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2007 Dodge Sprinter 2500 Passenger Van Bookmark

The Good :)  Lots of room.  Comfortable seats.  Bi-Xenon headlights and a Mercedes like stereo and climate control system.  Auxiliary air conditioning for rear passengers.  Easy to use and very useful.

The Bad :(  Missing a bathroom and kitchen.

Engine V6, 3.5 Liters
Output 254 hp / 250 lb-ft

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            During the past few years we have started seeing a new kind of commercial vehicle on the roads that were once only seen on the narrow roads of Europe.  The most recognizable one is the bright yellow DHL van that we see zipping around town which makes the large brown UPS trucks look like prehistoric dinosaurs in comparison.  Also we can now see many independent contractors such as electricians and plumbers riding in these new vans which are immediately distinguishable for their tall and narrow bodies.  This is in sharp contrast to the archaic bulky GMC Savana vans that have ruled the commercial van market for what seems like eternity.  The new vans are made by Dodge and called the Sprinter Van for their nimbleness and car like handling. They were originally created by Dailmer-Benz and sold only in Europe until last year.  What we see on the roads today is a Mercedes disguised in a passenger van body.

            We recently tested the Sprinter 2500 Passenger Van which is well suited for luxury hotels and resorts to shuttle guest around from airports to local attractions.  The Sprinter passenger van fills a void in this market where the choice has been limited for so long.  Dodge is about to change all this by offering a high quality car-like vehicle that is both easy to drive and extremely comfortable for up to ten passengers.  The Sprinter is made in a new assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina.  The standard model features a diesel engine that gets good fuel economy and high torque or an optional V6 gasoline engine which we had in our test vehicle.  Dodge is also testing a plug-in hybrid Sprinter model.

            "The all-new 2007 Dodge Sprinter raises the bar and sets a new commercial standard in the full-size van market," said George Murphy, Senior Vice President , Global Brand Marketing, Chrysler Group. "Targeted at commercial customers who want to take the performance of their commercial vehicle and business to the next level, the all-new 2007 Dodge Sprinter answers the call and continues Dodge's revolution of the light- and medium-duty commercial vehicle market."

            The Sprinter is designed much like a Mercedes car inside.  The driver's seat is quite ergonomic and is adjustable manually in many different ways including seat suspension which helps quite a bit on long journeys.  There are loads of useful features which you are usually only found in a German vehicles.  Items like a one touch turn-signal system which blinks three times automatically.  A windshield wiper system with rain sensor and adjustable sensitivity as well as dual rear door wipers, which you can also tap once on the stalk and they wipe three times automatically.  The windshield also has a rain sensor that adjusts the rate of wiper speed with rainfall amount and vehicle speed, making it a great feature to have on a large vehicle where the driver has enough to worry about.  Automatic Bi-Xenon headlamps with front and rear fog lamps are another great feature and have never been found on an American made commercial van before.  The Bi-Xenon headlamp system is one of the best available in the world, and at night you can light up a long range path that is truly amazing to experience.  The steering wheel is like that found on most Mercedes vehicles with a telephone button, volume, stereo selector and multifunction in- dash computer functions.  You can set many things such as the time for the lights to go off after you lock the vehicle, and check a full range of trip computer functions in the dash display.  The steering wheel is also tilt and telescoping to fit most any driver. 

            Equally impressive is the central console with a large stereo interface which is similar to that found in other Mercedes vehicles.  The system is easy to use and buttons all feel great.  You can automatically store the strongest stations in your area with a push of the button, a great feature to have when you are traveling.  Also it is quite easy to input a station number manually, just push the * button and enter the station number using the keypad.  It is quite hard to find these features in other commercial vehicle.  A six-disc CD changer is also located in the dash for your enjoyment. 

            The climate control system was very quick to cool the large cabin and worked wonderfully.  On hot and humid days with temperatures in the mid 90's the cabin was downright cold.  The auxiliary air conditioning unit on the roof helps keep the rear cabin cool and you can turn on or off the front or rear systems depending on how many passengers you are carrying.  There is also a dehumidifier function that worked very well and took out the moisture inside the cabin fairly quickly.  All air conditioning controls feel good to the touch.  Rear passengers have three vents in each row which can turn 360 degrees and close or open so each passenger can adjust the amount of air flow to their seat.

            The Sprinter also features dual mode heated seats up front.  The vehicle offers a large crystal clear windshield which is heated with a small wire but was still amazingly clear to see through.  This is much like that found on a Range Rover.  The quality of the glass is quite high mainly because it is from Germany.  In the rear you have dark tinted glass but from the inside you hardly notice the tint as everything is very clear and crisp.  You feel as if you are in an exclusive limo rather than a commercial passenger van.  There are lots of storage compartments up front; mainly above the dash board and in the doors.  For rear seated passengers most of the cargo area is below their seats.  Most outboard seats have an adjustable armrest which is adjustable by a small dial to anyone's comfort level.  A power sunroof makes the front driver's area feel more open and car-like and we found it to be a high quality sunroof with a soft close system and a one button operation system.  The Sprinter also comes with front door power windows with one touch controls and power door locks.  The key fob resembles that found on the last generation E-Class so there is an abundance of high quality Mercedes-Benz parts inside. 

The all-new 2007 Dodge Sprinter has the most class-leading attributes including best-in-class cargo capacity.  Easily remove the seats for up to 600 cubic feet of cargo capacity.  Payload can be up to 5,770 pounds.  Long tall items easily fit inside this massive van and where in a pickup you would have items open to rain or snow, here everything is secure inside.  Even with a fully loaded cargo area, the adaptive electronic stability program adjusts for the cargo reducing the risk of skidding and accidents.  Seats can also be removed easily row-by-row with just two clips holding them in place on the steel floor anchor.  However moving the seat out-of-the-way or completing removing it from the van requires two people with muscles, as they are somewhat heavy.  With the seats removed, there is tons of room, enough to fit two large three-seat sofas plus more furniture.  The height of the Sprinter van is also quite impressive, allowing you to stand almost straight up inside the cabin because of the tall 65 inch roof

            Driving the Sprinter is relatively easy and its' handling characteristics are better than some pickup trucks we have driven.  The vehicle is smooth with a fluid drivetrain and a great engine.  The 3.5 liter V6 engine is powerful and offers great pickup and acceleration.  With 254 hp and 250 ft-lbs of torque, it simply feels much stronger and moves the Sprinter with such ease and grace.  This is quite impressive considering the Sprinter's size and weight of 8,550 lbs.  The automatic 5-speed transmission with AutoStick allows easy manually shifting of gears by tapping the shift lever to the left or the right.  Highway driving was also quite easy with a smooth and quiet ride and the Sprinter could easily keep up with the left lane crowd.  The vehicle does lean a little into corners since it's so tall and there is some bounce and sway which could be controlled more by using a harder suspension setup.  Overall, it handles much better than you would expect for such a large vehicle.  The power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering allows the driver to easily maneuver the Sprinter in even the tightest situations. Surprisingly, we did not get a backache after a long drive and our passengers were also quite comfortable, something that can be attributed to its European seating ergonomics.  Sensors up front and in back make parking quite easy.  Most people on the road called the Sprinter 'awesome' and said 'wow' or 'cool' as we drove by.  It must be the headlights which attracted everyone on the road, their human like shape is seductive and progressive.

            The Sprinter has an imposing shape that is bold yet slim and modern.  It comes in one model, the 2500, but has two wheelbase versions, the Short at 144 inches and the Long at 170 inches.  Our 144 inch wheelbase version is quite long and it's hard to believe that it can get any longer.  The total bumper to bumper length is 232.5 inches with a width of 79.7 inches.  The front end is adorned in chrome with the trademark Dodge ram head.  Integrated in the lower bumper fascia are fog lights.  The lower bumper also has six sensors that warn you when you are parking.  The massively large rearview mirrors have a lighted turn signal built right into them.  They also have a fisheye lens toward the lower section to help you see more of the road, especially blind spots right next to your vehicle.  They can also be folded closed manually for when you really want to get into tight areas.  Along the sides the smooth body panels flow with the deep dark glass making the Sprinter look like a luxurious limo.  The large tinted black glass blended-in perfectly with our Jet Black exterior.  The entire van looked like one large flowing piece of metal sculpture; it was hard to see any seams or body lines in this color combination.  There are a total of 20 body colors available that range from a Calcite Yellow as seen on the DHL trucks to a warm Jasper Blue.  However we have a feeling that Jet Black will be the preferred choice for most luxury resorts and hotels.  A large sliding door on the passenger side welcomes guests easily to the rear three rows of seats.  Towards the back the rear doors swing open a full 270 degrees to fold flat against the outside of the vehicle.  These doors have hinges which can open 90 degrees and lock in place or you can simply de-hinge the door in seconds so that it opens 270 degrees.  The doors stick open to the large magnets located on the outside of the body.  This kind of ease-of-use and clever thinking is rarely found on commercial vehicles.

             Our Sprinter model started out at a base price of $34,350.  Optional was the Jet Black exterior paint for $740.  The Customer Preferred Package for $1,125 includes many interior lighting features, better seating, and speed control.  Bi-Xenon headlamps add $1,705 with washers and rain sensors.  Heated seats and windshields cost $1,070.  The alarm system and front side air bags, as well as side curtain airbags cost $1,295.  The cooling group for $2,450 ads a heavy duty air conditioner for the rear.  Our vehicle also included a sunroof for $850, CD changer for $350, stabilizer bars for $250, and parking sensors for $695 coming to a grand total of $44,335. 

            An interesting note is that Dodge is really highlighting the cost-effectiveness of the Sprinter when it comes to repairs and damage.  This may be particularly important for commercial use since the vehicle has a higher chance of getting dinged-up or in an accident.  For example, the headlamps have fastening clips that are designed to release at a predetermined breaking point in case of an accident.  Also the three-part rear bumper is "repair friendly" because only damaged parts need to be replaced instead of the entire unit. Also there is a large plastic side rub strip which is located exactly where most door-dings occur.  Clearly, the Sprinter is a well thought-out vehicle catered especially to the commercial market.

            For commercial customers seeking a great passenger vehicle with flexibility for cargo, the all new Dodge Sprinter Van is the best choice.  What you are getting is a European designed vehicle with Mercedes-Benz parts that handles like a car yet provides room for up to 10 adults plus cargo.  The Sprinter has an abundance of features and is so comfortable for both the driver and passengers.  The huge amount of cargo space which is enclosed and lockable combined with a smooth fun-to-drive vehicle is what every commercial customer has been asking for but has not been able to get until now.  Additionally, the Sprinter gets a much better fuel economy than most pickup trucks so this is definitely a real win-win package.  We can easily see most hotels and resorts having a fleet of Jet Black Sprinter vans to shuttle their guests around.  The 2007 Sprinter is both elegant and highly useful for a wide range of commercial uses and will sure be a big hit for Dodge. 

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PRICING

INVOICE

RETAIL

Base Pricing

$31,259

$34,350

Destination

$625

$625

 

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COMPARISONS 2007 Dodge Sprinter
2500 144 WB 3dr Van (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 5A)
2007 Chevrolet Express
LS 1500 3dr Van (5.3L 8cyl 4A)
2007 Ford Econoline Wagon
E-350 SD XL 3dr Van (5.4L 8cyl 4A)
2007 GMC Savana
LS 3500 3dr Van (6.0L 8cyl 4A)
MSRP $34,350 $25,835 $28,925 $29,043
Invoice $31,259 $23,639 $25,735 $26,571
Destination Charge $980 $825 $870 $825
Basic 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders V6 V8 V8 V8
Base Engine Displacement 3.0 liters 5.3 liters 5.4 liters 6.0 liters
Valvetrain 24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
overhead valves (OHV)
16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
16 Valves
overhead valves (OHV)
Horsepower 154 hp @ 3400 rpm 295 hp @ 5200 rpm 255 hp @ 4500 rpm 300 hp @ 4400 rpm
Torque 280 ft-lbs. @ 1200 rpm 335 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 350 ft-lbs. @ 2500 rpm 360 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm
Drivetrain Sprinter Express Econoline Wagon Savana
Tires LT245/75R16
all season
P245/75R16
all season
LT225/75R16 E
all season
P245/75R16
all season
Wheels steel
16 x 6.5 in.
steel
16 x 6.5 in.
steel
16 x 7.0 in.
steel
16 x 6.5 in.
Sunroof power glass - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Rear Quarter Windows swing out swing out Not Available swing out
Front Wipers variable intermittent variable intermittent intermittent variable intermittent
Rear Wipers rear window wiper - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Rear Defogger Standard Optional Not Available Optional
Privacy Glass Not Available Optional Optional Optional
SUV/Minivan Doors Sprinter Express Econoline Wagon Savana
Rear Door Type barn barn barn barn
Side Door Type manual sliding side door hinged swing-out side door hinged swing-out side door hinged swing-out side door
Truck Features Sprinter Express Econoline Wagon Savana
Passenger Seat Heated Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Rear Seat Type split-bench bench bench bench
Rear Heat rear ventilation ducts rear ventilation ducts rear heater unit - Optional rear ventilation ducts
Front Air Conditioning automatic climate control air conditioning air conditioning air conditioning
Front Air Conditioning Zones single single single single
Rear Air Conditioning air conditioning - Optional air conditioning - Optional air conditioning - Optional air conditioning - Optional
Rear Air Conditioning Zones single - Optional single - Optional single - Optional single - Optional
External Temperature Standard Optional Optional Optional
Low Fuel Warning Standard Standard Standard Standard
Compass Standard Optional Optional Optional
Safety Features Sprinter Express Econoline Wagon Savana
Brakes - Front ventilated disc ventilated disc ventilated disc ventilated disc
Brakes - Rear disc ventilated disc ventilated disc ventilated disc
Braking Assist Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available
Anti - Lock Brakes 4-wheel ABS 4-wheel ABS 4-wheel ABS 4-wheel ABS
Traction Control Standard Not Available Standard Standard
Stability Control Standard Not Available Standard Standard
De-powered Air Bags Standard Standard Standard Standard
Head Air Bag front - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Side Air Bag dual front - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Seatbelt Pretensioners front front Being Researched front
Rear Center Seatbelt Type 3-point belt lap belt lap belt lap belt
Child Safety Locks Standard Standard Being Researched Standard
Child Seat Anchors Standard Standard Standard Standard
Front Headrests 2 2 2 2
Rear Headrests 3 Not Available Not Available Not Available
Third Row Headrests 2 Not Available Not Available Not Available
Xenon Headlights Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Headlight Dusk Sensor Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Headlight Cleaners high pressure washers - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Daytime Running Lights Optional Standard Not Available Standard
Front Fog Lights Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Cornering Lights Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Signal Mirrors Standard Optional Not Available Optional
Parking Assist front and rear parking sensors - Optional Not Available rear parking sensors - Optional Not Available
Total Number of Speakers 13 2 4 2
Phone pre-wired for phone - Optional Not Available Not Available Not Available
Turning Circle 47.6 ft. 43.4 ft. 48 ft. 49.2 ft.
Length 232.5 in. 224.1 in. 212 in. 224.1 in.
Width 79.7 in. 79.4 in. 79.3 in. 79.4 in.
Height 96.3 in. 81.6 in. 83.4 in. 81.6 in.
Weight 5476 lbs. 5295 lbs. 5621 lbs. 6009 lbs.
Wheel Base 144.3 in. 135 in. 138 in. 135 in.

 

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