Sprinter only has about 188 HP?

r456

Member
My very old 2010 Sienna van even has 266 HP while the big new Sprinter only has ~188 HP. Can a Sprinter even climb a moderate hill (a 30 degree hill for example) without any payload at all?

I am considering to buy a new Sprinter but get really discouraged with its 188 HP.

Any comments in this matter?
 

Rock Doc

Active member
If you have any concerns about the power or the feel of the Sprinter, I suggest you test-drive one. Then you can make your own decisions.

The big difference is your Sienna was a gasoline engine, and the Sprinter has a diesel engine. Worlds different. The Sienna has 266 hp at a high RPM--like where you never actually operate the vehicle; that's the nature of gasoline engines. Also, take a look at the torque--which is where it's at with diesels. The Sienna probably only has 245 lb-ft, while the Sprinter has 325 lb-ft. Once again, the Sienna has its torque peak at an RPM well above where you normally operate the engine. Diesels, however, make their torque and hp at RPM ranges where they'll run all day long; if you run a gasoline engine at peak hp or peak torque, you'll burn up the engine in short order.

The Sprinter isn't a dragster, but it has pretty decent performance all in all. I have a Class B motorhome which tips the scales at about 9600 lb when I'm traveling down the road, and I have no issues with the power at all with that. Although I'd like more power when I'm flat-towing my 5000 lb Jeep on interstate highways, I don't have real issues and I'm able to do it. I just don't engage in drag races.

Rock Doc
2014 Pleasureway Plateau TS in 2013 Sprinter 3500
 

r456

Member
Thanks, Rock! I did a bit more research to figure out what HP and torque mean and have an idea. Appreciate your comments!
 

4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
Thanks, Rock! I did a bit more research to figure out what HP and torque mean and have an idea. Appreciate your comments!
Just to add to Rock Doc's point........My 2018 Revel conversion travels at an all up weight of about 8500lbs. It never feels underpowered to me, and I live at 7200' elevation. So every time I go anywhere, I go up and down mountains. Very seldom do I slow below the speed limit on long, steep grades.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
My even lower hp T1N's do fine even when towing. That said, when towing it isn't the same as a larger displacement Detroit Iron diesel or V8 gasser, but it does an adequate job with much better fuel economy.

:2cents: vic
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
The OM651 in my sprinter is rated at 161 HP, when the same engine in sedan 195 HP.
Common procedure that engines for heavy applications are detuned to avoid overheating and reliability problems.
That said, I did test and my van pulled big boat from dead stop on 11% grade.

20200725_143719.jpg
 

autostaretx

Erratic Member
You will frequently see people from other countries calling their Sprinters things like "315" or "316"
That's based upon MB's numbering system, with the final two digits being the horsepower divided by ten and rounded up to the next number.
Thus the US 156 hp OM647 becomes a "316"

--dick
p.s. a fully-laden 1963 VW micro-bus deluxe (legally) weighed 4563 pounds and could (eventually) exceed 60 mph with 40 hp.
They had rev-limiting throttle governors to starve the engine if you tried to exceed 65 mph.
p.p.s. the dry-weight-as-shipped for my Sprinter was 4501 pounds.
 
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tinman

Well-known member
My very old 2010 Sienna van even has 266 HP while the big new Sprinter only has ~188 HP. Can a Sprinter even climb a moderate hill (a 30 degree hill for example) without any payload at all?

I am considering to buy a new Sprinter but get really discouraged with its 188 HP.

Any comments in this matter?
Let me know how you make out on that "moderate 30 degree hill" . That's a tough climb on foot. Even 30 per cent is well beyond anything you're likely to encounter on a public road.
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
. Even 30 per cent is well beyond anything you're likely to encounter on a public road.
I've been to some park roads in Georgia, where they had 38% roads.
Drove 440HP F350 at the time, who took it on 4th gear.
I used to live in mountains close to San Francisco. Had 1 criteria for steep yard >>> when brick rolled all the way down to the street.
 

tinman

Well-known member
I've been to some park roads in Georgia, where they had 38% roads.
Drove 440HP F350 at the time, who took it on 4th gear.
I used to live in mountains close to San Francisco. Had 1 criteria for steep yard >>> when brick rolled all the way down to the street.
Just for the heck of it, thought I'd use Google to supplement my anecdotal experience of climbing mountains on foot and bike. Wiki shows the steepest recorded public road in the US as a short (21') stretch of Canton Avenue in Pittsburg at 37%. Not to say there aren't steeper bits in out of the way places, but on loose gravel you'd need to get a run at them.
 

blutow

Active member
I had the same concern when looking at these HP and torque numbers. I just took delivery of a 4 cylinder gas van with 188 hp and 258 ft/lbs of torque, 9 speed trannyt. I'm coming from a Ford F150 with 395 HP and 400 ft/lbs of torque (normally aspirated), 10 speed tranny. Both vehicles weight about the same. The sprinter has less than half the HP and 140ft/lbs less torque. In general drivability, it's not the dramatic change I was expecting.

Off the line, the empty sprinter is great, I'd even say it's zippy. Lot's of low end torque, feels very similar the way a diesel puts out power. It fades pretty quick as the revs go up, but it's more than adequate. I think the big difference will be when it's loaded down and doing long steep grades. Also, I'm sure it will be a turd compared to my truck passing on 2 lane roads at high speed. There is just too much wind you are pushing and not enough power. We'll see, but I'm pleasantly surprised so far.
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
Just for the heck of it, thought I'd use Google to supplement my anecdotal experience of climbing mountains on foot and bike. Wiki shows the steepest recorded public road in the US as a short (21') stretch of Canton Avenue in Pittsburg at 37%. Not to say there aren't steeper bits in out of the way places, but on loose gravel you'd need to get a run at them.
Your search went wrong.
There is street in San Francisco rated at 41%, with 2 more above 37%
There are always issues what is consider public road and what are criteria for measuring the slope. You can find high slope for 2 ft around street ditch, but that is not making the whole street.

 

ECU

Well-known member
My biggest problem with a steep slope is tire traction.

Either that or I'm parked upside down...
 

Rock Doc

Active member
As I recall, I think the Interstate Highways are limited to no more than a 7% grade, thus that's as steep as you're going to find. However, just west of Denver, that 7% grade goes on for miles, and miles and miles, and.... ;)

For those not aware, percentage grade is derived as "rise over run", so a 100% grade is 45 degrees. My experience in off-roading with my not-so-stock Jeeps has been that by the time you get to a 41-42 degree grade (91-93%) even in Moab Utah (where the "slickrock" is really like driving on sandpaper), you're not going to have much traction for your tires, and long before then you'll feel like your vehicle is going to tip over backwards!

Rock Doc
2014 Pleasureway Plateau TS in 2013 Sprinter 3500
 

elemental

Wherever you go, there you are.
p.s. a fully-laden 1963 VW micro-bus deluxe (legally) weighed 4563 pounds and could (eventually) exceed 60 mph with 40 hp.
They had rev-limiting throttle governors to starve the engine if you tried to exceed 65 mph.
p.p.s. the dry-weight-as-shipped for my Sprinter was 4501 pounds.
Would the microbus perform this way if it was Chartreuse and loaded with eleven long haired Friends of Jesus?

Ref. C.W. McCall "Convoy"
 

elemental

Wherever you go, there you are.
As I recall, I think the Interstate Highways are limited to no more than a 7% grade, thus that's as steep as you're going to find. However, just west of Denver, that 7% grade goes on for miles, and miles and miles, and.... ;)
Maximum grades on Interstates: "...up to 6% generally allowed in mountainous areas, 5% in rolling terrain, and 4% on level terrain. An additional 1% is allowed in urban areas." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_standards)

When you get off the Interstates things can get a lot hairier. I had to find another way when I came across a pass signed with a 26% grade warning and I was driving a 14 year old Dodge Caravan towing a camping trailer through the Sierra Nevada's. I sure wish automobile nav systems and/or road atlases would warn about intense grades instead of leaving them to be discovered as darkness closes in on lonely highways.
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
My biggest problem with a steep slope is tire traction.

Either that or I'm parked upside down...
Most of the cars when with good tires and on dry surface will hold the weigh on 100% grades. Not all have gearing to push up on this grade, but they will stay.
You can only imagine that not that much weight on such grade rest on upper axle.
Just don't try to make U-turn.
 

bigb

2011 Winnebago Via 25Q on 3500 Sprinter Tucson, AZ
Just for comparison my 7.3 Powerstroke has similar HP & Torque ratings and while it is not exactly greased lightning I have never had a problem climbing grades at speed and never felt under powered. In fact on I-17 between Phoenix and Flagstaff where you gain over one mile in elevation in 144 miles it can hold it's own the whole way at 75 MPH better than a lot of passenger cars who tend to get in the way and won't move over. My 2010 Sprinter is hauling 11K and the performance is very similar to the Powerstroke which weighs in at 8,800 lbs, although handling wise I don't like to drive the Sprinter motorhome faster than 65.
You will not be disappointed.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
The 7.3l beats 2 or 3-liters in torque hands down.
"There is no replacement for displacement"
:thumbup:

Until you want to pass a fuel station.

:cheers: vic
 

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