2009 Dodge Sprinter Review

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2009 Dodge Sprinter Overview

Seating for twelve, a cavernous cabin, musical interludes, and a European atmosphere - sounds like a banquet setting. Actually, we’re talking about the 2009 Dodge Sprinter. Described as the “ultimate family van,” the Sprinter will carry the family, plus much of the neighborhood, to the ballgame or the theatre – or just to the grocery store - economically, stylishly, and safely.

Essentially a carryover from '08, the Dodge Sprinter passenger van for 2009 is delivered in two trims, the 2500 144WB and the 2500 170WB. As the designations imply, the 2500 144WB has a 144-inch wheelbase while the 2500 170WB stands on a 170-inch wheelbase. Both trims have four rows of seating in a 2–3–3–4 configuration, and both come with the same standard features including a 3.0-liter, 24-valve DOHC V6 turbodiesel with a five-speed overdrive transmission that averages 19.2 mpg, according to Dodge. As far as comfort and convenience go, both the Sprinter 2500 trims include 16-inch steel wheels, tachometer, speed-proportional power steering, climate control, tilt-wheel, in-dash AM/FM with CD/MP3 player and 13 (count ‘em) speakers, power door locks and windows, an outside temperature display, cloth front bucket seats, and the widest-opening side and rear doors of anything on the market.

The standard safety features for both the 2500 144WB and 170WB include four-wheel ABS, front and rear disc brakes, emergency brake assist, traction control, electronic stability program (ESP), driver and passenger front airbags, rear child safety locks and child seat anchoring, seatbelt pre-tensioners, an engine immobilizer, and a rear passenger escape window. An independent front suspension and MacPherson struts give the ’09 Sprinter surprising agility – one owner, speaking of his 2008 model, mentioned that the Sprinter handles better than the Ford Explorer. Crash test ratings for the Sprinter are unavailable.

Options for Sprinter in 2009 include front and side curtain airbags, rear heating and air-conditioning, heated rear seats, Sirius satellite radio, an overhead console with reading lamps, power front and/or rear sunroof, and the Parksense rear backup system.

Owners in 2008 praised the roominess of the Dodge Sprinter, and why not? Cargo capacity, of course, differs significantly with trim level. The 144WB offers 141 cu. ft., and the 170WB a whopping 187 cu. ft. With the optional tow package, the Sprinter will haul 5,000 pounds but may struggle a bit. Maximum payload capacities also differ, with the 144WB able to handle 3,082 lbs. and the 170WB rated at 2,610 lbs. The roof height of the 170WB Sprinter will allow 6 feet of headroom and the 144WB over 5 feet, 9 inches. All in all, the 2009 Dodge Sprinter is a family van indeed.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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