2008 Dodge Sprinter Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
July 6, 2008

The 2008 Dodge Sprinter is very different from traditional full-size vans, but its fuel-efficient engine and space-efficient interior make it the smart choice.

In order to assemble this review covering the 2008 Dodge Sprinter Wagon, TheCarConnection.com looked to a range of existing reviews. As they've driven the 2008 Dodge Sprinter Wagon, TheCarConnection.com's editors included firsthand information where relevant.

The Sprinter Wagon is Dodge's full-size passenger van. Based on a Daimler design, the 2008 Sprinter Wagon follows a different style that emphasizes passengers and cargo more than the full-size vans from GM and Ford.

The 2008 Dodge Sprinter Wagon is powered by a 3.0-liter CDI turbodiesel V-6 that makes 154 horsepower, along with a much more impressive 280 pound-feet of torque. It delivers its plentiful torque to the rear wheels through a smooth-shifting five-speed automatic transmission that comes with a manual-shift mode. A 254-horsepower, 3.5-liter gasoline V-6 is optional, though at a lower price than the diesel.

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The 2008 Dodge Sprinter Wagon comes in two different wheelbases--144 and 170 inches--with the 144-inch (233 inches long) model quite maneuverable in the city. Two different roof heights are offered as well.

Three different seating configurations are offered in the 2008 Dodge Sprinter Wagon, with 9-, 10-, and 12-passenger capacities in up to four rows of seating. As in other full-size vans, the driver and front passenger sit perched high over the front wheels. Behind the front seats, the Sprinter Wagon is as close to a box as you're likely to find in a vehicle. Properly configured, it can seat up to 12 people, and it features sliding doors on both sides. With the seats removed, the Sprinter's tall roof allows awe-inspiring cargo capacity.

Once you get used to the odd driving position, the 2008 Dodge Sprinter feels quite maneuverable for those accustomed to driving large sport-utility vehicles or other vans. The ride is a bit choppy, but handling is surprisingly nimble for such a tall vehicle.

The 2008 Dodge Sprinter Wagon comes with standard keyless entry, automatic climate control, rear ducts, and a 13-speaker sound system; unlike most full-size vans, the steering wheel tilts and telescopes. The options list is vast, including courtesy lamps and overhead consoles, bi-xenon headlamps, sunroofs, heated seats, rain-sensor wipers, and a backup sensor system. For commercial needs, there are several different axle ratios and various heavy-duty components available.

The Sprinter hasn't been tested in either of the major crash-test series, but it has extensive (for the class) safety features. Electronic stability control, a feature that's not yet offered in all full-size vans, is standard on the 2008 Dodge Sprinter Wagon, as are anti-lock brakes. Front-seat side airbags and front side curtain airbags--two other features that aren't typically available in this class--are both optional.

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