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Old 01-31-2018, 02:16 AM   #1
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Default Sprinter popularity: what am I missing?

First-time buyer here, trying to make sense of all the options out there. One thing really puzzles me. A great many forums and blogs that I read are moaning about the maintenance woes and expenses of Sprinter vans, and particularly their diesel engines. To go by what these say, regular maintenance is 10x more expensive than for a gas engine, breakdowns into "limp mode" are perilous, and qualified repair places are thin on the ground. Of course, one always sees the most negative stories, so I'm pretty sure a lot of that is exaggeration. But even discounting for that, there does seem to be at least some truth there.

Yet, at the same time, Sprinter seems to be by far the most common chassis used in production models. More than half of the manufacturers I've looked at build only on Sprinters, and many of the rest clearly prefer it. So what am I missing? Why would a seemingly reviled platform also be the platform of choice?

Thanks in advance...
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:31 AM   #2
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First-time buyer here, trying to make sense of all the options out there. One thing really puzzles me. A great many forums and blogs that I read are moaning about the maintenance woes and expenses of Sprinter vans, and particularly their diesel engines. To go by what these say, regular maintenance is 10x more expensive than for a gas engine, breakdowns into "limp mode" are perilous, and qualified repair places are thin on the ground. Of course, one always sees the most negative stories, so I'm pretty sure a lot of that is exaggeration. But even discounting for that, there does seem to be at least some truth there.

Yet, at the same time, Sprinter seems to be by far the most common chassis used in production models. More than half of the manufacturers I've looked at build only on Sprinters, and many of the rest clearly prefer it. So what am I missing? Why would a seemingly reviled platform also be the platform of choice?

Thanks in advance...
I would say some of that criticism stems from the fact that is basically a German Van rather than a home grown ,in the majority of cases Ford derived Van
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:48 AM   #3
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Why would a seemingly reviled platform also be the platform of choice?

Thanks in advance...
Watching this with interest as I am trying to figure out the same thing especially after testing driving a gas promaster and a diesel sprinter and vastly preferring the drive of the latter.
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:04 AM   #4
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.

Sprinter got in the game from pure luck in timing.

In late 1990, Chrysler got into trouble and was sold to Daimler-Benz.
Benz stopped the Dodge van production and imported the Sprinter as a replacement.

Ford wanted a new van, but was somehow late in coming up with a replacement.
The GM van was good, but rather long in the tooth.

That gave the Sprinter lots of opportunities to gain market share.

The market crash in 2008 handed Sprinter another opportunity -- the RV sales were down. The manufacturer could not build the volume, so they had to build the value. The Mercedes Benz brand gave them that perfect leverage.

That's my take.
YMMV

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Old 01-31-2018, 03:48 AM   #5
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what to make of this?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/fatal...-tom-robertson
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:04 AM   #6
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Sprinter for long partnered with VW and VWs Crafter and MBs Sprinter hold had sales in EU. When Fiat acquired Chrysler, the Sprinter was not included, Dodge got Fiat Ducato - Promaster and MB continued sales of Sprinters in NA under their own brand. Today VW has its own. GM could have taken Opel van but sold Opel. Sprinter and Fiat with its siblings (Citroen and Peugeot) are very popular in EU. In NA Ford will most likely continue it lead.

Sprinter is a commercial vehicle, if it is treated with care 500,000 miles is possible.

Recently a fellow on a different forum with 144 WB 4WD lost CV joint, big saga, terrible MB, 2016 so still on the warranty, perhaps.
He changed his tires to large diameter directly violating manufacturer recommendation printet in the manual. But the story is very loud, no update on it yet.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:14 AM   #7
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Yes, that's one of the articles I was referring to in my question. It is 2 years old, but the points it raises are echoed in quite a few other places. It does seem as if the Sprinter can be very costly to maintain and repair.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:25 AM   #8
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Half truths.

It is true that MB maintenance costs more.
It is true that when the emission system goes, it can be expensive. (Not just for MB, but Cumins and GM and Ford as well).

But his claims are just way overboard.
If you look deeper, you will notice that he is not telling you a lot of details, especially on how the trucks are driven.

Most people just ignore his whine.





ps. I prefer to stay away from diesel. I Like Mercedes; I used to drive an S-Klasse. I might consider a gas Sprinter. Well, maybe not. LOL. I like to have a van that anybody can service.
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:55 AM   #9
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Half truths.

It is true that MB maintenance costs more.
It is true that when the emission system goes, it can be expensive. (Not just for MB, but Cumins and GM and Ford as well).

But his claims are just way overboard.
If you look deeper, you will notice that he is not telling you a lot of details, especially on how the trucks are driven.

Most people just ignore his whine.



ps. I prefer to stay away from diesel. I Like Mercedes; I used to drive an S-Klasse. I might consider a gas Sprinter. Well, maybe not. LOL. I like to have a van that anybody can service.
Ditto. Well maintained van, no changes, right oil, recommended ratio of highway to city driving to activate soot filter cleanup and it will last. Ask FedEx. We have no idea how he maintained his vans.

Internal combustion engines are reaching a cost point which can exceed market willingness to buy including gas engines. MB system is complex but if well maintain it will last, fact is if it breaks it is expensive.
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Old 01-31-2018, 06:11 AM   #10
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I really find this discussion super, and you folks are really up on all of it, but I have a few questions. People talk of the longevity of the MB or Sprinter Diesel, but what happens when someone is in some small town, far from a Dealer, and diesel mechanics are not available? Somewhere in one of the discussions about this earlier, someone brought up the guy at Class B Warned – Well, This Hasn't Gone Well and his problems and how RT finally resolved it; I have been reading a few folks on FB who seem to be having, what I would consider major headaches getting their RV's repaired in a timely manner. I am a GM gas type, happy as a pig, but feel for the people who put out $100+K and have breakdowns, delays....that could be a bad tasted in the mouth. When I bought this time I thought of the Sprinter, but have not a clue about diesel engines, and the nearest guy for service is 85 miles away....I called and said I had a Sprinter and needed to get the oil changed...would be about a week or so before I could be handled. That brought me into reality of the road and needing service, even after your warranty is gone.
Thanks, Ron
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