Pooler, Georgia, is the assembly point for Sprinters as well as the location of Roebling Road Raceway. This made it an appropriate destination for our first look at this van. Taking the Sprinter to the track would provide a chance to test its towing utility and its usefulness as a weekend apartment and all-around headquarters.
The Sprinter is available in commercial and consumer versions, with three different wheelbases (long, extra long, and incredibly long) and two different heights (tall and funny looking or even taller and funnier looking) for consumers. The passenger versions (eight- and 10-seat configurations are available) feature fixed windows in the passenger space, and panel versions are available for people without friends or family.
Pickups and SUVs have largely assumed the role of tow vehicles for hauling boats, horses, race cars, and motorcycles, as the full-size, rear-drive van market has languished. With that in mind, Chrysler cancelled a new van that was under development a couple of years ago, opting instead for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van favored by commercial customers all over the Continent.
Commercial customers in the U.S. have quickly adopted the vans, which sell here as both Freightliner and Dodge vehicles, for urban parcel delivery and hotel airport shuttle service. But we wanted to know what the passenger version is like for family hauling and recreational towing.
The sturdy, body-on-frame rear-drive, 3/4-ton Sprinter 2500 is well-suited to towing, and its commodious interior can take as many people and luggage as you're likely to need. Ours comfortably seated 10.