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2008 Dodge Sprinter Overview
Benefiting from Chrysler's now defunct partnership with Daimler, the 2008 Dodge Sprinter boasts Mercedes Benz engineering and European styling - not something you'd expect from a full-size passenger and cargo van used mainly for shuttle purposes. For 2008, the van adds a four-person fourth-row bench seat, boosting seating capacity from 10 to 12. An emergency exit window is standard on all trims, and new options include front bucket swivel seats and a power sliding side door.
There are two trims for the 2008 Sprinter that differ mainly in wheelbase size. Both the 2500 144WB and 2500 170WB feature four rows of seating and up to either 141 or 187 cubic feet of cargo capacity, respectively. Both run on a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 that gets 154 hp and 280 ft-lbs of torque. An optional 3.5-liter gas V6 gets 254 hp and 250 ft-lbs. Both are paired with a 5-speed automatic with manual mode. Dodge claims the 2008 Sprinter wins best-in-class in a number of categories, including interior room, cargo capacity, widest side door (51 inches), and widest-opening rear door (270 degrees). This gives the 2008 Sprinter the edge in comfort and access, important considerations for a shuttle. Owners also have a choice of roof height, either 65 inches or an impressive 76.4 inches, which allows tall passengers to enter and exit standing up.
All trims feature Mercedes-Benz-like interiors and safety equipment. ABS brakes, dual front airbags, and traction and stability control are all standard, with the option to add side curtain airbags, parking sensors, and a rearview camera. Full power features, a CD player, tilt steering, and 16-inch wheels are also standard, but there are plenty of luxurious options, such as cruise control, heated seats, rear climate control, and a sunroof. Passenger vans can be arranged to seat either 7, 9, 10, or 12 passengers.
The 2008 Dodge Sprinter is longer, taller, and wider than most of its U.S. competitors, but it drives surprisingly little like a van and more like a manageable SUV. This ease of handling is one of its highlights, along with interior configurability, roominess, and high-grade materials. The biggest drawback is its weak V6 engines, which allow the Sprinter to tow only 5,000 pounds.