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Old 12-07-2018, 02:08 PM   #1
Gski
 
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Default The choice: Diesel vs Gas

The 2019 sprinter adds one more decision to the purchase process.

My personal experience is all in sailboats, where diesel is the obvious choice because it is safer and the engine will last at least 40 years with a bit of regular love. Most of that isnít relevant for vans.

Hearsay reliability evidence isnít much help to me, even if you know a guy who knows a guy who has a sample size of one.

I am not interested in getting religion: both engine types have been in use for a century because both work well for many purposes.

Gas advantages
- More filling stations, more pumps too.
- Can idle to charge batteries or to heat water or to heat the van.
- More familiar to most North American drivers.
- Better for drag racing.

Gas disadvantages
- Less energy per litre of fuel, so less range between fill ups.
- No (KL1) fuel tap, so harder to fuel an Espar heater.
- Gas engines historically have shorter lifespans, but so do vans. If the engine lasts as long as the vehicle, not a problem.

Economy depends on the relative prices of gas and diesel where you are filling your tank. That will change as we travel.

How would you choose?
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: The choice: Diesel vs Gas

In NA diesel is way more expensive to keep serviced after 100-150K.

May not be important to buyers of new, but I think will influence resale value.

First-year bugs shakeout process on the other side.
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: The choice: Diesel vs Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gski View Post
The 2019 sprinter adds one more decision to the purchase process.

How would you choose?
From what I've read on here I don't think that choice actually exists!

In other words whilst MB may show a Gas option in their brochures, etc. in reality they are not offering one for sale in the US.

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Old 12-07-2018, 07:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: The choice: Diesel vs Gas

My personal experience is that going in, diesel is more expensive than gas and it takes forever to make up the original purchase difference in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle; break-even is HUNDREDS of thousands of miles down the road. Second, diesel is more expensive to maintain (more oil per change, etc.) Performance wise, diesel has much more torque than gas, but gas has more horsepower. (Do you want to pull quickly, or over the long haul. Gas sprints, diesel marathons.)

However, gas engines tolerate sitting unused much better than diesel. Diesel engine seals dry out much more quickly than gas engine seals. Depending upon your use, if you drive frequently, diesel can be your friend. If you drive occasionally (like with most RV uses), gas may be a better choice. For myself, I drive my diesel Sprinter RV on a 20+ mile loop at least once a month when I’m not RVing it. (I was badly burned on this with a diesel pusher motorhome in the past—$7k to reseal the Cummins C8.3 engine!!)

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Old 12-07-2018, 07:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: The choice: Diesel vs Gas

I owned a gas ProMaster for a hot min. 7-10 MPG got me out of that vehicle in a hurry! (along with many other issues).
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: The choice: Diesel vs Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gski View Post
How would you choose?
Sold 08 diesel Sprinter and bought 15 gas Transit Ecoboost. One of my better decisions.

No prestige but a much better driving vehicle. Cost of ownership is approximately the same. Transit gets 3 mpg less fuel economy than the V6 Sprinter but gas costs less and scheduled maintenance costs are significantly lower. Any repairs are less costly with a Transit. At 26,000 miles the Transit has not required any repairs. Sprinter by 20,000 miles had to be towed once and had an EGR valve failure that caused a LHM. We will see if the Transit is better or worse than the Sprinter. So far better.

Unfortunately the gas engine that Mercedes is offering in the new Sprinter is small. Probably fine for local deliveries but not as suited for a full conversion or pulling a trailer IMO.
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: The choice: Diesel vs Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gski View Post
The 2019 sprinter adds one more decision to the purchase process.

My personal experience is all in sailboats, where diesel is the obvious choice because it is safer and the engine will last at least 40 years with a bit of regular love. Most of that isnít relevant for vans.

Hearsay reliability evidence isnít much help to me, even if you know a guy who knows a guy who has a sample size of one.

I am not interested in getting religion: both engine types have been in use for a century because both work well for many purposes.

Gas advantages
- More filling stations, more pumps too.
- Can idle to charge batteries or to heat water or to heat the van.
- More familiar to most North American drivers.
- Better for drag racing.

Gas disadvantages
- Less energy per litre of fuel, so less range between fill ups.
- No (KL1) fuel tap, so harder to fuel an Espar heater.
- Gas engines historically have shorter lifespans, but so do vans. If the engine lasts as long as the vehicle, not a problem.

Economy depends on the relative prices of gas and diesel where you are filling your tank. That will change as we travel.

How would you choose?
Assuming that MBenz has finally corrected its "emission" idiosyncrasies with their 2019/2020 models then I'd stay Diesel.

Had quite a few diesels; VW Rabbit Truck; VW Jetta; 240D and 300TD..non of these had DEF or DPF. Ran forever but rust killed them on the East coast.

Diesels simply last longer as they are marinated in oil: diesel fuel is an oil... every part is lubricated to the hilt, then comes motor oil which further smears the bowels of its engine. Motor oils must be changed in due time as the oil thickens.

Gasoline on the other hand is a "solvent".. everything within its engine is sort of diluted and oil must be changed to regain lubricity.

Yes, the world is changing and many will see the demise of diesels eventually.

cheers...
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: The choice: Diesel vs Gas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
Unfortunately the gas engine that Mercedes is offering in the new Sprinter is small. Probably fine for local deliveries but not as suited for a full conversion or pulling a trailer IMO.
Mercedes rates the gas engine at the same 190 horsepower that they rate the diesel engine at.

And the gas engine has two more gears and a better gear spread.

Regardless of the load, the gas engine should perform better than the diesel engine.
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: The choice: Diesel vs Gas

The Sprinter 3.0 diesel was rated at 188 horsepower last year. This year, they are now calling it 190 horsepower.

Mercedes rates the M274 gas engine at up to 241 horsepower in other applications. But when offered as a $7,000 less-expensive Sprinter engine, they're now claiming that it only makes 190 horsepower.

I'm calling shenanigans- marketing shenanigans. Mercedes doesn't want to lose sales on the diesel engine that is slower, won't save you any money on fuel, and sells for $7,000 more.
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Old 12-10-2018, 05:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: The choice: Diesel vs Gas

Mercedes probably de-rated the gas engine for the heavy sprinter. The same approach was used with the diesels compared to the car applications. A full loaded 3500 towing with a GCWR of 14klbs can peg the load at 100% for 30 minutes straight.

I would be curious to see the emissions gear on the gas powerplant. I believe its GDI? which adds a fair bit of complexity...
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