( I would get one except the local dealers have very few on the lot )
Dodge has a big answer to moving cargo, people
If you've got a big family or a lot of friends, getting your gang
around can be a big problem. Dodge has a big answer, the 2005 Sprinter
With room to seat 10 comfortably, along with all their luggage, the
Dodge Sprinter Wagon is also a blast to drive.
The acid test came on the Victoria Day weekend as my family and our
friends (four adults, four teens) sprinted (pun intended) down to the
Picton/Sandbanks Provincial Park area to celebrate the first long
weekend of 2005 without cold or snow. Humming along on cruise control,
the Sprinter used just an eighth of a tank of diesel fuel to get there.
With a 100-litre tank, that works out to about 12 litres, pretty good
considering all the weight of the people, food, coolers and luggage.
With room to walk around standing up inside and so much space behind
the back row of seats, there was no crowding, in fact we has two seats
The amazing thing was people would just walk up to in any parking lot
and start asking questions. I could have sold one at a Tim Horton's and
another at the Picton IGA, such was the interest.
The Sprinter is actually a re-badged version of the highly popular
Mercedes-Benz cargo/delivery/ wagon produced in Dusseldorf, Germany. As
a Dodge, there are three basic versions: the cargo/crew van, the cab
chassis and the passenger wagon as tested here. The Sprinter is also
offered in 118-, 140- and 158-inch wheelbase versions and regular and
high-roof heights, the latter being 1,854 mm or six-feet, one-inch
There are a bewildering number of ways to mix and match wheelbases,
cargo volumes and standard and optional equipment. When I asked Dodge
Canada communications manager Jack Sulymka for the specifications, he
handed me 70 pages of material, which gives you an idea of the
configurations available. All Sprinters are powered by a 2.7-litre,
inline five-cylinder turbodiesel producing 154 hp and 243 lb/ft of
torque. All use a five-speed automatic with Mercedes-Benz "Tip Shift"
that offers straight automatic or sequential/manual shifting. There are
disc brakes on all wheels with load-sensitive brake pressure control
along with four-wheel anti-lock braking and traction control. Fuel
consumption is listed as 9.0L/10 km (31 mpg) city and 7.9L/100 km (36
The 2005 Dodge 2500 Sprinter Wagon tested here is surprisingly fun to
drive. As long as you remember where the back wheels are located, you
can steer this baby through the densest downtown traffic, or as
mentioned above, put it on cruise and enjoy the ride. My wife even took
a turn at the controls, and despite its size, wasn't put off. She
especially liked the beeping warning sound when backing up.
I have a TTC bus driver living on my street and I let him take it
around the block, after which he came back duly impressed by its nimble
nature and the amount of poke that makes Sprinter an apt name indeed.
The view from the driver's seat is commanding, aided by the dual power
mirrors. With one large normal parallax mirror and one smaller convex
mirror on each side, anyone can align their rear vision. I thought
putting all the fuses behind a panel beneath the driver's seat was a
clever idea that eliminates groping around under the dashboard.
As tested, the Wagon had 2/3/2/3 seating. In addition to that, there's
all the cargo room at the back, plus about 10 inches of storage space
under each seat, vastly increasing cargo volume. As it is, The Sprinter
Wagon offers 9,101 litres or 321 cubic feet of cargo area.
And does the Sprinter ever draw crowds. In addition to the interested
people in Picton, the owner of a mushrooming overhead door service
asked all kinds of the questions about the Sprinter.