2023 Sprinter vs. 2023 Transit Trail – How I Chose

2023 sprinter

I recently made the long-awaited decision to purchase a van for conversion, and choosing the right van proved to be more challenging than I anticipated. Ford introduced the 2023 Transit Trail, a package specifically designed for outdoor enthusiasts and van conversions. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz released the 2023 Sprinter, known as the gold standard for conversion vans. In this article, I will share my journey of deciding between the two and why I ultimately chose the Sprinter.

Ford Transit Trail

The Ford Transit Trail initially caught my attention and reignited my interest in van conversions. However, securing a Transit Trail proved to be incredibly difficult. Ford closed the vehicle order banks for the year just after announcing the Transit Trail, making it challenging to find a dealership that had the specific configuration I was looking for. The frustration of searching for a Transit Trail led me to explore the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

The Sprinter has long been regarded as the top choice for conversion vans, and I was eager to see what it had to offer. Although the base price of the Sprinter is higher than the Transit, adding the features I desired, such as a high roof and all-wheel drive, closed the price gap significantly. However, I discovered that the availability of the 2023 AWD Sprinter was limited, just like the Transit Trail. Nevertheless, I managed to locate a few Sprinters that met my specifications, although they were being sold above the recommended price.

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Return of the Transit Trail

Just when I thought finding a Transit Trail was out of the question, a committed Ford salesperson contacted me, claiming they could order one for me. After verifying the information and reviewing the build sheet, I realized that the Transit Trail I wanted could indeed be ordered, and the price was similar to the Sprinters I had been considering.

AWD Sprinter vs. Transit Trail

Here are the key factors that influenced my decision to choose the Sprinter:

2023 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Pros

  • Diesel engine: Diesel engines have a longer lifespan compared to gasoline engines, making them a cost-effective choice in the long run.
  • Aftermarket accessories: The Sprinter has a wide range of aftermarket accessories specifically designed for conversions, giving it an edge over the Transit.
  • Swivel seats: The Sprinter offers the option to include powered and heated swivel seats, while the Transit requires a choice between swivel seats and powered/heated seats.
  • Superior clearance: The Sprinter offers 1.3 inches more clearance than the Transit Trail, providing better off-road capabilities.
  • USB-C ports: The Sprinter has three USB-C ports, which is a convenient feature for modern devices.

2023 Ford Transit Trail Pros

  • Extended-range fuel tank: The Transit Trail offers an extended-range fuel tank from the factory, providing a larger capacity compared to the Sprinter.
  • Availability of dealerships and mechanics: Ford has a broader network of dealerships and mechanics for gasoline-powered Transits compared to Mercedes-Benz for diesel-powered Sprinters.
  • 12-inch touchscreen: The Transit offers a larger touchscreen infotainment system compared to the Mercedes-Benz 10-inch touchscreen.
  • More headroom: The Transit provides more headroom in the high-roof version, although both vans offer ample standing room.
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Conclusion

Both the 2023 Transit Trail and the 2023 AWD Mercedes-Benz Sprinter are excellent options for van conversions. However, considering the diesel engine, additional clearance, and wide range of options available, I ultimately chose the Sprinter. Now that I have made my decision, I am excited to begin the conversion process and turn my Sprinter into a personalized adventure vehicle. Stay tuned for updates on my van journey!

Got questions, comments, or suggestions for my van build? Leave a comment below and let’s discuss it!

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