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Dodge Sprinter



  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,584
    Probably the best ones, and they ain't cheap, are made by sportsmobile. No links to commercial automotive sites on edmunds. No i didn't READ the user agreement, but it's been mentioned. NOT THE WHIP PLEASE!!!
    But anyway, what do you suppose the
    WWWeb address for the SPORTSMOBILE COMpany looks like?

    Personally I'd only buy it if I knew a mechanic named Dieter who can take care of that super-duper common-rail direct-injection glow-in-the-dark engine. If it breaks down in Lost Undershirt, ND, the mechanic will be looking for the 318 under the hood for a week. Check out the Dec car&drver, they have a review (of sorts). Of course, it's by John Phillips, so it's a little silly.

    Good luck, -Mathias
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Er, no links to sites hosting other auto forums. Links to Sportsmobile are ok.

    Leaving your plastic kayak that close to the fire isn't ok!

    Steve, Host
  • They look pretty good, and the prices look reasonable too!
  • Check out
    they make a RV from the Sprinter.
  • My wife and I have a small business, and we are intrigued by the practical dimensions of
    the Dodge/Freightliner Sprinter, especially the 3500 series. However, the engine size seems
    small when compared to the competition. Its maximum towing capacity is about half that
    of the Chevy Express and the Ford Econoline.
    Has anyone out there actually used one fully loaded to capacity (9,900 Lbs. GVWR), and
    if so, how does it perform ?? Does the 3500 high roof 158 WB version always come equipped with dual rear wheels ?? Is there a larger fuel tank available ??
  • UPS and FedEx uses them as delivery vehicles. They probably perform well at capacity. Overseas they are used as ambulances.
  • I am looking for accessories available for the mercedes sprinter van, which is sold by Freightliner. These vans are a dime a dozen in europe and James Cook makes a slick camper on this platform, so I would think there would be accessories available now in the USA which can be used on this van. I am looking for a shade for the front and side front windows plus a tent which would extend from the sliding door.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I got a FedEx delivery an hour ago and asked the driver how he liked driving the Sprinter. He rolled his eyes.

    When I told him he didn't seem too enthusiastic about it, he said he would rather be driving his old truck. Whatever that was.

    I was hoping that the people driving them for a living would be more enamored of them.

    Steve, Host
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    There's been several posts elsewhere on Town Hall in recent days about the Sprinter, and my local dealer is advertising them all of a sudden.

    Is interest heating up?

    Steve, Host
  • rdeschenerdeschene Posts: 329
    Namely for acceleration times:
    0-60mph, 13.1 seconds
    "street start" 5-60mph, 14.3 seconds
    1/4 mile 19.0secs at 70mph

    Top speed 90mph
    Roadholding 0.65g

    I thought only things with hooves pulled as little 0.65 g's !

    The gas mileage is great for the size of the vehicle of course, but I'd be worried about being killed driving this thing. Of course if the kids borrowed it you wouldn't have to worry about them going out drag racing (heh, heh).

    And I guess you could round out your fleet by having a Honda Insight as your neck-snapping, "sports car". ;-)
  • afd1afd1 Posts: 1
    Hello, my name is Frank and I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge on the Dodge Sprinter cargo van. I am a fleet manager for a dog kennel in Chicago,IL and just purchased and outfitted this van for K-9 use. Our company has the 153 in. wb. cargo 2500. I need to know what options are out there for this vehicle as far as its charging system. The standard alternator on this van is a 90amp. Is there any upgrades for this vehicle? I have A/C unit on top of the vehicle. It is used to cool the rear compartment. My problem is that while the rear A/C is in operation, I cannot use the front cab A/C, fan, or radio without my battery discharging. If someone can email me some info that would be great. It seems that most of the Dodge Dealers I've contacted don't know anything about this van and it's driving me insane. Thanx!
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    According to Dodge's website, a 200 amp alternator is an option. Perhaps you may want to try a Freightliner dealer to see if they can help you.
  • A friend of mine is a real out-of-the-box thinker with a blended family with four young teenagers. Figuring that if they all wanted to take a friend he'd need room for 10, he bought a Sprinter.

    He took me for a ride last night.

    I was suprised at how agile and powerful it was. It had a Mercedes 5 cyl diesel. The interior was spartan, but it had the rear AC unit on the roof which positively refrigerated the interior in about 2 minutes. The U-turning radius was better than our 2000 Sienna (really, we tested them). It cornered suprisingly flat.

    The liftover height in the rear was excellent. The cargo area was enormous. Leg room was excellent, getting in and out was a snap compared to our Sienna.

    He claims he's getting 25MPG in mixed driving... if I didn't know him, I wouldn't believe it.

    There are downsides. It's NOISY, as you might expect. The seats are short-bottomed and hard, easy to get in and out of (think short run bus), but I wouldn't think they'd be comfortable for a long haul.

    He got out the door for less than a Sienna XLE.

    My family is smaller, so I wouldn't need one. However, if you need one, and can live with the noise, I'd think it would be a good choice.
  • Can anyone tell me where I can get a FL Sprinter in Flame Red or Black, 140" WB and High Ceiling? I have been desperately searching for one. After contacting 27 FL Sprinter dealers, I am at my wits end. Are there any websites/phone numbers that will tell me which dealer has what in their inventory? The Net has been thoroughly combed and I have only turned up the dealers and FL web sites. The sites below have been searched. Any state will be fine.
    Thanx in advance.
    You can email me at with FL Sprinter in the subject line if you have any info for me.
  • Is there a difference between Freightliner & Dodge offerings?
    I'd read that they were marketed through Freightliner initially because the target market was commercial fleet sales, and it was competing against bigger trucks.

    I still find it funny to see a VW van with a Benz engine sporting a Dodge grille and occasionally wearing a Freightliner badge on the back!
    I wonder if Dodge will also sell the Benz-powered version of VW's Eurovan that is sold through MB in Europe?
  • Larry - I have just completed my own search for a Sprinter. The best site I could find was On that site - you can search, in any geographical area or nationwide, by color or by wheelbase or by year. There were over 700 sprinters listed when I checked a while back.I hope that helps. John
  • I am just about to order a 2005 Freightliner Sprinter 140" wheelbase cargo van and then have it converted by Elk into a 9 passenger. One question - has anyone purchased the "heated windshield with rain sensor" option on their sprinter? If so - what exactly is it and is it a worthwhile feature? Thank you.
  • I read this forum with interest and am considering a full-size van purchase for work. The Sprinter intrigued me, as I like what has been said here. However, Sprinters are a lot more expensive than a regular full-size van. I was curious, so I made some assumptions and made a mathematical model to see where the break-even point is for a Sprinter versus a full-size Chevy van. The assumptions may not be exactly right, but they are pretty close..

    Chevy Van - 14mpg - $1.90/gallon gas price - $10,000 cheaper

    Sprinter - 22mpg - $2.25/gallon gas price

    Using these numbers, I calculated the $/mile for both vans. The Chevy had a cost about .135/mile, where the Sprinter had a cost of about .10/mile. Then I divided the price difference of the vans ($10,000) by the difference in gas prices per mile (.035 or so), to arrive at the break even mileage.

    The break even mileage turns out to be 300,000 miles! In other words, you have to drive the Sprinter 300,000 miles before its total cost is less than the Chevy full size van. Since there is no way I can see a work truck lasting 300,000 miles, the Sprinter does not make sense to me.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I take it you used gas prices in your area for the Chevy calculation and diesel prices for the Sprinter?

    Steve, Host
  • I would take issue with your base assumption - that the gas price for diesel is 35 cents more per gallon. There is no such difference in my area last time I looked. If you equalize the gas price - I don't think your cost analysis holds up.

    Also - the Sprinter supposedly requires much less maintenance - ie oil change is needed only every 20,000 miles per the product brochure. The Mercedes diesel turbo engine also comes with a 100,000 mile or 7 year warranty - does Chevy match that?.

    I have heard of Mercedes going several hundred thousand miles - but not too many Chevys. My current Chevy 1500 van runs ok but I am not enamored with it.

    Also - if you buy now - you can still in get the SUV tax loophole (which might also apply to your Chevy)which is now closing or narrowing greatly (pursuant to a federal law passed in the last couple of weeks) at the end of this calendar year. You can deduct the entire cost of your business use Sprinter this year if you buy now. (As I understand it - if you buy, for example, a $40,000 Sprinter now, and even assume that you finance it all, you can write off the entire amount from this year's taxes; I am not an accountant so talk with your tax adviser - but that is my understanding.) So - you also need to factor in the bigger tax writeoff in this year that you would realize if you bought the more expensive Sprinter versus the Chevy.

    When you do all that - I would be suprised if the Sprinter does not come out cheaper in the long run. Good luck with whichever one you buy.
  • 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.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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.
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