View Full Version : Thanks All Still considering that Sprinter

Medi coach
07-21-2010, 11:03 PM
First, I would like to thank you all for your responses. After reading all the posts I can see that you all are fond of your Sprinters. It also seems that in summary you all agree that an aggressive maintenance program is advisable to keep them running as they were intended. I would assume you, the responders are taking your own maintenace advice, but inspite of the maintenance are still experiencing quite a number of problems.

Their also seems to be a concensus in regards to warranty issues, which is understandable since Mercedes dumped Chrysler and is now taken over sales and service. I live about 5 miles from an MB dealer who is in the process of setting up a huge facility just for Sprinter service. I am leaning in the direction of new rather than used in order to maintain the vehicle to my standard from the first mile, rather than starting from the big unknown. I have been involved in both aviation and auto repair businesses for many years. Additionally when one owns an aircraft he either pays dearly or learns a thing or two about preventative maintenance.

The high top Sprinter would sure make my job more comfortable for myself and my clients, the new van looks great and fuel mileage is fantastic compared to the Ford van. The ford Econoline does have one heck of a track record for reliability,again if properly maintained. Someone in one of the posts referred to a sprinter as a crapshoot, maybe in the end thats what it is with any quality vehicle. Some seem to run regardless, others can be continuous problems. The one thing that is encouraging is that the passenger models are all built in Germany. I have had quite a number of MB and have purchased mainly models that were not imported into the US, imported them privately. They seem to be much better vehicles than those that are sold in the States.Thanks again for the advice and any further would be greatly appreciated.

Regards Matt

07-21-2010, 11:54 PM
Having a Canadian Sprinter (Cdn ones ALL come from Germany 100% assembled) I cannot say it is superior to a US assembled one in any way. The folks in SC who do the US assembly are well trained and competent it would seem. The issues arise from engineering for/from Europe dropped into the NA real world.

The Sprinter will cost you more per mile to own, that's a fact. It costs more to buy in the first place and fuel savings can and frequently are eaten up with expensive (even DIY) maintenance. Mechanically, they are not superior to anything from Detroit, I run both and my GM's have been much more problem free.

The joy in having a Sprinter is that it is different and brings many features to the owner that are just not available on a Ford or GM. The ability for your passengers to stand up while loading and unloading is huge. The local airport shuttle in town has Sprinters, from a $/mile standpoint, they hate them. The customers...LOVE them because they are roomy, quiet, comfortable (that rear A/C is quite good!) and they don't need to shuffle and contort to get in and out of their seats. The company continues to buy Sprinters...they just sell them a lot sooner than they do the GM units they buy. They also try to run them on the shorter route to Toronto vs the route to Detroit. Of note..they preferred the T1N to the NCV3 from a cost to own standpoint.

If you like the Sprinter...buy it, they are cool...just don't compare or expect the costs involved to be on par with a domestic van, they won't be.

07-22-2010, 12:20 AM
the above is a good review :cheers:

07-22-2010, 12:57 AM
If you like the Sprinter...buy it, they are cool...Very true... in our case, the 118" Sprinter was the only van that filled our niche.
We had spent -months- prowling the van and truck market (trying to save $10,000 compared to the Sprinter).
But there was nothing that met its combination of volume, shape and handling.
It turned out to have many other advantages, some of which we'd noticed during test drives (a 32 foot curb-to-curb turning circle), others of which we've learned over the years.
There's still nothing available in the US market that comes close (for us), including, sniff :cry:, the current too-long Sprinter offerings.

p.s. ..and we still get many passersby asking lots of questions (or stating they wished they had one)

07-22-2010, 01:38 AM
The one thing that is encouraging is that the passenger models are all built in Germany.

One minor note: all Sprinters are built at the same factory in Germany. Even the Dodge and Freightliner badges on the trucks were German.

After they are built, US-market cargo vans are driven to a separate part of the facility where the engine, transmission, and wheels are removed. They're shipped to the US in that state, where the drivetrain is put back in and the wheels remounted at a small (circa 30 employees) facility in South Carolina.

As to the feedback you received, keep in mind that you have heard from about a dozen Sprinter owners, who have gone out of their way to join a Sprinter message board. This sample is not going to be representative of the thousands of Sprinters on the road in North America, or the tens (hundreds?) of thousands worldwide.

07-22-2010, 02:06 AM
One minor note: all Sprinters are built at the same factory in Germany.
Except for the 100,000 that have been built in Argentina, and which appear in (at least) Australia and Mexico


07-24-2010, 03:46 AM
Your experience has lead you to a benefit/cost assessment that is realistic.

I have to add that I have been truly amazed by driving my Sprinter as a daily driver. It's
really an amazing machine that I believe exceeds the other options available in the States
by a wide margin - or if you did get the Ford outfitted such that it would drive this well.

Check into the tax advantages that may still be available for business purchase of a van, I think
the Hummer Loophole has mostly been reduced but I seem to remember that there is still a chance
to get a good deduction on commercial vans, it could balance out the cost difference a bit.

Altered Sprinter
07-24-2010, 04:02 AM
Except for the 100,000 that have been built in Argentina, and which appear in (at least) Australia and Mexico

--dick Dick clarifying/ Argentina, South America African Middle East production Singapore.Asia Pacific, Mexico, Australia.
Not all come from Argentina as to model weights 1/3 are from Germany.
Paint is superior as to German production too:tongue: 100 thousand try close to one million. there are no real production figures as to they include Vito's which out sell Sprinters on a global basis.
PS" Due to global trade restrictions Chinese Sprinters are now being built in China/ Russia has a factory/ Now India is already on the go for distribution of parts both China India and the Asian pacifc now eceeed export demand on a supply basis the growth is huge.

07-24-2010, 02:55 PM
I stand corrected: I should have said "all US market Sprinters are made in Germany." Thanks for the info, guys.

A little off to the side of the topic: I personally think it's a bit of a shame they don't sell the Vito in the US. It's a great small work van; most US-market minivans are oriented towards the soccer run rather than businesses' needs.