Dodge has updated its hard-working commercial van, the Sprinter, for 2007, following in the footsteps of a refresh that happened to European Mercedes-badged vehicles last year. The vans have been around overseas since 1995, but Americans have only had a few years with them. The new Sprinter continues to build on the (many) strengths of the previous model.
The focus of the redesigned Sprinter is on size: bigger is better in the world of commercial vans. Dodge is therfore calling the new Sprinter "super-sized" for a good reason. It is offered in two wheelbases, three roof heights, and a variety of body styles and cab configurations. To give you an idea of how big the Sprinter is, consider this: a Chevy Suburban has a 137 cubic foot cargo capacity with all the seats folded. The Sprinter has 600 cubic feet of cargo-swallowing space in its biggest size. Motivation is provided by one of two engines: a 3.0 liter V-6 diesel producing 154 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, or a 3.5 liter gasoline V-6 producing 254 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque.
The Sprinter comes with an astounding array of comfort, convenience, and safety equipment - far more than could possibly be listed here (the press release was 19 pages long). Some highlights include a stability control program that senses load weight and center of gravity and adjusts accordingly, bi-xenon headlamps, automatic headlights and wipers, heated front and rear windshields, CD changer stereo systems, and a hands-free telephone controlled through the steering wheel. Basically, this thing is loaded. For people who drive these vans for a living, the upgrades and improvements should make their lives that much more pleasant.