Initially assembled by Freightliner, the full-size Sprinter van adopted a Dodge nameplate in early 2003. The van now competes in a class with the Chevrolet Express, Ford Econoline Wagon and GMC Savana. For 2008, the 12-passenger van includes an emergency exit window. An electronic sliding door is available on cargo and passenger vans.
For 2007, Dodge made the Sprinter wider, taller and longer, added two new engines and increased cargo and towing capacity. Changes for 2008 are comparatively minor.
Designed specifically for commercial applications, the Sprinter is built on one of two wheelbases. Sprinters can have a 65- or 76.4-inch-high roof, or what Dodge calls the mega roof, which provides 84 inches of walk-through height. Sprinters come in 2500 (three-quarter-ton) and 3500 (one-ton) ratings, but only the 2500 series includes a passenger model.
A large grille incorporates the Dodge Ram logo. Sprinters ride on one of two wheelbases, 144 or 170 inches, and are 233, 273 or 289 inches long overall. The back doors open to the vehicle's full height and swing open 270 degrees. One-touch, triple-flash turn signals and wide-angle mirrors are standard. An electronic sliding door is new for both the cargo and passenger van for 2008. The passenger van now includes an emergency exit window.
Sprinters have an independent front suspension, rear leaf springs and power rack-and-pinion steering.
Up to 12 occupants fit inside a passenger-carrying Sprinter. Two people sit up front and as many as three more rows of seats can be installed. A standard, removable four-seat rear bench is new for cargo vans. For 2008, all models can have swivel bucket seats in front. Sprinters have a flat cargo floor and tapered rear wheel housings. Cargo volume is 127 cubic feet, though overall cargo capacity can swell to 600 cubic feet in some models. Air conditioning is standard. Other features include a tilting and height-adjustable steering wheel, a CD player and power windows and locks.
Under the Hood
Two new engines were introduced for 2007: a 154-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 diesel and a 254-hp, 3.5-liter gasoline V-6.
All-disc antilock brakes are standard, as is an electronic stability system. The system adjusts for how the Sprinter is loaded and adjusts its inputs to compensate. Side-impact and side curtain airbags are also available.