Pros: great rear passenger comfort and safety
Cons: unreliable transportation, has needed many repairs
We bought our 2006 Dodge Sprinter in June 2006. Since we have 6 children, we chose the Sprinter because of the rear passenger headrests and shoulder seat belts. We also chose the Sprinter because of its Mercedes engine. We thought it would provide years of reliable transportation.
Right away, however, it started dieing in traffic. Not good. To get it to start again the key would have to be turned completely to the off position and then restarted. Very time consuming process when you are in the path of oncoming traffic. We took it back to the dealer THREE times before the problem was solved. We were incredibly blessed that we weren't in a major accident during this extended period of time, since it placed us in some very dangerous situations.
From the beginning we also have had a grinding noise associated with turning our air conditioner on each time it is started. It very loud and sounds and feels like it is under the driver's feet. The dealer has no idea what could be causing this.
A week ago we went on a camping trip to an obscure part of Texas. At the end of our trip we got the children all loaded up and ready to head for home when, you guessed it, the van wouldn't start. There was a message on the dash display that said "start up error." We called the Dodge 1-800 number and a tow truck driver came out to the campground. He tried for about 2 hours to get the van started, but it would not start. Although he was driving a tow truck, he wouldn't tow the van because it was Saturday afternoon. He said to call back and have it towed on Monday. MONDAY!!! We had to be back at work on Monday. So there we are at an empty campground miles from the closest store with no food, no clean clothes and 6 children on Saturday with no hope of a tow until Monday. We tried every car rental place in the area and none were open. But, then again if one had been open there would have been no way to get there to pick up the rental. What a nightmare. We unloaded our camping gear unsure how we were going to survive this weekend when out of shear despair, I thought I would try to start the van. Shockingly it started! We left the van running and all started literally running to get all of our camping gear loaded again. We pulled out of the campground at 7:00 pm with a 8 1/2 hour drive ahead of us. We fueled the van with it running for fear it wouldn't start if we turned the key off. We got home at 3:30 am.
The next morning I went out to see if the van would start. No, I got the old familiar "start up error." The van was towed to Central Dodge in Springfield Missouri, where it now sits. The tow truck driver said that he tows many, many Sprinters. I sure wish we had talked to this guy before purchasing ours:::sigh:::: So here we are, our primary source of transportation is an hour and a half away with a defective security module. In order to replace it, the dealer has to mail in the defective one and then wait for the manufacturer to send a new one. They say it "might come tomorrow and then again it might come next week."
What a mess! This means that our family of 8 is now sharing a car that seats 5. Impossible. If you want reliable transportation DO NOT buy a Sprinter!