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2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500

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2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500 Review

A comfortable driving vehicle capable of carrying massive payloads.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

At first glance, the 2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500 does not seem to have much over the Sprinter 2500. The range of model sizes is more limited, with the 118-inch wheel base models not available for the Sprinter 3500. In addition, both vehicles use the same 2.7-liter, five-cylinder engine, and both vehicles are built with the same quality and payload capacity. The 3500 is slightly more maneuverable than the 2500 due to a couple minor changes to the design, like tire selection. The fairly minor price difference between the two variants makes the 3500 more attractive for some drivers.

The 2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500 is designed to haul large, heavy cargo around that would typically require a truck. One of the main advantages is the fuel economy of the 2.7-liter, five-cylinder diesel engine. It uses about half the fuel of a similar-sized vehicle, while hauling the same amount of payload. As a result, the operating cost is much lower than the competition, which can make a big difference in the bottom line for companies that make heavy use of full-size vans.

The Range

Body Styles: van
Engines: 2.7-liter five-cylinder diesel
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Sprinter 3500 140 WB, Dodge Sprinter 3500 High Roof 140 WB, Dodge Sprinter 3500 High Roof 158 WB

What's New

The 2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500 is now equipped with standard features such as rear park-assist, headlamp washers, and wiring to allow hands-free cell phone usage. These same features can also be found on new 2500 models, so it's not exclusive to the 3500 models. The cargo space can be divided with an optional rear partition that has a sliding glass window.

Exterior

All of the Dodge Sprinter 3500 models have a similar European-style van body. However, each model differs slightly in overall size. The WB number model indicates the wheel base in inches. The High Roof models add an additional 10 inches in height. A right-mounted sliding door is standard on all models, with a left-mounted door as an optional feature. A liftgate swing door is used for rear entry into the van.

Interior

The 2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500 has a very minimalistic interior, which is not surprising for a cargo-oriented vehicle. The cargo space varies between each model due to the different wheel base and roof sizes. The smallest model is the 140 WB, which has 321 cubic feet in cargo space. The High Roof 140 WB increases this to 367 cubic feet by raising the roof by about 10 inches. The largest model is the High Roof 158 WB, which has 473 cubic feet of cargo space. The 3500 has two bucket seats for the driver and passenger. The seating is quite comfortable compared to similar vehicles, although it is not quite the same level as a consumer vehicle. It is a comfortable vehicle to operate for long hauls, which is a common requirement for this style of vehicle.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500’s handling overall is quite good for a vehicle its size, which can make it an attractive choice for many companies looking for a large delivery van or for transporting equipment to job sites. It is still a large, bulky vehicle, but the performance is far better than what is normally expected.

The 2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500 handles more like a truck than a consumer vehicle. Even compared to most large SUVs and more consumer-oriented full-size vans, it might seem a little sluggish. The large body also makes handling difficult, especially with parking and congested areas. The acceleration is adequate, but starts to trail off with higher loads. However, given the size and maximum payload, it handles very well. The cornering and maneuverability of the Sprinter are above average for a cargo-hauler this size, outperforming the competition with a tighter turning radius. The engine is a little weaker than some vehicles in this size range, but the fuel economy should be more than enough compensation for most drivers.

Safety

The larger size of the 2006 Dodge Sprinter 3500 does provide a small amount of extra protection to occupants compared to a smaller vehicle in a similar crash. However, it does boast a fairly decent amount of standard safety features, including anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, stability control, and traction control.

EPA Fuel Economy

Dodge Sprinter 3500: 18/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Huge cargo capacity
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Mercedes-Benz built

You Won't Like

  • High price tag
  • Relatively low-power engine
  • No 118-inch wheel base option

Sum Up

A comfortable driving vehicle capable of carrying massive payloads.

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