Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-31-2014, 04:47 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 74
Sprinter Fuel Economy?

I have a 2012 SM Sprinter RB, low roof, with penthouse top. I've had it for about a year and a half. I've been calculating my mileage from the trip odometer and gallons put in the tank, coming up with figures of about 16 to 19 mpg. This is mostly freeway and highway driving. This was lower than I was expecting, so just before Christmas I got an ODB2 Bluetooth scanner and an app for my Android devices to monitor performance. They allow me to watch fuel mileage on a second by second basis, but more importantly, compile the data for a whole trip. The result was 18.70 mpg over 359.01 miles. Again, this was mostly highway and freeway driving, 50 - 70 mph most of the time.

I've heard people with older sprinters (not Sportsmobiles) tell me they get 25-27 mpg. Is the mileage I'm getting what I should expect from the V6 engine?

Can others comment on the year, size of Sprinter and the fuel mileage they get so we can compare?
__________________

SteveTOaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 05:41 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 127
Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveTOaks
I have a 2012 SM Sprinter RB, low roof, with penthouse top. I've had it for about a year and a half. I've been calculating my mileage from the trip odometer and gallons put in the tank, coming up with figures of about 16 to 19 mpg. This is mostly freeway and highway driving. This was lower than I was expecting, so just before Christmas I got an ODB2 Bluetooth scanner and an app for my Android devices to monitor performance. They allow me to watch fuel mileage on a second by second basis, but more importantly, compile the data for a whole trip. The result was 18.70 mpg over 359.01 miles. Again, this was mostly highway and freeway driving, 50 - 70 mph most of the time.

I've heard people with older sprinters (not Sportsmobiles) tell me they get 25-27 mpg. Is the mileage I'm getting what I should expect from the V6 engine?

Can others comment on the year, size of Sprinter and the fuel mileage they get so we can compare?
Yeah, the post pollution-control V6 doesn't get near as good mileage as the old 5 cylinder, or even the 2008 and previous V6. That said, high 18's is good for a conversion sprinter V6. Most important thing is to drive it as if it were a stick shift -- the transmission computer doesn't know you are running loaded all of the time, and upshifts way too early, downshifts way too late. If you watch your percentage load ("LOD" parameter), and shift as needed to keep it at or below 70% most of the time, you will get the best mileage you can for your particular rig and driving conditions. Generally, this means keeping rpms between 2500 and 3200, give or take, and NEVER staying in 5th gear going up any kind of grade.

The thing that isn't obvious is that with the electronic throttle, you can be keeping constant pressure on the pedal and the engine computer can silently ramp up the fuel flow to 99% for a while before finally downshifting. That's not good either for mileage or engine longevity. Since there is no way to modify the computer behavior, you have to do it by modifying your driving habits.

I have a Sprinter class C rig, and started out getting low 14's, sometimes worse; now after the engine has some miles on it and having learned how to drive it, get consistently high 15 to low 16 mpg, recently posted a 17.1 on a 240 mile shot down 101 from San Francisco driving the speed limit.

Pretend it's a stick shift with auto clutch, don't drive with the rpm below 2200, and you will do pretty well. Fortunately, you can be running cruise control and still shift with the wiggle-stick without interrupting the cruise. Mileage tends to get better as the engine gets some miles on it, probably won't stabilize until in excess of 10K or more.
__________________

chromisdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 09:45 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 598
Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

If it's older and not SMB then it must be a longer high top and the 5 cylinders could get 25 mpg if babied but most likely they were using Canadian Imperial gallons in the equation.
stanw909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 09:49 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 598
Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Or really bad at math. Or just parroting what a salesman told them without really checking. There is a new 4 cylinder on the way that is supposed to beat the old 5 cylinder mpg.
stanw909 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2014, 11:19 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 577
Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanw909
......cut...... There is a new 4 cylinder on the way that is supposed to beat the old 5 cylinder mpg.
During Truck of the Year competition, Motor Trend tested the new 4-cylinder diesel in a low-roof van configuration and estimated it would get 19/23 MPG (US gallons of course). Based on what I've read it's a standard loop Motor Trend drives vehicles that they claim yields more "real world" mileage than the EPA rating.

A high-roof 2500 V6 diesel they also tested on the same loop was rated at 15/19 city/highway. This is close to the difference Mercedes claims for improvement of the 4-cylinder over the 6-cylinder. In the Motor Trend case the MPG improvement was partly due to the lower roof and slightly lighter van.

And as I noted in the other thread, the same rating process estimated a high-roof V6 gasoline ProMaster at 13/18 city/highway. No doubt the PM, of similar size as the Sprinter, was lighter and probably more aerodynamic due to its lower roofline. Still, I found it surprising that the gasoline V6 ProMaster was almost as fuel efficient as the Mercedes Sprinter with the V6. In fact, if we were to take the higher energy content of diesel over gasoline (which is reflected in the higher fuel cost per gallon), then the fuel cost per mile between the gasoline V6 ProMaster and diesel V6 Sprinter isn't all that different.

By the way, also of interest to me was that acceleration for the slightly smaller Sprinter van with 4-cylinder was almost as quick as the V6 diesel Sprinter. If I were looking to buy a Sprinter I'd give the 4-cylinder engine serious consideration. And for what it's worth, neither Sprinter could come close in acceleration to the gasoline ProMaster which has much higher horsepower (and also slightly less weight due to FWD).
Chance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2014, 11:36 AM   #6
Member
 
JayBea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 58
Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

SteveTOaks:
OK, here are some "real world" figures from my experience with the following baseline parameters:
1. SMB Sprinter, 2500 EB, High Roof
2. Gross weight 7900 to 8500 lbs
3. 18 month, 16,000 miles experience

The figures:
1. Overall: 19.5 to 20.0 mpg average (high 24.5 low 14.5)
2. City Driving: 14.5 to 17.5 mpg
3. Highway Driving: 17 to 22.6 mpg (17 at 65 mph into a headwind, 22.6 at 65 to 75 mph on interstate)

Actually, I feel pretty good about the mileage that I have seen. When driving where I like to drive at speeds I like to drive (blue highways at 55 to 65 mph) I see 20 to 22 mpg when I compute at fill-ups.
So your mileage is not too far off, be sure you'r not overloaded and your tire pressure is at MB specs and just enjoy the fact that you can get this kind of fuel economy while "moving your house".
JIM
__________________
The Mercury

-light of the morning, looking for shelter in this thunder and this rain

2012 SMB Sprinter, 2500 EB Tall, Brilliant Silver Metalic
12vdc no inverter, 180 w Permanent Solar, 120 w Portable Solar
Queen platform bed
(Delivery Taken 7/23/12) NM 31357RVB
JayBea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 12:14 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 74
Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chromisdesigns

Yeah, the post pollution-control V6 doesn't get near as good mileage as the old 5 cylinder, or even the 2008 and previous V6. That said, high 18's is good for a conversion sprinter V6. Most important thing is to drive it as if it were a stick shift -- the transmission computer doesn't know you are running loaded all of the time, and upshifts way too early, downshifts way too late. If you watch your percentage load ("LOD" parameter), and shift as needed to keep it at or below 70% most of the time, you will get the best mileage you can for your particular rig and driving conditions. Generally, this means keeping rpms between 2500 and 3200, give or take, and NEVER staying in 5th gear going up any kind of grade.
On my ODB2 app, I see two parameters that might be the percentage load - Calculated Load Value, and Absolute Load Value. Which one, if either, would be the right one to watch?

Thanks for the tips on manual shifting. I'll give that a try. BTW, my rig has 12000 miles on it so I guess it's fuel mileage has stabilized, or is close to doing so.
SteveTOaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 12:18 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 74
Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Thanks everyone for your replies. It sounds like I'm not way down in mileage compared to what is expected, so that's good news. BTW, Canada moved from imperial gallons to liters for measuring fuel over 30 years ago.
SteveTOaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 01:09 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 127
Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveTOaks
Quote:
Originally Posted by chromisdesigns

Yeah, the post pollution-control V6 doesn't get near as good mileage as the old 5 cylinder, or even the 2008 and previous V6. That said, high 18's is good for a conversion sprinter V6. Most important thing is to drive it as if it were a stick shift -- the transmission computer doesn't know you are running loaded all of the time, and upshifts way too early, downshifts way too late. If you watch your percentage load ("LOD" parameter), and shift as needed to keep it at or below 70% most of the time, you will get the best mileage you can for your particular rig and driving conditions. Generally, this means keeping rpms between 2500 and 3200, give or take, and NEVER staying in 5th gear going up any kind of grade.
On my ODB2 app, I see two parameters that might be the percentage load - Calculated Load Value, and Absolute Load Value. Which one, if either, would be the right one to watch?

Thanks for the tips on manual shifting. I'll give that a try. BTW, my rig has 12000 miles on it so I guess it's fuel mileage has stabilized, or is close to doing so.

Which app are you using? The sprinter interface does report actual load percentage ("LOD" parameter), so as a guess I would say absolute load value. On a ScanGage, it's LOD. I guess one way to find out would be to select the absolute load value, go for a drive, and start up a moderate grade at speed in 5th with cruise control set at around 55-60 mph. Watch what happens to the load percentage -- if it starts creeping up and hangs at 99 or 100% for a while before the transmission finally wakes up and downshifts, that's the one you want. Sounds to me like calculated load would be based on fuel flow vs speed, etc., and why use that when the engine computer reports the actual value.
chromisdesigns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2014, 02:02 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ventura County, California
Posts: 74
Re: Sprinter Fuel Economy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chromisdesigns


Which app are you using? The sprinter interface does report actual load percentage ("LOD" parameter), so as a guess I would say absolute load value. On a ScanGage, it's LOD. I guess one way to find out would be to select the absolute load value, go for a drive, and start up a moderate grade at speed in 5th with cruise control set at around 55-60 mph. Watch what happens to the load percentage -- if it starts creeping up and hangs at 99 or 100% for a while before the transmission finally wakes up and downshifts, that's the one you want. Sounds to me like calculated load would be based on fuel flow vs speed, etc., and why use that when the engine computer reports the actual value.
I'm using TouchScan on Android. It's easy enough to set up a new dashboard with both parameters and watch them as I go up a hill as you suggest.
__________________

SteveTOaks is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.