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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The October issue of Car and Driver has a van-comparison article, comparing the Transit, Sprinter, and ProMaster.

The Transit wins, with the Sprinter a close second, and the ProMaster a very distant third.

They had a lot of criticism for all aspects of it, and in particular hated the automated-manual transmission (they only evaluated the diesel).

What gives? Could it really be this bad? A lot of people on this forum seem to love their ProMasters.
 

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Car and Driver isn't the rag it was when David E Davis started it. Now if it has a star or rings on the front of it or you buy a lot of advertising from them you tend to see the results in the reviews.

Any and all test comparisons are suspect because of external forces. Reality doesn't always shine in these kinds of "tests"! Even Consumer Reports has huge biases built in in their tests and recommendations and they are probably the most reputable of the lot.

From what I can read here on a daily basis there are perhaps two or three Promaster owners who are unhappy with their purchase - hardly any sort of condemnation of the Promaster. Ford is first because they are the biggest, MBZ comes in second because of the typical consumers misplaced belief in their higher quality (if it cost more it must be better) and the Promaster comes in third because of the horrible marketing by Fiat. Nissan NV, everyone agrees it is a POS!
 

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The October issue of Car and Driver has a van-comparison article, comparing the Transit, Sprinter, and ProMaster.

The Transit wins, with the Sprinter a close second, and the ProMaster a very distant third.

They had a lot of criticism for all aspects of it, and in particular hated the automated-manual transmission (they only evaluated the diesel).

What gives? Could it really be this bad? A lot of people on this forum seem to love their ProMasters.
I would like to see a follow up of all gas versions. Sprinter disqualified! If these three were my only choices, I would take my Squeelmaster every time.
 

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The October issue of Car and Driver has a van-comparison article, comparing the Transit, Sprinter, and ProMaster.

The Transit wins, with the Sprinter a close second, and the ProMaster a very distant third.

They had a lot of criticism for all aspects of it, and in particular hated the automated-manual transmission (they only evaluated the diesel).

What gives? Could it really be this bad? A lot of people on this forum seem to love their ProMasters.

If FCA dropped a hemi in it, it would have been an engineering marvel and a pleasure to drive.:D
 

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These reviews mean nothing! They need to "test" all of these on a long term daily basis function/form/etc. and I can guarantee you the outcome would be different. Every vehicle I have ever purchased had bottom of the barrel lousy reviews and I loved everyone of them!
 

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Hey Chris, Do you have a link?

... Nissan NV, everyone agrees it is a POS! ...
Uh, apparently not, I just googled car and driver promaster articles, and the articles I was reading are placing the Promaster FOURTH, just BELOW the Nissan.. ?? One article said the Promaster was the quickest in its class 0-60. The next said the Ford was faster. One review was based on the Promaster Diesel only.. I think they are running the $1,800 upgraded ecoboost against the PM V-6 in another.. reviews and comparisons are tough if you don't compare apples to apples. Its hard to compare a $28,000 vehicle to a $46,730 one.. Unless cost is just thrown out of the equation, in which case the Mercedes MIGHT look more interesting.. (and actually, just for kicks, I just quickly built out a Mercedes on their site (which may NOT have included all the options I need), and it seems to be about the SAME price as the Ford! :eek: (as Car and Driver tested it)

I have no interest in the Mercedes because of cost, cost of ownership, and its tall skinny stature, no interest in the NV because its so ugly I would be embarrassed to be seen in it (and its too small). Iv'e owned several Ford E series vans and loved them, so I am not "anti"-ford. But after driving the Transit (with their STD engine), I decided it not only was ugly, but it was a dog compared to all the gasser PM's I have driven (empty OR the Travato RV). The ford may have a slightly more "refined" cab, but heh, I'm not that "refined" a guy anyway. :) The ford seems heavier, slower, and "mushier" driving to me despite what any "professional critic" thinks.. Its always a matter of taste and your intended use I guess. If I needed to tow allot, I'd probably be considering the Ford. I'm interested in the PM for use as an RV/self built weekender and it seems to fit the bill perfectly (and the "bill" fits my budget best also)...
 

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I wanted the Transit to be a winner but instead think it's something some secretary kept signing off on while her boss was playing golf.
 

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Both PM transmissions are hurting this van. If I recall correctly even the Iveco Daily RWD diesel van with the very similar Diesel engine went to an 8-speed automatic.

In my opinion it was a huge mistake to use a single-clutch Automated Manual Transmission with the diesel in US. Americans have gotten used to fast shifts of automatics, and the AMT is way too slow to mimic a real automatic. Perhaps Europeans accustomed to manual transmissions find it acceptable by comparison.

And the 6-speed auto of the gasoline engine is no better. By today's standard it's clearly subpar. Yeah, it works OK and gets the job done but most people expect far more from a new vehicle.

Both transmissions need replacing if the PM is to do better in marketplace or in competitive reviews. I'm not implying previous buyers made mistakes or accepted an inferior product. I'm just saying that the van is pretty good but the transmissions are the weak links. And they should be replaced ASAP.
 

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I drove them all, money was no object, I chose the PM over the Transit and Sprinter:

FWD: Better handling, more efficient, better traction

Diesel: Good balance of power to efficiency, nice power band, not overly loud.

Transmission: I have been driving a manual transmission since I was sixteen; gave up a manual tranny Nissan Frontier to get a PM, so I like to be in control and "feel" the ride. I love the PM single auto manual, it is my favorite tranny of all time, it gives the option of being an auto, it'll downshift for me in to turns and when coming to stops, but I can still shift when I want.

Appearance: I think the PM is the best looking of the "four" big vans, but looks don't really count...

RideQuality: Well, the PM lost the ride quality when new BUT since I removed the secondary springs it is riding with the best.

Size: Okay, which van comes in a short (118") wheelbase? Yup, Mercedes ditched their shorty, Ford didn't see the need, so it was Fiat/Ram who made it happen. I love my PM 118", it is right sized for my needs.

The little things: Interior lights that time out. Comfortable seating. Wide enough to sleep crossways. Low load height. Good front end ground clearance. Powerful brakes. Good combo of tow and haul. Excellent headlights and fog lights. Easy to use controls. Powerful heat/AC. Reasonable pricing.

I think the PM is for people who like to drive and use their vehicle like a truck. If you want car like performance, then the Sprinter or the Transit will be preferred.

Magazine writers are in the business of making money for their magazine, so of course they favored Ford (domestic) with a big budget for advertising, over Mercedes (Foreign) and Ram (Foreign and small taters).

My buddy's Sprinter is down with EGR valve issues ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry, I don't have a link. I was speaking of the printed addition.

I'm a huge ProMaster fan, so the article so rubbed me wrong that I may be inclined to not renew my subscription.
 

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After 400 miles on my Promaster Diesel I can say I'm not crazy about the transmission. We'll see how I feel after more time. I also feel some of the workmanship is of poor quality. Time will tell with the van, but it's a work van and my care level is not high. I got such a deal on it I can overlook things I normally wouldn't.
 

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I think Car and Driver are Ford fanboys. Earlier they tested a gas 1500 ProMaster and claimed they could only muster 14 mpg with an empty van! I have never gotten below 15.5 and usually get 18 with my loaded van. They also stated that the Transit Eco Boost got 22 mpg! I've been looking at the mpg threads on the Transit forums and they regularly report 14-17 mpg with 14 being more common and a few have gotten 19 on all highway miles. There is also a thread over there about the brake pads only lasting 15K miles. I had a van like that and I am done with that crap!

A more work truck oriented/contractor review would find the ProMaster on top. It is rated the best contractor van in Europe.
 

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I now have 18,000 miles on my Promaster 136" low roof. I got it in December last year and was initially very upset because the diesel one that I had ordered was delayed and delayed so I ended up with one with a gas engine. I run long distances at times to trade shows where my company exhibits and have the van loaded with 2 to 2500 lbs of marine diesel engines and exhibition equipment. Now that I have gone from eastern NC to Chicago, to Miami, to Portland in Maine, I continue to be amazed that this van is so comfortable on a long run, has plenty of power and the fuel consumption has steadily been getting a little better. Now I average 20 MPG with rural running and 17 to 18 at 70 to 75 MPH.

The u connect system works well and the whole dash is a lot better looking than the Transit. The extra height inside is fabulous . I don't regret the purchase one bit and I certainly don't heed the expertise of people who are used to writing articles about sports cars for a living when they never live with a commercial vehicle or know how to use one.
 

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Nurse Ben, your response to the automated manual transmission is spot on!! The ability to shift when I want and have auto down shift is awesome! I'am just a surfer that is a driving enthusiast!!
 

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Transmission: I have been driving a manual transmission since I was sixteen; gave up a manual tranny Nissan Frontier to get a PM, so I like to be in control and "feel" the ride. I love the PM single auto manual, it is my favorite tranny of all time, it gives the option of being an auto, it'll downshift for me in to turns and when coming to stops, but I can still shift when I want.

Couldn't agree more. I learned to drive on a manual and I have strongly preferred them my whole life. I warmed up to the auto clutch immediately. I absolutely love it.
 

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Sorry, I don't have a link. I was speaking of the printed addition.

I'm a huge ProMaster fan, so the article so rubbed me wrong that I may be inclined to not renew my subscription.
I pretty much gave up on all my car and truck mags 30 years ago. They are all advertiser driven and unless I'm killing time in a doctors waiting room full of them I wouldn't even pick one up to quickly scan thru.

Now that I think of it, I don't even subscribe to any magazines anymore. If I want to be deceived and mislead all I have to do is watch TV and it's even free!
 

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Thanks for the heads up. May have to take a look at the C&R article, even though I've eliminated Sprinter & NV.

The October issue of Car and Driver has a van-comparison article, comparing the Transit, Sprinter, and ProMaster.

The Transit wins, with the Sprinter a close second, and the ProMaster a very distant third.

They had a lot of criticism for all aspects of it, and in particular hated the automated-manual transmission (they only evaluated the diesel).
Have been a Ford fanboy, but also wanted a Fiat 242/Citroen C35 for decades. Both Ford & Ram have disappointed me. Ford should've kept FWD & 6 spd manual. Ram should produce a passenger PM & 6 spd manual.

Did C&R's article only evaluate the diesel ACROSS THE BOARD?
 

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Thanks for the heads up. May have to take a look at the C&R article, even though I've eliminated Sprinter & NV.



Have been a Ford fanboy, but also wanted a Fiat 242/Citroen C35 for decades. Both Ford & Ram have disappointed me. Ford should've kept FWD & 6 spd manual. Ram should produce a passenger PM & 6 spd manual.

Did C&R's article only evaluate the diesel ACROSS THE BOARD?
Jumper unfortunately the 6 speed manual anything for cars sold in the USA is a thing of the past unless you purchase a sports car or a small pickup truck. The American buying public wants auto everything plus, the sales would suffer because of this fact. The manufacturers want to sell as many units as possible hence the automatic transmission in most vehicles sold here.
 
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