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Ford vs Mercadize

smthtls97 Member Posts: 4
Now that the newer vans have been out, I have been looking to buy a new Work Van. The weather is the biggest decision in picking one, my experience was Chevy Vans handled better than Ford or Dodge in the snow. If anyone could help and let me know if the Transit Diesel or Mercadez Diesel which is the better choice in the snow.


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,548
    Obviously, to answer that question fairly, one would have to had driven both in the snow. That's gonna severely limit the field of responders who have actually had both vehicles.

    I have a Sprinter with the 3 liter Mercedes diesel and love it. You won't find a better engine. There are some small, somewhat annoying problems, such as blowing bulbs frequently.

    How does it do in the snow? Fair, with a set of Michelins with aggressive tread. But I also have a 4 wheel drive truck and cross over. So my comparison is somewhat subjective compared to those.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 767
    Ok I am that guy!!

    Ive owned a 2004 Sprinter, 2003 Sprinter, 2007 Sprinter, Chevy AWD Express, and currently own a 2015 Transit with the Ecoboost.

    I am 6' 2" and my biggest gripe about the transit is the rider position. I have never been comfy, my legs can't straighten out, my the telescoping wheel doesn't come back far enough and my left elbow has a cushion I put on due to the plastic door being bad on my chipped elbow. BUT, the motor and transmission are the best I have owned. It doesn't hunt for gears on the highway it will lug way down to hold a gear, Ford did a great job with that, I also get about 19 average fuel mileage on the highway and its the tallest van they make. Sadly the metal they build with may not rust as fast as a sprinter but a stiff wind bends it. It handles fine on the road, but traction even with weight and new studded Nokias was poor. I have driven vans in the Vt winter for 16 years and an open differential (my bad) with that kind of power is kind of a bad choice.

    Sprinters are ergonimically better, they are what I would buy if my plan was to swap out every 3-4 years. I live 2 hours from a mercedes dealer who will work on sprinters, the diesel as most know need a bit more attention due to emissions and compared the this ecoboost it doesn't hold a candle. The 4x4 sprinter is good, but too much money for me. The rust problems supposedly have been fixed but I don't quite believe it.

    Express AWD goes anywhere has a reliable 5.3 motor and literally does everything right except its too tiny inside so if you are ok with the rear cargo compartment its great. Everything in the front area is plastic as well, and cheap.

    Cab Chassis: Loved the drive, the 4wd, and the power but the heavy box banging up and down was a bit exhausting. The reading box I had leaked as well getting tools and fittings wet. The box was not long enough to fit 10' pipe flat either which kinda sucked.
    I think if the box was new didn't leak, locked with a FOB, the truck springs could handle the weight and was long enough for 10' pipe I would go this route. All my work is in the Stowe or Waitsfield Mtns so I need to be able to get up and down.
    Montpelier Vt
  • smthtls97
    smthtls97 Member Posts: 4
    Great, I appreciate the help guys! I always liked Chevy in comparison and I know that they removed the Express from the line up due to gas millage. We have a GMC Savanna at the moment and we are struggling to get 12 mpg sad right. it is always something and I am sure something we are all trying to resolve, Fuel Efficiency.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,004
    I put 100K on a 2008 Sprinter. It was fine on snowy roads with weight and aggressive tires. I doubt it would plow first tracks up a deep snow covered mountain road, but for typical snow and slush covered highways, not a problem.

    As it aged it needed to be plugged in during cold weather, below 20F.

    Service for Mercedes was not easy to come by and very $$ unless you can find an independent shop qualified to work on it.
    Back then is was going from Freightliner, to Dodge, then back to Mercedes. Now that Dodge has their own model I think Mercedes is the only option for factory service.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 767
    Freightliner has the sprinter lineup still as well, but had not to fall in love with the Mercedes badge.
    Montpelier Vt