Originally designed by Mercedes-Benz and produced by Freightliner, the Sprinter van adopted the Dodge name in 2003, but is still available at Freightliner dealerships. A cab/chassis model was added in 2004, and Sprinters feature new onboard diagnostics.
Designed specifically for commercial use, the Dodge Sprinter 3500 comes in a choice of two wheelbases and a standard 64-inch or an optional 73-inch walk-through height. The Sprinter is available in three-quarter-ton 2500 and one-ton 3500 versions. The Sprinter 3500 is exclusively a cargo van with payload capacities ranging from 3745 to 5086 pounds, depending on the model.
Body Styles: cargo van
Engines: 2.7-liter inline-five-cylinder turbodiesel
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Sprinter 3500 140 WB, Dodge Sprinter 3500 High Roof 140 WB, Dodge Sprinter 3500 High Roof 158 WB
New features for 2005 include onboard diagnostics, identification lamps on the front of cab’s roof, and a third brake light on the rear roof.
Dodge Sprinters are distinguished from its Freightliner counterparts by the inclusion of the Dodge Ram logo on the large, chrome front grille. Sprinter 3500 cargo vans are offered with a 140- or 158-inch wheelbase. The 158-inch wheelbase comes only in a high roof model, while the 140-inch model offers a choice of regular or high roof. A large sliding door is installed on the right side, and a driver’s side sliding door is available as an option. Side-hinged rear doors open to the vehicle’s full height. On both 140- and 158-inch models, these rear doors swing open to 270 degrees.
Foglights, dual manual mirrors, a second-row glass sunroof, variable intermittent windshield wipers, mud flaps, and halogen headlights are standard on all 2005 Sprinters. Heated door mirrors, a rear step bumper, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and daytime running lights are optional on all models. Both the 140- and 158-inch wheelbase models of the Sprinter 3500 ride on 16-inch silver steel wheels.
The 2005 Sprinter 3500 is built for towing and hauling. The 140-inch wheelbase model offers 321 cubic feet of cargo space with the regular roof and 367 cubic feet with the high roof. The high roof 158-inch wheelbase model has a maximum cargo capacity of 473 cubic feet. The two front bucket seats are designed for low-fatigue driving and offer firm but comfortable support. A high, bus-like seating position allows the driver a commanding view of the road.
All models of the Sprinter 3500 come standard with a tachometer, water temperature gauge, low fuel warning, front map lights, dome light, cargo area light, and front cup holders. A driver information center, service interval warning, rear window defogger, and cargo tie-downs are available as options.
Performance & Handling
The sole engine for the 2005 Dodge Sprinter 3500 is a 2.7-liter, inline five-cylinder turbo diesel capable of 154 horsepower and 243 lb-ft of torque. This is coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission with overdrive that directs power to the rear wheels. The Sprinter has an independent front suspension, rear leaf springs, and power rack-and-pinion steering. The 140-inch wheelbase model has a maximum payload of 5086 pounds and a towing capacity of 5000 pounds. The 158-inch wheelbase can haul a payload of 4766 pounds and tow 5000 pounds. Buyers can choose the standard 3.72:1 rear-axle ratio or a 4.11:1 differential.
The Sprinter is easier to drive than might be expected from such a boxy vehicle. It handles most like a truck and lacks some stability around curves but with seats designed for low-fatigue driving, the Sprinter is fairly comfortable for long hauls. The long wheelbase versions are surprisingly smooth to handle. Engine noise is fairly well dampened, but there is considerable wind noise from the rear side windows.
Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, dual front airbags, and height-adjustable seatbelts with pre-tensioners are standard on all 2005 Sprinters. Unfortunately, side-impact airbags are not available, but daytime running lights are optional on all models.
EPA Fuel Economy
2005 Dodge Sprinter 3500: N/A
- Cargo space
- Sturdy construction
- Seat comfort
You Won't Like
- No side curtain airbags available
- Difficult entry and exit
- Engine noise
- No V-8 engine available
Comes with a generous array of body configurations and a relatively refined ride.
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