford E-150, Ford E-250, Ford E-350, Ford F-150, Ford F-250, Ford F-350, GMC Yukon, GMC Safari, GMC Savana, GMC Sierra, GMC Sierra Denali, Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Range Rover, Lincoln Blackwood, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz ML320, Mercedes-Benz ML500, Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Sequoia, and Toyota Tundra.
  • for the next family vehicle. I have a wife, two (2) young boys and a dog. A very active bunch. I would buy a VW but I don't know when they wil have the new van out and I think it won't be what we think it is.


    Anyone experienced in buying one for more civilian use?
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