2008 Dodge Sprinter Performance
The Sprinter performs well considering its size. The van is capably power by either a diesel or gas engine and maneuvers more easily than expected. The Auto Channel notes: "Visually, the Sprinter appears top-heavy, but there is no such feeling when driving. The tall van's remarkable handling and responsiveness is impressive."
Acceleration and Power
Two Mercedes-Benz engines are available for the 2008 Dodge Sprinter: a 3.0-liter V6 turbo-diesel with 154 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine that makes 254 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque.
Although power is a bit scarce on the base model's engine, it has enough oomph for everyday travel and seems to work well for city driving. Kelley Blue Book says: "When equipped with the 3.0-liter turbo diesel, the Sprinter is surprisingly capable. While acceleration is not lightening fast, it is strong and steady." Consumer Guide adds, "Gutsy turbo diesel provides ample around-town power, even with a moderate load," but also mentions highway passing power is "just adequate."
Kelley Blue Book notes, "Those seeking more horsepower can opt for the 3.5-liter V6, which pulls a bit stronger but also consumes much more fuel." However, most say the less powerful diesel engine is all you need. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram says, "In a vehicle this heavy, the additional torque of the diesel engine might make it a better choice even though the gas engine has higher horsepower." The Kansas City Star adds, "The diesel engine would be my pick because it produces gobs of low-end torque and it should be thriftier than the gasoline engine." Regardless of which engine the Sprinter has, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram finds its five-speed automatic transmission "shifts easily and smoothly." The five-speed automatic comes with AutoStick ®, which allows drivers to select gears manually.
Due to its size, the 2008 Sprinter does not receive fuel economy ratings from the Environmental Protection Agency, but it has a 25-gallon fuel-tank capacity.
Handling and Braking
Most test drivers were pleased with the Dodge Sprinter's smooth ride. Both Consumer Guide and Kelley Blue Book say the ride is pleasant with minimal body shudder over rough surfaces and broken pavements compared to other passenger vans. Kelley Blue Book writes, "Despite its long chassis, the Sprinter possesses a tight turning radius and responds quickly to emergency maneuvers." says the Sprinter easy to drive, apart from the "considerable body sway and a tippy feeling at times in curves." They add that the Sprinter's anti-lock brakes "provided decent stopping power."
The 2008 Sprinter has a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, which should "allow towing of some horse trailers, RVs and boats, although not particularly large ones," the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The Sprinter's maximum payload ranges from 5,052 pounds to 5,570 pounds with the High Roof, and caps at 6,543 pounds with the Cab Chassis.