2008 Dodge Sprinter Van Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Dodge Sprinter Van

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Dodge Sprinter Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 154 hp @ 3400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 0/0 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Dodge Sprinter

  • While pricier and less powerful than Ford and GM's full-size vans, the 2008 Dodge Sprinter is a modern take on this utilitarian class of vehicles and delivers class-leading interior space, more body configurations and superior maneuverability.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Multiple body styles and features to choose from, walk-around interior, good fuel economy, superior maneuverability, Mercedes build quality.

  • Cons

    Higher initial cost than its competitors, neither engine offers the power or towing capacity of a V8.

  • What's New for 2008

    2008 Dodge Sprinter passenger vans now come standard with seating for 12, regardless of vehicle length. A standard emergency exit window is now included, while a power-sliding side door has been added to the options list.

Full 2008 Dodge Sprinter Review

What's New for 2008

2008 Dodge Sprinter passenger vans now come standard with seating for 12, regardless of vehicle length. A standard emergency exit window is now included, while a power-sliding side door has been added to the options list.


The union between Mercedes and Chrysler ended up being an unhappy marriage that recently ended in divorce, but Dodge at least got a decent chunk of alimony in the form of its 2008 Sprinter passenger van. Sure, a huge people-carrying shuttle may not seem like a prize worth coveting, but the Sprinter represents the lone modern offering in a segment that ceased any engineering innovation during the Nixon administration. While the Ford and GM competition have made continual updates over the years, the Sprinter was completely redesigned last year and represents a significant evolutionary step thanks to its Mercedes engineering and unique body styles.

The 2008 Dodge Sprinter passenger van's clear advantages are in the realms of cargo capacity, passenger space and comfort, available body configurations, and driving dynamics. It doesn't take long to realize how different the Sprinter is -- a mere glance will suffice. Its sloping front end, long wheelbases and two tall body styles give the impression that a strong breeze could make it tip over like a boozed-up co-ed. Yet it's actually just as wide as the GM and Ford models, but handles more like a midsize SUV than a plumber's van. Also, Mercedes says it engineered the stability control system to compensate for the taller center of gravity and shifting cargo loads.

A further examination of the Sprinter's dimensions reveals a standard wheelbase even longer than the Econoline's extended-wheelbase model, and at 273 inches, the largest Dodge Sprinter is almost 2.5 feet longer than the biggest GM van. The Sprinter is also the only full-size van to offer a choice of factory roof heights. The high roof option provides a cavernous 76.4 inches of interior height, allowing a 6-foot-3-inch person to walk around upright. To accomplish the same task, Econoline and Express/Savana passengers would have to be no taller than 4-foot-4. Those vans, therefore, require an aftermarket conversion if they are to be used as people-carrying shuttles.

A choice of two engines are available, with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 standard. The diesel provides excellent fuel economy and ample torque for urban and suburban uses. An optional gasoline V6 (a $2,000 credit option) is preferable for more highway-going drivers or those who struggle to find a diesel pump. Neither engine provides the power of several GM and Ford power plants, nor are they capable of towing the same loads. The Sprinter tops out at 5,000 pounds, while its competitors can lug upwards of 10,000.

Overall, though, we think the 2008 Dodge Sprinter should be an appealing choice for many full-size van buyers. Despite being a little underpowered and pricey compared to V8-equipped GM and Ford vans, the Sprinter's multiple large body styles and quality construction make it an excellent choice in this segment. That price disparity is probably erased for those who would otherwise rely on an aftermarket outfitter to create a passenger shuttle.

With Chrysler and Mercedes no longer together, it's unknown how long the Benz-sourced and German-built Sprinter will wear its Dodge badge. For the time being, however, commercial customers and gigantic families should give this automotive alimony a chance.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Dodge Sprinter is a full-size van. There are three body styles available for the passenger version: one with the regular 144-inch wheelbase and the standard 65-inch roof; a regular-length Sprinter with a high roof (76.4 inches); and a long 170-inch-wheelbase model with a high roof. All Sprinters come standard with seating for 12 passengers in four rows (two/three/three/four), while models with the optional gasoline V6 can be equipped with seven-, nine- and 10-passenger configurations.

Standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, folding wide-angle heated mirrors, a sliding passenger-side door, automatic climate control, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, emergency exit window, cloth upholstery and a CD player.

The options list is longer than the actual van. It includes 16-inch alloy wheels, a power-sliding passenger door, bi-xenon headlamps, foglamps, headlamp washers, cruise control, parking assist, a rearview camera, a heated windshield, a rear air-conditioner and rear heater, a rear window washer/wiper, an auxiliary battery, upgraded front seats, heated front seats, steering-wheel audio controls, front and/or rear power sunroofs, cell phone connectivity, a trip computer and a six-CD changer.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 Sprinter comes standard with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 making 154 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. It gets fuel economy in the mid-20s, which is dramatically better than its competition. An optional 3.5-liter gasoline V6 produces 254 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Both engines come standard with a five-speed automatic with an automanual mode. Properly equipped, the passenger version of the Sprinter can tow 5,000 pounds, and a regular-wheelbase model has a maximum payload of 2,937 pounds.


All 2008 Dodge Sprinters come standard with stability control, traction control and antilock disc brakes. The Sprinter's stability control system was calibrated 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.

Interior Design and Special Features

With the exception of the Dodge logo on its steering wheel, the Sprinter's interior is pretty much 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 most 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 Sprinter's city bus steering column has been thankfully replaced with a new tilt/telescoping setup.

Thanks to its 51-inch sliding door opening and class-leading 20-inch step-up height, getting in and out of the three possible rows is easy. Once inside, the high roof option and its 6-foot-4-inch cabin height makes the Sprinter an ideal choice for passenger shuttles. With seemingly more room inside than many New York City apartments, up to 12 occupants can be accommodated. Gasoline-powered Sprinters offer different configurations with fewer seats and expanded cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

With its huge windshield and truncated front end, piloting the 2008 Dodge Sprinter feels pretty similar to being behind the wheel of a tour bus. And at up to 23 feet long and 9 feet high, it could be one, too. Thankfully, that feeling of bigness is dispelled by a reasonably carlike driving position and respectable handling. Quite simply, this is the easiest and least cumbersome full-size van to drive -- no surprise considering it was designed to navigate Europe's cramped streets. Around town, the turbodiesel engine offers more than enough power, and only when passing at highways speeds does it start to run out of steam. With its superior gas mileage and ample torque, we'd stick with the diesel engine over the optional gasoline power plant, even though the latter knocks about $2,000 off the sticker.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Maintenance nightmare

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Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 170 WB 3dr Ext Van (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 5A)

I have 2 sprinters. Both are 1 ton 3.0 diesels. I have same continuous problem with both van's. If you even think about driving on gravel road and it's wet, brake wear sensor wires are broken, making dash light come on. Every 35,000 almost to the mile, one of the carrier bearings (there are two and they are identical) will go out. 219 bucks for the bearing plus install. Finally found some brake pads that would wear longer than 25,000 miles. Dealer only at first, 125 bucks a set of pads. Now, torque converter is bad on both. One has 90,000 on it, the other 120,000. After doing some more checking, this seems to be a widespread problem. This fix is over 2 thousand. I can't keep up.

Cargo to toyhauler fun

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Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 144 WB 3dr Van (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 5A)

I did a lot of research before getting my 08 2500 144. It's a basic unit & that is what I wanted. In the last 6 mths I have put 0ver 22k miles on the truck. No issues. The dealership crashed the truck & didn't tell me when I bought it. It seems to run fine & I keep my fingers crossed. My mpg are 21-23 on the open road & 21 in town. If you use the turbo then mpg drop big time. so take it easy & save $. In traffic handling is great. It will tow at freeway speeds but that was my lowest 17 mpg. The truck is quieter than other vans. Brakes are good in rain & in dangerous events. Lay out of inst. on dash are very user friendly. Radio is ok. Steering is solid & no real over steering.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Reliability not an option

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Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 144 WB 3dr Van (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 5A)

Thought carefully before purchase about reliability, service availabilty, fuel mileage, upkeep costs. Vehicle arrived broken. Developed a serious power steering leak and had to be towed the same day to nearest dealer, 2 hours away (not local as advertised). Then EGR valve failed, intermittant Check engine light and no power). Drivers wiper seriously out of align, bad noises. Plastic trim items poorly fastened and repeatedly fell off. Dlr attempted to reinstall. Frt tires chewed off at 10K miles, align not done at factory? Lts began to fail, headlight, parking, tail, signal (all very cheaply made bulbs I suppose). Several parts have fallen off. Ok truck if you like coffee at the dealers loung

2008 144 wb high roof

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Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Sprinter 2500 144 WB 3dr Van (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 5A)

We extensively researched the vehicles available to convert to a handicap accessible vehicle to transport our fifteen year old son who uses a wheelchair. After reviewing all possible alternatives, we chose the Dodge 144 wb high roof passenger model Sprinter, which we had modified at CMI in Grove City, Ohio. We chose this Sprinter for its fuel economy, build quality, safety features, maneuverability, and the conversion options available. We removed all seats, and added three swiveling captains chairs, a folding bench seat, a rear under seat heater, additional insulation, and a Braun Vangater lift. Now we have a long term solution to transporting and taking care of our son's needs.

Talk About The 2008 Sprinter

2008 Dodge Sprinter Discussions See all Started By

The red light on the aux heater switch illuminated when the switch is pressed. The pump is giving a clicking sound, and also I can hear a hum sound. But after five seconds everything turns off. The a?...

Hello, I am waiting delivery on a 2008 standard roof cargo Sprinter. I am aware of the Sprinter redesign in 2007/2008 and know they do not have the typical rain gutters at the roof....

Dodge Sprinter is the most versatile commercial van on the market. There's no other vehicle like it on the road, from its wide range of models to its unique looks. With modern styling, aerodynamic des...

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