Jason Dion

Dodge Sprinter Full Size Wheelchair Vans Offer Space for Multiple Disabled Passengers

Written by Jason Dion. Filed in About Dodge Wheelchair Vans

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Dodge produces the Sprinter that is often used as a full size wheelchair accessible vehicle with the room for multiple scooters and wheelchair passengers. The Sprinter is a large vehicle that is used a shuttle, an expediter’s vehicle and even as a mini-RV. If you are a fan of Jon and Kate Make Eight, you’ve seen a Sprinter customized for (large) family use.

The numerous buyouts, mergers and cooperative agreements to which Dodge has been a party make an explanation of the Sprinter’s roots somewhat complicated. The Sprinter was originally sold both as a Mercedes Sprinter (in Europe) and as a Freightliner vehicle. Today’s second generation sprinters are sold by both Dodge and Volkswagen.

While the Dodge Sprinter gets consistently positive reviews, it hasn’t managed to capture a large share of the US van market. Ford’s E-Series continues to account for nearly 80% of van sales and the Sprinter has a nominal impact on the overall marketplace.

A number of Sprinters are currently used as wheelchair vans with mobility conversion companies having had great success in creating impressive options for disabled drivers. A few things make the Sprinter a potentially attractive option for full size wheelchair van buyers.

Space For Multiple Disabled Passengers

First, the vehicle is large enough to handle multiple wheelchairs simultaneously. This is something most smaller options can’t manage and it adds a popular dimension to driving for many people who would like to have other users of mobility aids as passengers.

2007 Dodge Sprinter handle multiple wheelchairs simultaneously

Dodge Sprinter handles multiple wheelchairs simultaneously

Raised Roofs Offer Multiple Mobility Access Options

Second, the Sprinter is available in high-roof models that create tremendous access opportunities for wheelchair users. While minivans may have roofs raised and floors lowered in order to manage sufficient clearance, sprinters offer more space even prior to modification.

2004 Dodge Sprinter with Raised Roof

Dodge Sprinter with raised roof for easy wheelchair and scooter access

Move Cargo and Wheelchair Passengers With Ease

Third, the additional space makes this Dodge full size wheelchair van a good choice for those who frequently move cargo and wheelchair passengers. Many smaller wheelchair vehicle options leave little or no space for anything other than mobility equipment and accessories. That’s not an issue with the spacious Sprinter.

2007 Dodge Sprinter full size wheelchair van a good choice for those who frequently move cargo

Dodge Sprinter full size wheelchair van a good choice for those who frequently move cargo

Dodge Sprinter Wheelchair Van Lacks Market Traction

As of today, the Sprinter hasn’t made particularly deep inroads into the full size wheelchair van market. There are at least three reasons explaining this lack of popularity.

First, Ford has a stranglehold on the market and it’s been very tough for Dodge to even get serious attention in the Ford-dominated van sector. When people think of full size vans, they immediately think of Ford, who is offering a quality product with its E-Series line of vehicles.

Second, Dodge doesn’t actively market the Sprinter as a vehicle for individual or family use. They are concentrating on the commercial and fleet sectors and marketing their Grand Caravan long wheel base mini van to those interested in a traditional passenger vehicle.

Third, the overall popularity and size of the market for oversized conversion vehicles is in decline as gas prices increase and SUV options and other alternatives to bigger vans improve.

Some people still prefer a full size option. If you’re looking for a large full size disability vehicle, the Sprinter is a credible option. Those who do use this Dodge full size wheelchair van have been happy with the experience and it’s a solid choice for those who require additional space and/or who’d like to regularly transport passengers who use wheelchairs or power chairs.

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About Jason Dion

Jason Dion

Jason was a professional test-driver is his last life and is now a full time Nurse in Seattle, WA and follows the changing landscape of Disability Rights and Advocacy. He is keen to assist in developing useful disability information and advice from his real-life perspective working with people with disabilities. Jason is an automotive guru and covers a broad range of topics, including disability automotive, health conditions and lifestyle advice.

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