2500 144 WB Crew 3dr Van (2.1L 4cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
We were comparing the Sprinter with the Transit Van. Both vehicles offer much for the money. We read that if you stay below 65 mph, your mpg would be fine. We purchased our Sprinter from Nelli, she is great, at MB Laguna Niguel. We checked highway mpg at 60 mph from Laguna Niguel to Oceanside, CA and averaged 29.8 mpg...gotta love that. The Transit diesel on an 18 mile loop averaged 23 mpg. The Transit passenger van includes rear hvac and can be ordered for around $900.00 for other style vans. The Sprinter rear hvac is $3600.00. We purchased a crew van and will put a Dometic 15,000 btu Brisk II heat pump on the roof and carry a portable generator for when we may need it. Also installing two MaxxAir vents to help circulate air while driving. Front air conditioning in Sprinter is more than adequate for first two rows of people. When we finish we will have a very nice mobile office/travel van. Regarding sleeping in the van or camping out, my wife has told me she is happy to continue camping out at the Hilton. The Sprinter will make our travels much more comfortable and allow us to take our dog with us. Will be able to sleep in Sprinter if in pinch. Update 4.3.17. We installed a 4.0 Onan gasoline generator and fuel tank underneath behind the driver. The installation was done by Richard's Performance Muffler (RPM) in Oceanside. It is the cleanest installation of a generator I have ever seen. WOW!!! More expensive than the portable concept, but much, much more functional. Our Sprinter continues to maintain excellent fuel mileage. We went to Las Vegas for a trial run. We were trying to beat traffic going over and averaged 21.6 mpg. However, returning we took our time and even with the hills, etc, we averaged 26.4 mpg. To end the bumps and sways, we followed the advice of many on Sprinter Forum and installed Koni struts and shocks. Further, we upgraded to 1.25" Hellwig anti-sway bar. Again installation was by RPM. The bumps and swaying is gone. Mike Lewis at North County Mobile Electronics in Oceanside acted as our general contractor while putting this van together. He oversaw and installed much of the inside of the van. Outstanding job! The LLM is everything and more than we hoped it would be. Excellent mobile office, superior travel van.
We bought the Sprinter 3500 brand new in 2016 with LTV RV Serentity motorhome. On our first extended vacation we have had 2 breakdowns. We travelled from Florida to Colorado for the first half of the trip and the engine blew an oil seal in Montrose, Colorado going up a long grade. Oil covered the engine and body of the vehicle. This was repaired, although oil continued to leak for several more days (residual on vehicle body). Three weeks later, the engine lost power and would only run at 10 to 15 MPH on I 90 heading toward Butte, Montana. We almost lost our lives when this happened. We were able to drive it into Missoula, Montana to the dealership. The next day, service said there was a wiring harness problem and they ordered new parts overnight, but don't expect to have the vehicle repaired for 2 days. We called Mercedes customer care for assistance with trip interruption expenses. We were told that the Sprinter line of vehicles is specifically excluded from their concierge customer care program. So here we are...on vacation, stranded in Missoula and unable to continue to Glacier National Park.. our dream destination and we are stuck with unplanned expenses and non reimbursable reservations. We know that all vacations have to come to an end, but never would I have guessed that Mercedes would be the cause of that. It is really so sad that a once great vehicle manufacturer could become so bad and that they could care less about you as a customer.
2500 144 WB Passenger 3dr Van (2.1L 4cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
I have the 4x4, 3 liter engine, 144 base, low roof passenger van. we use it for vacations only. at 26,000 miles the average mpg is 19.3. the van is a little noisier than an SUV but nothing unexpected for a commercial 12 seat vehicle. it is functioning perfectly with only routine maintenance, the air filter and oil change at 20,000 miles. it is not cheap, dealer charges 350$, but without voiding the factory warranty, you can buy the oil change kit from the dealer for 175$ and do it yourself in 15 minutes as everything is very accessible. the van is much more stable than it looks but you can feel the lateral wind stronger than in an SUV. the engine is powerful, a lot of torque even at 80 miles per hour. on cruise control it runs uphill on highway almost without increasing the engine rpm. in this aspect it is better than all our other vehicles (Toyota Highlander, Honda CRV and BMW 525 xi). I would trade some of that extra power for a little better mpg at high speed as we drive it day or night, summer or winter, camping in isolated areas where autonomy is of concern. the mpg variates greatly with speed, at 60 miles/hour mpg is 22 or better, at 80 miles/hour mpg 17.4. it is somehow fun and easy to drive having the huge windshield and the very high driving position. I sometimes use it even in the city as my commuting vehicle. the 4x4 mode is very capable but a little tricky, in order to connect it you have to be on horizontal ground, stationary or moving at less than 3-4 miles per hour. it only takes 2 seconds to switch but you have to do it before you start climbing. if you did not anticipate correctly the difficulty of the road ahead and you are already driving uphill, you can not switch to 4x4 unless you find a flat portion. the sales person advised me to use only genuine Mercedes diesel exhaust fluid in order to avoid future NOX sensor problems and sometimes drive it at higher speed to allow sensor auto-cleaning. the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) is 12$ for a bottle that lasts approx. 2000 miles. in my recent vacation in Europe I saw several Sprinters used as shuttle buses in suburban areas, running well at over 600,000 miles (1 million kilometers). with correct maintenance I hope ours will last the same :-)
Vehicle has been in to Schumacher Mercedes in Scottsdale more than 6 times since it hit 20k miles. ESP Failure. Excessive play on the Steering. Gears Slamming into wrong gear. This van is literally killing my business with how unreliable it has become. I bought the van Brand New and since it hit 20k miles it has been in 6+ times for the same repairs. Can anyone say LEMON? I am currently waiting patiently for a Mercedes Benz USA Buy back - getting ready to hand this over to a lawyer to handle while MB USA drags their feet slowly. This Van is the most expensive work van I have ever owned and it's been a HUGE disappointment. Steering column has been replaced with multiple electronic modules and most of the time I'm limping around to my jobs in limp mode with the check engine light on. Go in for warranty repair and a week later the Check Engine and ESP Failure lights are back on. I HATE THIS VAN - it's GARBAGE!!! Buyer Beware. Still struggling with Check Engine Light every 1,000 miles. Vehicle goes back in to dealer this next week for fix number 15 CHECK ENGINE light.
2500 144 WB Crew 3dr Van (2.1L 4cyl Turbodiesel 7A)
I purchased the van for private use and will convert it for use as a camper. It's a great vehicle overall... Love the mileage (29mpg on the freeway) and it's really easy to get it around town especially for a big vehicle.