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Discussion Starter #1
One showed up at a dealer near me in central California today so I went over there after work and went for a test drive.

It was a Silver 1500 Hi Roof 136"wb

It's pretty quick. Stomp on it and it just takes off.

Hit the brakes and those big Brembos STOP RIGHT NOW !!!

It handles good. Much more nimble and surefooted that the Sprinters I've tested.

Fit and finish was good. Interior was good also.

Unfortunately, it had the factory bulkhead partition installed. This severely restricted the driver seat adjustment and royally screwed up the ergonomic situation for me. I'm 6'4". I must have looked like a circus bear on a bicycle, driving that thing around. Totally un-acceptable.

If you aren't on the short side of average, you probably won't be wanting that factory partition.

So, the dealer is going to call me when one shows up without the partition and I'll go back and try that one on for size.

IF I can fit comfortably and IF the mpg numbers are right, this van is a serious contender.
 

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:O

that is intense. i hate bad brakes so this is good news.

how good are those brakes with a full load of cargo though? :p
 

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I am also 6'4" tall & drove one without a partition 2 weeks ago. "Circus bear on a bike" is an appropriate comparison. The Promaster is woefully short on legroom for tall drivers, there have been rumblings of this in some of the reviews by various media. I will be curious to know if removal of the partition helps you get comfortable?
I had high hopes for the diesel version of this van, but one test drive has me waiting until next year for the Transit.
 

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What does everyone mean by "bulkhead partition?" I don't know what that is...

Being 6'1", it worries me that tall people are complaining about leg room though. I don't want to have sore legs every time I dive the ProMaster.
 

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What does everyone mean by "bulkhead partition?" I don't know what that is...

Being 6'1", it worries me that tall people are complaining about leg room though. I don't want to have sore legs every time I dive the ProMaster.
Same here. Im surprised leg room is a problem in a vehicle thats so big, you'd think they make a work vehicle work well for it's demographic.
 

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If you are concerned about legroom I would advise a test drive, you will find out quickly if you can get comfortable.
I am sure the front wheel drive configuration & power train packaging of the Ducato did not leave Chrysler engineering any room to alter the legroom without a major redesign. One of the problems with adapting an existing European platform to fit drivers here in the US is that we are not small people, & cargo van drivers are likely to be even larger than the average American. This could be an Italian design issue as the German designed Sprinter has plenty of room for tall drivers.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There's no excuse for bad ergonomics anymore. One of the biggest beefs in the published test drives so far is steering wheel geometry. This v6 gas powertrain is straight out of the Chrysler mini vans and they have had a tilt wheel option for decades. It would have been very simple engineering to adapt this to the Pro.

The suits in the front office must be catering to the fleet buyer bean counters with little regard for the schlubs who drive them for a living.

I'm looking for a van for recreational purposes. Bad ergos would be a deal killer for me
 

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What does everyone mean by "bulkhead partition?" I don't know what that is...

Being 6'1", it worries me that tall people are complaining about leg room though. I don't want to have sore legs every time I dive the ProMaster.
The wall that separates the driver and passenger from the cargo behind them. Not something you'd see much on vans for private use.

On other hand I would have expected bulkhead to be far back enough to not interfere with seat travel and adjustment.
 

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.....cut.......

This v6 gas powertrain is straight out of the Chrysler mini vans and they have had a tilt wheel option for decades. It would have been very simple engineering to adapt this to the Pro.

......cut......
Maybe not so simple if it affects safety due to airbag deployment angle. ProMaster driver may sit in different position compared to steering wheel so adding a tilt option from another vehicle may not be possible. Given time I expect Ram will make one available.
 

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...Fit and finish was good...
Checked one out today and I was pretty disappointed with that - no where near Sprinter or even my current Econoline. Panels lined up OK but the sides seemed "lumpy". Not as flat and crisp as you'd expect from a modern vehicle. Metal joinery and use of sealants and paint underneath seemed below average. Being in a northern climate with salted road the long term corrosion resistance would be a concern. Unless this thing is fully galvanized I'd expect to see seams starting to rust in 5 years.
 

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Improving Promaster driving position

Spy photos of the next Ducato/Promaster are showing up on the web. I am hoping that Fiat/Chrysler is paying attention to the larger size drivers that have found the current design needs improvement. We are not imagining that the Promaster driving position for tall drivers is uncomfortable. There is not room to stretch out your legs, the steering wheels lack of adjustment range requires a fatiguing, straight arm position, & the seat, though very adjustable, is mounted too high.
When I test drove the van I moved the seat back & raised it to get more distance from the brake/gas pedals. Doing this elevates the line of sight out of the windshield & clips the top of your forward vision as you are looking partially at the headliner. This also causes a very straight arm reach to the wheel, which is not comfortable for any length of time.
All of the nice features of this van don't matter if prospective buyers turn to the competition because they can't get comfortable behind the wheel.
 

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I haven't seen any language that the Promaster is galvanized. A big concern. It would be great to see some photos of the underbody sealants and joints. I don't expect to drop $40k on a vehicle and apply seam sealer myself before I leave the lot....:confused:

Checked one out today and I was pretty disappointed with that - no where near Sprinter or even my current Econoline. Panels lined up OK but the sides seemed "lumpy". Not as flat and crisp as you'd expect from a modern vehicle. Metal joinery and use of sealants and paint underneath seemed below average. Being in a northern climate with salted road the long term corrosion resistance would be a concern. Unless this thing is fully galvanized I'd expect to see seams starting to rust in 5 years.
 
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