transit vs sprinter - for a family van - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 02:46:PM Thread Starter
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transit vs sprinter - for a family van

my wife and i have 4 kids, and all grandparents and ton of cousins in town. hence we need something bigger than our honda odyssey. we're currently doing the research and deciding between the sprinter and transit

we test drove the sprinter (144" wb low roof) and transit (148" wb medium height) on two separate weekends. on couple early comments:
- the transit felt 'bigger'. maybe because i was in different moods on the two different weekends of test drives. maybe because the transit driver seat is more inboard of the van than the sprinter. maybe because it's a little taller, longer, and wider. maybe because the sprinter has bigger windows and thus better visibility. maybe because the steering response was different than i'm used to
- the transit (3.5l eb) was a lot torquier and more powerful. whereas i had reservations on the sprinter on some mountainous road trips, i don't for the transit
- the transit cabin was a lot more 'cozier' - felt more like a consumer car/truck than a utility van like the sprinter felt.

that's our findings so far. i'll keep updating if anybody is interested. our next move is get some grandparents to babysit so we can test drive both on the same day.

our perfect van would be something like the transit, with low roof, long wheelbase, long body (not extended), and power sliding door (both sides would be nice, but we'll be content with just one side). but nobody has this with seating for 9-12.

and, and since i'm dreaming: it also has noise canceling to isolate whatever chaos is happening in the back of the van from the front.


does anybody know about adding sliding doors to the low roof? has anybody else felt this 'size difference' between the transit and sprinter?

peace!
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 03:36:PM
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antran7,

There are numerous current and former sprinter owners on the forum, who have given their opinions on the two. Hopefully PeterR , orton and crewvanman can give you the links to the previous conversations.

Might be easier if you kept the same information you are requesting to a single thread rather than starting a new one. (low roof with sliding doors / transit vs sprinter)

Think "Random" & "Stealth Camping" threads were 2 of the threads that discussed the differences.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 03:43:PM Thread Starter
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My bad. I'll keep the sliding door convo on the other thread. I had intended this one to mainly be my ongoing research/impression of the sprinter vs transit. I didn't see any discussions that were about the specifics for being a family vehicle
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 03:49:PM
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Bottom line is,,,,, you have a problem on the road with a Sprinter your out of luck finding a dealer and if you do get your charge card out and call the company to increase your limit.


Enough said.


Epps.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 04:03:PM Thread Starter
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that is a huge + in the ford column
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 04:07:PM
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antran7,

Some of the things, like Epps said above, that were mentioned; nice vehicle, but not all Mercedes dealers could work on them. So if you were traveling and had a problem, you might be 10 miles from a dealership but 500 miles from a dealership that could work on it. Another one I remember is that any work done or parts needed, you were paying high prices for the name Mercedes. If you have a dealership close by that can work on them and you don't plan on taking any trips out of your general area and don't mind paying high priced mechanics, it would be ok. Unless it started to rust.

Semper Fi

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 04:22:PM Thread Starter
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I do have a very large sprinter dealer nearby. So maybe I take it for granted that they're pretty common and frequent.

I can relate to being stranded in a road trip too. It happened with our odyssey in a family trip, and with a friend in his German car. Needless to say, the latter was much more complicated

Thanks for all the input and advice
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 04:50:PM
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I bought a 144" high roof diesel Sprinter in 2008 and drove it for 6 1/2 years and 58,000 miles. It had two failures in the first 20,000 miles so I lost confidence in it. IMO the savings due to better mileage are used up by higher maintenance costs, higher initial cost and DEF fluid costs.

I sold it several months ago and took delivery of a 148" high roof EB gas Transit a month ago. Have put a bit over 1000 miles on the Transit.

My observations:

1. I feel a lot more confident if I have a problem when their is a Ford dealer in every other town.
2. Transit definitely drives better.
3. I expect significantly lower maintenance costs.
4. Ford is quieter.
5. Getting into Transit is easier than Sprinter and getting from front seats to back in Transit is more difficult.
6. Much more acceleration with EB vs. Sprinter diesel.
7. It is nice to have a proper automatic transmission. I had the terrible old Nag1 5 speed in the Sprinter. Lots of manual shifting required.
8. Transit is a more rigid design so less "lurching" when entering driveways diagonally. Transit suspension is much better.
9. Transit will be much easier to convert due to cargo interior design and electrical options.
10. More Ford dealers I can park at to stealth city camp.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 05:22:PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the observations. did you feel the 144" sprinter and 148" transit were comparable for city vehicles? maneuvering parking lots, parallel parking, being lost in another city and driving the wrong way down a one-way road, etc
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 02-22-2015, 06:47:PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antran7 View Post
thanks for the observations. did you feel the 144" sprinter and 148" transit were comparable for city vehicles? maneuvering parking lots, parallel parking, being lost in another city and driving the wrong way down a one-way road, etc
Not much different in the city. Very close turning radius and size. Where Transit shines is on a twisty two lane road. Much better handling.

Last time I drove the wrong way (not in Sprinter) was in Barcelona. Nothing like driving the wrong way on a 3 lane each direction street with a planted divider. Got away with it.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
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