Full-size: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Minivan: Ford Transit Connect

Last year, Mercedes-Benz brought the Sprinter under its (and Freightliner's) wing, and Ford introduced the Transit Connect to U.S. shores. By calendar year 2012, we should see a passenger version of the Nissan NV. For now, though, most of the vans are the same as last year. The Sprinter may be the most expensive, but it's also highly versatile and high quality. We can't resist the Transit Connect as minvan winner -- it's really more miniature van than minivan, and is currently the only one in that size range ready for hard work. It has a payload capacity of 1500 pounds, comparable to that of a half-ton pickup.

Passenger Van -- (Chevrolet - Ford)
Vehicle Chevrolet/GMC Express/Savana Chrysler Town & Country Dodge Grand Caravan Ford E-Series
Base price $29,690/$29,690 $30,995 $25,830 $29,165
Wheelbase 135.0-155.0 in 121.2 in 121.2 in 138.0 in
Engine 5.3L OHV V-8 3.6L DOHC V-6 3.6L DOHC V-6 4.6L SOHC V-8
Opt engines 6.0L V-8 $1505, 6.6L TD V-8 $15,795     5.4L V-8 $3475, 6.8L V-10 $3895
Power, SAE 310 hp (323) 283 hp 283 hp 225 hp (255,305)
Torque, SAE 334 lb-ft (373) 260 lb-ft 260 lb-ft 286 lb-ft (350,420)
Airbags Front Fr, side, f/r curt Fr, side, f/r curt Front
Brakes, f/r Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS Disc/disc, ABS
Tires 245/70R17 235/60R16 235/60R16 225/75R16
Fuel cap 31.0 gal 20.0 gal 20.0 gal 33.0 gal
Fuel econ, city/hwy 13/17 mpg (11/16,N/A) 17/24 mpg 17/24 mpg N/A
Seating cap 15 7 7 15
Curb weight 5250 lb 4650 lb 4500 lb 5750 lb
Payload 3461 lb 1200 lb 1379 lb 2825 lb
Cargo cap 216.2-252.9 cu ft 143.8 cu ft 143.8 cu ft 256.5 cu ft