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The Competition Discussion of other vehicles similar to the Sprinter; Transit, Promaster, etc.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:11 AM   #11
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

I think the choices would be:
Sprinter
Transit
Maybe Nissan NV (a bit of an oddball, but reliable?)

Based on your criteria of cost, I think Transit would be a good choice.

If you do go w/ a Sprinter, just consider that there are tons of them out there running around. I routinely drive (as do others) to very remote parts of the country in my Sprinter and haven't had any issues. I've had it serviced at dealerships and indy shops (Linden). I'm 150k miles into my I4.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

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Originally Posted by thenunzzz View Post
Hello,

I am going to build out a van to live full time and travel, but I am having a hard time figuring out which van is the best choice for me. I am super careful with decisions like this and do a lot of research before I decide. My main concern is cost of course, I worry about big out of pocket repairs at the dealership. It seems like the Ford Transit and Dodge Promaster have the advantage of taking them to any mechanic whereas the Benz has to be serviced/repaired at the dealership. I prefer the longer wheelbase and the Benz appeals with the 170" to have more space to build.

I have been driving Toyota for a while now, so reliability is a huge luxury to me. I have been reading a lot... it seems that the 4 banger 2014-2016 MB sprinter is great. My friend has a 2015 144" I4 and he likes it. I just worry about being in the mountains and having a major problem.

Questions of concern: (I have read about the T1N and NCV3 by the way)
- Why choose the Mercedes, which I guess can only be serviced/repaired at a dealership, over the alternatives?
- Are high mileage sprinters risky? 100k, 200k, 300k.
- Is the T1N even with high miles a safer bet than the new computer heavy NCV3?

Thank you!

Scott
Mercedes - they feel like the perfect balance between interior height, length, wheelbase, and interior design. Option for option, they're on par with Ford brand new. Downside is that dealer network can be a challenge if you don't live near one. Parts don't feel like they have the typical german marktup, at least compared to what I pay for Audi and Porsche parts.

Ford - excellent dealer network, ecoboost engine. Downside for me - sizing is goofy (height and wheelbase), small wheels wells, and interior isn't as easy to get in and out of when going from front seat to the rear.

Promoster: best interior space usage - they're huge. Cheapest to buy and great dealer network. Downside: funky axle makes ground clearance a challenge. The trans is super slow to shift due to the auto-clutch design.

Here in the west - you see tons of promasters and sprinters. Very few Transits, but the new AWD option could change that.

I chose the Sprinter due to the sizing, lots of useful options not available on other vans (heated windshield, headlight washers, etc) native 4x4, and I love german cars.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

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Originally Posted by Wrinkledpants View Post
Mercedes - they feel like the perfect balance between interior height, length, wheelbase, and interior design. Option for option, they're on par with Ford brand new. Downside is that dealer network can be a challenge if you don't live near one. Parts don't feel like they have the typical german marktup, at least compared to what I pay for Audi and Porsche parts.

Ford - excellent dealer network, ecoboost engine. Downside for me - sizing is goofy (height and wheelbase), small wheels wells, and interior isn't as easy to get in and out of when going from front seat to the rear.

Promoster: best interior space usage - they're huge. Cheapest to buy and great dealer network. Downside: funky axle makes ground clearance a challenge. The trans is super slow to shift due to the auto-clutch design.

Here in the west - you see tons of promasters and sprinters. Very few Transits, but the new AWD option could change that.

I chose the Sprinter due to the sizing, lots of useful options not available on other vans (heated windshield, headlight washers, etc) native 4x4, and I love german cars.
There must be reasons 5 times more people buy Transits than Sprinters.

We do know it is not for prestige.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

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Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
There must be reasons 5 times more people buy Transits than Sprinters.

We do know it is not for prestige.
I'm sure the dealer network has a lot to do with that. And the fact that Sprinters have much higher resale value, it can make used Transits a good value proposition. And we know that people aren't buying Transits because they look good.

I rarely see Transits at TH parking lots compared to Promasters and Sprinters. Same with the Class B/C RV market. My guess it many of the Transit owners are commercial.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:56 PM   #15
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

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Originally Posted by Wrinkledpants View Post
I'm sure the dealer network has a lot to do with that. And the fact that Sprinters have much higher resale value, it can make used Transits a good value proposition. And we know that people aren't buying Transits because they look good.

I rarely see Transits at TH parking lots compared to Promasters and Sprinters. Same with the Class B/C RV market. My guess it many of the Transit owners are commercial.
You are correct in my opinion.

I would say most of the Transits are for commercial use.

With some of the new options on the 2020 Transits it appears that Ford is now trying to be more of a force in the personal transportation part of the business and not just commercial.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

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Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
There must be reasons 5 times more people buy Transits than Sprinters.

We do know it is not for prestige.
That's very sad, considering the transit has replaced the E-Series which sold 12 times more.

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Old 12-06-2019, 03:37 AM   #17
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

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That's very sad, considering the transit has replaced the E-Series which sold 12 times more.

Now please go fvck off, you ignorant & self-serving troll, your omnipresence and pathetic shtick got old years ago.
Seems unnecessary.
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Old 12-06-2019, 06:42 AM   #18
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

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Originally Posted by thenunzzz View Post
DAMN! 2k a year for maintenance/repairs??
I think that number is low. I'd budget $3k a year. Seriously, a Sprinter is not cheap to own.

I bought my van used, with about 90k miles. Over the next two years I had to replace the DEF tank and the high pressure fuel pump (along with associated seals and gaskets and such that get disturbed to access the pump).

The DEF tank was close to $3k with parts and labor. Fortunately, I was on the tail end of the emissions warranty - a month or two left on it. So I didn't have to pay for that one. The fuel pump was about $2k.

At three years now, I've put 20k miles on the van. So I've needed two routine services - those combine to about $1k. And I still need to do brakes, which will chew up several hundred more. And a set of tires is not far away. That's another $600 - $800.

All up for three years and 20k miles, I'll be close to $8k in repairs and maintenance, with $3k of that covered by warranty.


Almost forgot - another $2k for the roof A/C seal in my passenger van. Fortunately, that was again covered by warranty (thanks to a class-action lawsuit covering only California.)
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Old 12-06-2019, 01:54 PM   #19
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

@ptheland - those numbers seem to be on the extreme end of things. Some comments:

- oil changes are expensive ($140 in parts if you don't find them on sale), but only every 20k miles (I do mine at 10k)
- brakes last a very long time, so they are actually cheap considering you can go 80k plus miles out of them
- roof leak issue really stinks.
- DEF tank and fuel pump are not terribly common replacement items, but that is a good example of how a expensive these vans can be due to being a Mercedes.

I've been thinking of going to a Transit if I decide to sell my Sprinter some day, but then I read this yesterday, and start thinking I'd never buy a Ford hearing this complete BS:

https://www.freep.com/in-depth/money...ct/1671198001/
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Old 12-06-2019, 02:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Mercedes vs other brands

Quote:
Originally Posted by ptheland View Post
I think that number is low. I'd budget $3k a year. Seriously, a Sprinter is not cheap to own.

I bought my van used, with about 90k miles. Over the next two years I had to replace the DEF tank and the high pressure fuel pump (along with associated seals and gaskets and such that get disturbed to access the pump).

The DEF tank was close to $3k with parts and labor. Fortunately, I was on the tail end of the emissions warranty - a month or two left on it. So I didn't have to pay for that one. The fuel pump was about $2k.

At three years now, I've put 20k miles on the van. So I've needed two routine services - those combine to about $1k. And I still need to do brakes, which will chew up several hundred more. And a set of tires is not far away. That's another $600 - $800.

All up for three years and 20k miles, I'll be close to $8k in repairs and maintenance, with $3k of that covered by warranty.


Almost forgot - another $2k for the roof A/C seal in my passenger van. Fortunately, that was again covered by warranty (thanks to a class-action lawsuit covering only California.)
I just recently reviewed my Y-O-Y Total Maintenance Cost for the 11.5 years of ownership since new. It is $1730 cad/ $1305 usd. Other than changing light-bulbs, all labour done by shops.
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