Transit was ordered 10-10-14 and delivered 1-20-15. Transit was ordered with the options desired for a van conversion. See "order information" for the options ordered. The Transit is the 148" wheelbase high roof not extended body.
There are major differences between the 2008 Sprinter and the 2015 Transit. Transit rides and handles better than the Sprinter. Sprinter had a diesel engine and the Transit was bought with the Ecoboost gas engine. Maximum torque for the Sprinter was 280 lb-ft and the Transit has 400 lb-ft of torque. Major difference in acceleration. Sprinter fuel mileage was about 3 mpg better than the Transit with about the same 2000 lb conversion weight. Did not want another diesel engine with the complicated emission hardware and software. Scheduled maintenance costs for the Transit are much lower than the Sprinter.
Handling: The Transit handles much better than the Sprinter. Probably due to the McPherson strut front suspension and the more rigid body construction. Did not expect a significant difference between the Sprinter and Transit so was surprised at the improvement. Had added a larger rear anti-roll bar to the Sprinter which did improve the handling. The Transit cargo van did not have a rear anti-roll bar. Added one to the Transit expecting to see a similiar improvement. There was not a major change in Transit handling with the addition of the rear bar.
Dash Instrumentation/Controls: Transit has a water temperature gauge. The HVAC controls are simple to use. Never did understand how the HVAC controls on the Sprinter functioned. The stalk controls work very well. Cruise control works well but do not like it automatically downshifting trying to maintain the set speed when going down a hill.
Cargo Area: Transit interior walls are flat and perpendicular to the floor up to 51" above the floor. Nothing in the Sprinter was flat. Ford designed the inside walls to make it easier to customize the interior. There are 14 tapped 8mm holes in the cargo area walls. There are many plain holes that are the correct diameter for 1/4-20NC pre-bulbed inserts. Had to drill holes in the Sprinter for all inserts but did not drill any holes for inserts in the Transit. The van body is more rigid than the Sprinter because the structural boxes are deeper in the Transit and there is substantial structural reinforcement over the slider door area. Slider door is much easier to use. Prefer the D-ring tie downs located in the floor of the Sprinter compared to the Transit wall mounted D-ring tie downs.
Electrical: Transit batteries are under the driver seat instead of under the floor. The Transit fuses under the driver seat are not easily accessed. Transit does have three 60 amp 12 volt DC terminals located on outside of driver seat base for user connections to the vehicle 12 volt system. Another option is four 20 amp "user defined" toggle switches on the dash.
Drive Train: The engine, transmission and rear end are all derivatives of the proven Ford F-150 pickup. Service and parts are readily available. A mechanical limited slip rear end is an option. The 6 speed transmission is a huge improvement over the 2008 Sprinter 5 speed NAG1 transmission. Ford transmission shifts at the right time and the Sprinter's transmission would not downshift when going up a hill. Sprinter required manual downshifting to prevent running the engine at 100% load. The Ford transmission has a hill holder function. Having acceleration available from the Ecoboost engine transforms the driving experience. Do not miss having to watch a ScanGauge to determine when to manually downshift the transmission.
Roof Height: Ford has three roof heights available compared to the Sprinters two choices. Transit high roof interior height is about 5" taller than the high roof Sprinter. The added height does allow more storage but you have to be more careful to avoid hitting overhead obstructions.
Service Availability: One of the main reasons for selling the Sprinter was the lack of service locations. Ford has service available in every other town. The drive trail in the Transit is like the F-150 so well known by mechanics. It also helps that Ford sells about 5 times as many Transits as Mercedes sells Sprinters in this country. After my two Sprinter failures in the first 20,000 miles I lost confidence in the Sprinter and always worried about another failure and how far I was from a service location.
Minor Features: Many little improvements like the door arm rest, bumps on the steering wheel, lips on the end of the stalks, a rear step, no cap fuel filler, and a lug wrench that does not bend.
Transit Negatives: Much easier to move between cab and cargo area in the Sprinter. Had to add a rear door handle and modify the rear door latch. Cargo lights had to be disconnected to turn off the cargo area lights with a door open. Had horn honking from security system so disconnected the horn. Air cleaner design is wrong because it lets water into the cleaner. Had to cover it. Overall the complaints are minor compared to having a vehicle that drives much better.
Transit is a much better vehicle to drive. Nice to have acceleration when you need it. Gas engine allows idling which is useful for a conversion. Much easier to build a conversion. Far less worries about reliability and availability of service. I have had no regrets selling the Sprinter and buying the Transit.