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Although pricier and less powerful than GM and Ford's full-size vans, the 2007 Dodge Sprinter Cargo is a thoroughly modern take on this utilitarian class of vehicles with segment-leading cargo space, body configurations, fuel economy and maneuverability.
Multiple large body styles, walk-around interior, stellar fuel economy for a full-size van, superior maneuverability, Mercedes build quality.
Higher initial cost than competitors, doesn't offer the power and towing capacity of a V8.
Available Sprinter Cargo Van Models
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The 2007 Dodge Sprinter has been completely redesigned. There are larger body styles available, including a new "mega" roof with a class-leading 7-foot interior height measurement and 600 cubic feet of cargo space. The standard turbodiesel is now a V6 and has been upgraded to 280 pound-feet of torque, while an optional 3.5-liter gasoline V6 has been added for those looking for more highway-friendly power. The exterior has undergone evolutionary changes, but the interior has been brought into this decade with new Mercedes-Benz switchgear and a tilt/telescoping steering column.
While most cars, SUVs and minivans last roughly five to six years between generations, full-size cargo vans are like those 100-year-old crocodiles that live on while the rest of the animal kingdom dies away. When a new van shows up, such as the 2007 Dodge Sprinter Cargo, it's a rare occasion. Although the last-generation Sprinter arrived only in 2003, it had been sold around the world as a Mercedes-Benz since 1995. That vehicle was already a revolutionary step beyond its aged General Motors and Ford competition, and the new model increases that disparity even more.
The 2007 Dodge Sprinter's clear advantages are in the realms of cargo capacity, body configurations and driving dynamics. A quick visual inspection of the Sprinter reveals just how different it is. Its radically sloped front end, long wheelbase and tall body make it look like a good Beckham kick could knock it over, yet it's just as wide as the GM and Ford models, and handles more like a midsize SUV than a cargo van. A further examination of the Sprinter's dimensions reveals a standard wheelbase longer than the Econoline's extended wheelbase, and at 289 inches, the largest Dodge is almost 4 feet longer than the biggest GM van.
As before, the German-built Sprinter is the only full-size van to offer a choice of factory roof heights. Should Kareem Abdul-Jabbar require a full-size work van, a new mega roof option provides an impressive 7 feet of interior height. For someone to walk upright in an Econoline and Express/Savanna, they can't be taller than 4-foot-4. This not only makes the Sprinter a superior cargo-hauling van, but also a viable and comfortable work space.
One of our few complaints about the previous-generation Sprinter was its weak diesel-fueled inline-5 engine and limited towing capacity. Although that engine had enough torque for city driving, its meager 154 horsepower made the van quickly lose its verve at highway speeds. A new 3.0-liter diesel V6 is standard this year. It only increases torque by 29 lb-ft (horsepower remains the same), but a newly optional 254-hp gasoline-fueled V6 should be adequate for those who do more freeway driving. Towing capacity on the 3500 model is now 7,500 pounds, but still falls short of the Econoline and GM vans' maximum of about 10,000 pounds. The Sprinter 2500's towing capacity remains 5,000 pounds.
Overall, we think the redesigned 2007 Dodge Sprinter Cargo should be an appealing choice for many commercial users, including on-site repairmen, fleet operators and contractors. Despite being a little underpowered and pricey compared to the V8-powered GM and Ford vans, the Sprinter's multiple large body styles and quality construction make it an excellent choice in this segment.
The 2007 Dodge Sprinter is a full-size cargo van. Body style choices are numerous, with 2500 and 3500 models available in two wheelbases (144 and 170 inches), three body lengths (233, 273 and 289 inches) and three roof heights (65, 76 and 84 inches). There are five optional cargo bay partitions and four different driver seats, including a suspension seat. All body styles come standard with 16-inch steel wheels, wide-angle mirrors, electronic stability control, tilt/telescoping steering column, automatic climate control, CD radio and cargo bay tie-down points.
The Sprinter Cargo is designed to be customizable for an individual buyer's needs, so a long list of options in à la carte and package form are available. These include cruise control, bi-xenon headlamps, foglamps, automatic headlamps and wipers, power-folding mirrors, 90-percent rear window tint, sliding rear windows, power window vents, a sunroof, heated front seats, a three-passenger second-row seat, several cargo area partitions, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and an upgraded sound system with integrated phone connectivity.
The 2007 Dodge Sprinter Cargo comes standard with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 making 154 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. It gets fuel economy in the mid-20s, which is dramatically better than its competition. New for 2007 is an optional 3.5-liter gasoline V6 with 254 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come standard with a five-speed automatic with an automanual mode. Towing capacity for the 2500 model is 5,000 pounds, while the 3500 model tops out at 7,500.
All Dodge Sprinters come standard with stability control, traction control and antilock disc brakes. Dodge says it specifically tailored the Sprinter's stability control system to compensate for shifting cargo loads and the vehicle's tall center of gravity. Optional safety equipment includes front-seat side and head curtain airbags; front and rear parking sensors; and a rear parking camera.
With the exception of the Dodge logo on its steering wheel, the Sprinter's interior is identical to the Mercedes-Benz version sold elsewhere in the world. Build quality is therefore far better than anything else in this class and actually superior to some other Dodge vehicles. Four front seat styles with multiple adjustments ensure decent comfort, and overall ergonomics give the impression of driving an SUV instead of a gigantic van. The old model's city bus steering column has been thankfully replaced with a new tilt/telescoping setup.
With so many body styles and a maximum 600 cubic feet of available cargo space, the Sprinter Cargo is the most versatile work van on the market. Its high and mega roof options (76 and 84 inches respectively) make it possible for drivers to use the Sprinter as a work space while walking upright. Plus, its rear doors that open to 270 degrees, low step-in height and optional dual sliding doors assure unmatched accessibility. Maximum payload is a class-leading 5,770 pounds. Full-width partitions that separate cabin from cargo area include full metal, fixed and sliding windows, sliding doors and a C-pillar partition that allows for an extra row of seats.
We have yet to drive the new 2007 Dodge Sprinter Cargo. However, if its previous version is any indication, we fully expect this vehicle to be the best-driving full-size van available. Handling and maneuverability will likely be better than you might expect given its high profile and large size. The only disappointment will likely be engine power. Though both engines are certainly adequate around town, a full load of cargo or gear will overtax the modest capabilities of the engines at higher speeds.
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