Last post on Jul 10, 2012 at 6:24 AM
You are in the Dodge Sprinter
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Dodge Sprinter Cargo, Dodge Sprinter, Van
#406 of 1281 I'm considering a 118" passenger wagon
Mar 06, 2006 (10:04 pm)
Hi, I'm new to this forum. I'm considering a 2006 Sprinter passenger wagon, 118" wheelbase (if I can find one), to replace my totaled Dodge B1500 Ram Wagon (which is not made anymore). I'm questioning the Sprinter's power and pickup. I haven't driven one yet, and I've never owned a diesel vehicle. Any input on your satisfaction with performance issues would be appreciated.
I plan to use the Sprinter as I did my Ram Wagon, as a dual-duty work/family vehicle. I'm wondering how the Sprinter will do on the long haul up Hwy. 395 to Mammoth Lakes, and also how it will handle those strong gusty winds.
My only alternative purchase is the Ford E150 8-passenger van, which I believe gets lousy mileage, but has all the conveniences and comforts.
Again, I would appreciate your indulging my ignorance as a rookie regarding the realm of Sprinters.
#407 of 1281 Re: I'm considering a 118" passenger wagon [kenbob88]
Mar 06, 2006 (10:22 pm)
Hi again; just so y'all don't think I'm a lazy so-and-so, I did go back through previous posts and found some helpful info (post #364 from KenB was very useful--thanks).
But as I said, I would really like to hear from Sprinter owners regarding acceleration and performance.
(My old Ram Wagon with the V-6 was actually pretty zippy, and I got used to that.)
#408 of 1281 This forum is scaring me out of buying!
Mar 06, 2006 (10:58 pm)
Wow. I have been perusing previous posts, and now I'm reconsidering buying a Sprinter. Leaks, smoking, droning noises, rattling doors, ergonomic issues, brake noise, scary in crosswinds, paint that cracks and bubbles and chips, to recount just a few of the many woes and lamentations. This vehicle seems to be an extremely high-maintenance commodity. I already have a wife; I don't need another dependent that requires constant attention and coddling.
Am I just reading about the Sprinter's dark side because the only folks participating in this forum are owners who have experienced problems?
Please, assuage my fears, because I want to believe!
#409 of 1281 Re: TURBO [2000_valk]
Mar 07, 2006 (5:09 am)
You can hear the high-pitch whizzing sound.
Turn off the radio and you'll hear the noise when accelerating up a hill or whatever.
When I'm going up any sort of hill my Turbo kicks in.
In fact, I'm wondering if my turbo should be kicking in as much as it does.
#410 of 1281 Re: This forum is scaring me out of buying! [kenbob88]
Mar 07, 2006 (5:13 am)
Sprinter drives 22 times around the world without repair
Klaus Schade drove his newspaper courier Sprinter 900,000 km without repairs in the 10 years he owned it. Only regular maintenance was necessary, of course. That's 559,234 miles, the equivalent of driving 22 times around the world. Since the introduction in 1995 more than one million Sprinters were sold while also receiving multiple "Transporter of the Year" awards. (from MB press release)
#411 of 1281 Re: TURBO [2000_valk]
Mar 07, 2006 (6:29 am)
go on a drive and set the cruise control if you have one... other wise, just gently maintain the same speed without down shifting. When you start going up a hill, you will hear the turbo start winding up as the engine control computer (or your foot on the pedal) adds fuel to the combustion process. It is the excess heat and continuing expansion of the exhaust gasses that drive the turbo. As mentioned, there will be a decidedly higher pitched whine if you have any of your high-end hearing range left after years of industrial or music/noise induced hearing loss.
Simply put though, a 2.7 litre turbo-diesel with a turbo that doesn't run will be noticeably under power, like trying to tow a Hummer with a Civic.
#412 of 1281 Re: I'm considering a 118" passenger wagon [kenbob88]
Mar 07, 2006 (7:27 am)
Well, nobody passes us if we don't want them to or they are willing to break laws, burn tires, and/or waste lots of gas... at least until we hit 79 MPH (the top speed acheived, per GPS, when the Speedo reads about 82).
We never really know just how well an engine an transmission can be matched on normal utility vehicles here in the USA. For that kind of magic you just seem to have to drive a sports car... not anymore!!! The Sprinter that is imported here is rather top-or-the-line: the biggest engine, the automatic transmission, larger tires (except on the dually 1-tonne).
Simply put, the drive train is truly matched for power, performance, and (incredibly) efficency. 155 HP sounds low until you consider the torque specs which are nice for pulling away from the pack. What makes it all great, grand and glorious is that the transmission, the engine, the turbo, and the engine computer do a very good job of USING the power available and making plenty of it for the job at hand: accelerating, cruising, towing (within acceptable limits), stopping, etc. All matched VERY well.
Consider that the engine is truly designed for million-mile performance, and the power band is very reasonable, and especially that the highest HP area of the power curve falls into a range that the engine can run in constantly; then you can appreciate why it works so well.
Of course these are not for everyone. In europe they are not common for indivual/family use. Even there, this is changing. Great mileage is great mileage and when you can get this and space to haul gear INSIDE, then you are going to have an audience for your efforts. You will find this model being sold by VW as its large van in Europe as well.
Still, this vehicle is not for everone. The step up height is HIGH, if you ever wanted running boards on a van before, you will want them on this one. It is Big, it needs a bit of careful handling in bad gusty winds, but that is normal for a van and I have driven several.
#413 of 1281 Re: This forum is scaring me out of buying! [kenbob88]
Mar 07, 2006 (7:56 am)
Leaks: mostly a thing of the past, minor on mine and it is a 2004 (bought new 2005)
Droning noise: still there, a little at exact speeds/gearing like the slowest speed at which 5 gear can be engaged without shifting back down to 4th. Not bad, just odd.
Smoking is usually an auxillary heater purge problem. Read the manual if you get one and do what it says... run each of the auxillary items at least once per month for 10 minutes: aux. heater, other heaters, front A/C, rear A/C.
Rattling doors/seats are a slight pet peave, as I can't seem to get help from my dealer. This has been fairly common on most vans I have had the pleasure of driving. It bugs me a bit more on this van since it is more costly to buy (not by much really) and because quality is supposed to come with that. Some have reported that they have very minimal ratles in doors.
Ergonomics are OK for me, worse for those with the cab-chassis or the factory type partition which both limit seat adjustment options.
Brake noise can be odd, but in my experience it is more likely caused by overly sensitive anti-lock system than actual brake grinding. Some have reported short brake life, but that is coomon for some drivers anyway. this thing STOPS quick! Others have also reported needing to replace rotors with every brake change, also common on other Mercedes products. This is not the big thing it would be on a Chevy or Ford, as the rotor is NOT part of the hub.. The hub stays in place and you can switch the pads and rotors VERY quickly, and do it yourself if you are at all handy with a wrench.
crosswinds always should be taken cautious in ANY high-profile vehicle.
White is the most common paint, not so many problems, except for some cases of raildust (particals of iron setled onto/into clear coat). Silver has always had more problems on all cars that I have ever had/driven, but that is the past.
This is the place, as are others to let people know what bad is happening and getting their help to get fixes... That is not to say that people just complain, their experiences are real and they certainly need help to get them resolved. Some dealers are still not equipped to help them very well, even with certification. Sometimes the certification seems to get in the way of otherwise easily solved problems (like paint).
Depending on you, as the owner, this should be a great vehicle for a long time to come. If you have normal experience with it, you have 10K oil changes, 20-30K service intervals, a filter/trans fluid change at 80K (regular fulid changes after that, 80K). If you were getting any other comparable vehicle in the USA, you will start out with more oil changes and services to expect (up-front).
If there is anything to believe, it is that you start out ahead in the Sprinter... then YMMV (your mileage may vary).
#414 of 1281 Re: I'm considering a 118" passenger wagon [kenbaker]
Mar 07, 2006 (8:40 am)
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my concerns so thoroughly. I think I'm becoming seduced by the allure of the exotic Sprinter.
That figures, because I went for the new rotary-engine Mazda in 1973. I became a loyal customer, despite the fact that the rotor seals had to be replaced after a few thousand miles. I ended up buying 4 of them over the years, until my lifestyle changed and I became a van man.
One other issue regarding the Sprinter: fuel economy might be better than that of my other option--the Ford Econoline Wagon--but considering the fact that diesel fuel here is 30 to 40 cents higher than regular unleaded, I'm wondering how it will work out in terms of real cents per mile.
#415 of 1281 Re: This forum is scaring me out of buying! [tronno22556]
Mar 07, 2006 (8:43 am)
Thanks for referring me to that info-packed site.