Considering a Sprinter 4x4

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I am considering a new 2019 regular roof 144" 4x4 Diesel as a light daily and side contracting rig that can still hit the beach on the weekends and get the dirt bikes to the trail head in comfort and security. I would likely opt for the Cargo version since there are only two of us and I have no need for the windows (could always add the better aftermarket windows later if wanted/needed), it is also far and away the cheapest model. Van Compass has some promising lift options and I could easily slap some 34's on there along with a bumper and winch and it would scratch my build itch for the weekend warrior look.

Are these newer Sprinters reliable enough to be used and worked daily or do they still have a lot of issues with their regen systems and 4WD? Is the Cargo model the route to go or am I making a mistake by not getting a different model? Are there any must have options or certain ones to avoid? Maybe the Sprinter isn't the best option and I should consider the Transit AWD or even a NV or ProMaster with a Ujoint conversion? I like the idea of a reliable 4WD system but I also like to have an intact factory warranty as well and I fear the conversions would void most of that. Thanks for any help.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
If you can wait a bit, you may compare the transit when pricing/availability is released.

Getting a New 4x4 sprinter is likely to be a challenge. Availability is limited, and prices are full MSRP.

Reliability wise the SCR system has improved. You may see if you can get the turbo gasoline engine if you do a custom order. That engine has received good reviews with the 10 speed trans.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I just test drove a new 2019 this morning, low roof, 144" wheel base, diesel 4x4. I hate the new transmission shifter stalk, but it appears that is a thing across the board with all Mercedes now.

Sales manager told me that you can no longer direct order in queue with the Sprinters like a normal vehicle. He claims that Amazon has changed the game and screwed up allotments and they basically get what they are delivered and accept it. This might be BS and a tactic to sell me on the one he had on the lot, but they weren't moving from the sticker price which sucks.

All in all I liked how peppy the motor was and it handled better than I had expected it to. I see how spartan they are and in order to deal with driving one multiple days a week I'd have to do some major sound dampening material because it was hollow and radiated the road noise more than I expected. I am not sure I can swallow $50K for an empty metal can on wheels?!
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Price out a transit 4x4 with diesel and similar options (when they publish the pricing). I bet its likely pretty close in price.
 

CSG

Explorer
I love the idea of these Sprinters but I wouldn't go near one. The Transit, AWD or 4x4 conversion, is the way to go, probably a gasser. IMO, anyway. Fords have places everywhere that can work on them. MB, not so much.
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
A few things come to mind:

$50K for a new Sprinter 4x4 seems fairly low.

I don't believe the Transit will offer AWD and Diesel.
I don't believe the Sprinter will offer AWD and Gas.

I am seriously considering ordering a new Transit AWD. The main reason is that I want a gasoline engine as I expect to take the van to Central America, perhaps even further and I don't want to take chances with the new Diesel limitations. Also I drove a Ford Excursion MAX with the Ecoboost and I was truly impressed with the performance and the mpg. If the transit has the same power, this will be fun...

The second reason as stated above is parts and dealers availability. I am fairly certain I will be able to get parts or repairs done for the Transit in a remote town in Northern Ontario...but good luck with the Sprinter.

I am ready to sacrifice some offroad capabilites for these advantages. it's not like you are going to take a fully loaded van very far offroad anyway.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
I'd love a Ford more so than a Mercedes as I am and have always been a Ford guy. I think they would be easier to get serviced as well. With the Transit I'd elect for the mid-height roof and mid-length as well. Ecoboost 6cyl, DPI 6cyl, and the diesel all look great for different reasons. I am sure that the factory AWD will be every bit as good as the Sprinter just not as big. I don't think I could justify the cost of an aftermarket conversion, even though they'd arguably be better, on top of the price of a new van. I'd have to buy used in order to go the conversion route. And I have no intentions of attempting to take a AWD/4WD van (excluding the straight axle E-Series) anywhere even remotely difficult. I just want the peace of mind in a bad weather and for it to be able to get me to the trail head.

$50K for the Sprinter might not be a bad price, but it's just a principle thing with me, I can't bring myself to pay sticker lol. As much as I like the look and performance of the Sprinter something is just giving me pause. The dealer mentioned that financing with them is a little different than your standard passenger vehicle and that it can take the better part of a day to get the financing in order, has anyone else experienced that or is this just more hogwash?
 

CSG

Explorer
If I can't pay for something (other than my house) outright, I don't buy it. But I'm about retired and, while I'm in good financial shape, financing vehicles is just something I won't do. Just a thought with regards to financing, hogwash or not.
 

Len.Barron

Observer
If I can't pay for something (other than my house) outright, I don't buy it. But I'm about retired and, while I'm in good financial shape, financing vehicles is just something I won't do. Just a thought with regards to financing, hogwash or not.
Words to live by...it's cash...or I don't own it.
 

Tex68w

Beach Bum
If I can't pay for something (other than my house) outright, I don't buy it. But I'm about retired and, while I'm in good financial shape, financing vehicles is just something I won't do. Just a thought with regards to financing, hogwash or not.
I live by that rule with most of my toys but new vehicles is one place where I won't pay cash, too much depreciation and far too much cash outlay when you are talking $50-90K. I used to make a lot more money than I do now and that certainly has an impact as well. But I agree with the notion for the most part.
 

Desert Dan

Explorer
I wish the Ford Transit had a transfer case with low range and had a better off road stance and ground clearance.
 

UHAULER

Explorer
I live by that rule with most of my toys but new vehicles is one place where I won't pay cash, too much depreciation and far too much cash outlay when you are talking $50-90K. I used to make a lot more money than I do now and that certainly has an impact as well. But I agree with the notion for the most part.
A vehicle is going to depreciate the same whether you pay cash or finance it.
 

CSG

Explorer
I suppose the reason I don't own any expensive new vehicles is that it's too much money tied up in a depreciating asset. We have bought three new vehicles since 2001 - a pick-up and two Camrys (we have four drivers in our family) but we paid cash for each and have them all still so the depreciation has been spread out over the years and wasn't too painful. But spending $50-60k? I wouldn't do it whether it was financed or not; I simply can't afford it. However, that's not to say I wouldn't LOVE to have a new whizbang van conversion over my Traverse, I just can't justify the cost per use.
 

Choff

Adventurer
I suppose the reason I don't own any expensive new vehicles is that it's too much money tied up in a depreciating asset. We have bought three new vehicles since 2001 - a pick-up and two Camrys (we have four drivers in our family) but we paid cash for each and have them all still so the depreciation has been spread out over the years and wasn't too painful. But spending $50-60k? I wouldn't do it whether it was financed or not; I simply can't afford it. However, that's not to say I wouldn't LOVE to have a new whizbang van conversion over my Traverse, I just can't justify the cost per use.

You nailed it, just wonder sometimes the salary that the people buying a $60 thousand dollar van and put another 20 plus into it, only to sell later?
I am drive a AWD 2005 van with 210,000 miles -IT'S PAID FOR
 
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