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I'm now in the boat where I'm deciding which van to get and am surprised by the price. Can somebody tell me why the Promaster is so much cheaper than the Transit? I test drove the Promaster and it was okay. I think the dash is just no nonsense not a luxurious one. I looked into a transit window and liked their dash better, but my dealer didn't have one to test drive, The one I looked in was a special order and being picked up in minutes. Im not tall, only 5'6" and need a step in for either van. I'm looking to make whichever van I get a nice boondocking capable vehicle.

Poodle Girl
 

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IMO the Promaster being more modular in it's assembly and IMO crude in finish , more efficient in assembly = lower cost to manufacture . Cheaper to make = more competitive in the market .
 

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The Promaster is also assembled in Mexico where the average autoworker earns between $4 and $8 per hour. The Transit is assembled in Missouri where hourly wages start around $18 and can be as high as $40 for those that have been there for some time.
 

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The Promaster body design has not changed since introduced in Europe in 2006. Almost any body part that fits your 2019 will fit my 2014 or a 2006 Fiat/Citroen/Peugeot. For example, one windshield fits them all, whereas, according to Safelite, there are 14 different windshields for the various Transits.
 

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Let us know what you decided!

I just joined the forum and am late to this discussion but want to add my 2 cents for others facing the same decision who may read this thread.

Part of the decision important to me was ongoing cost of ownership:

An oil change on a Promaster runs about $100 for full synthetic and you can even go to Jiffy Lube or Valvoline. My Transit owner friends pay $350 - 800 unless you can DIY, and those Jiffy-type places can't do Sprinters.

And there are way fewer certified Mercedes Sprinter mechanics in the U.S., compared to Dodge. A friend of mine once had to have his Sprinter towed 1200 miles. Yikes. Probably not typical, but still.

Promaster transmissions have a reputation for earlier failure, but the lower purchase price makes replacing it kind of a wash. One guy told me it cost him $5k. At 60,000 miles!

The diesel Sprinters do have a reputation for longer engine life. And a bit better fuel economy, though diesel fuel costs more. I get about 15.5 mpg on my PM.

I like the Sprinter's higher roof, though you feel more sway in a cross wind. The narrower width requires a lengthwise bed orientation. I was able to orient my fixed bed width-wise.

Lastly, the Sprinter walls are more curved, making cabinetry etc a little more tricky. But if you're planning to hire an experienced builder, they would have templates for either vehicle.
 

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Thanks for the responses. I'm definitely leaning toward the promaster!
Big plus is the Promaster doesn’t look like a Javelins driving down the road.
Plus the Promaster is much simpler and easier to work on than the Transit. Less glitz than either the Transit or Sprinter but far, far more usability which equates in lower cost. You gotta pay for that star but it doesn’t make the van any more comfortable or reliable.
 

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So funny, keeponvaning! I follow "We're the Russos" on YouTube and they recently said the Promaster has a face only a mother could love.
But it kinda grows on ya 😁

I considered Ford, Mercedes, & Ram. Quickly dropped the Ford & after pricing out the Mercedes with a 4x4 option dropped the 4x4 idea and spent $40k not $75k for the platform

I also agree with your analysis above about operational costs. It is not just purchase price but total assumed cost per mile. We got ours to burn many many miles on & then sell it to someone who wants a local small trip camper.

I really liked the exterior look of the Sprinter, but I also prefer a look of a thicker wallet. I have grown to love the PM face “like a mother” I suppose
 

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Honestly the facelift done in the rest of the World in 2014 would modernize the van. I am happy it haesn’t happened as my 2014 looks “new” and when that change or another one gets here our vans will be OLD.
 

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But it kinda grows on ya 😁

I considered Ford, Mercedes, & Ram. Quickly dropped the Ford & after pricing out the Mercedes with a 4x4 option dropped the 4x4 idea and spent $40k not $75k for the platform
Ha, the Ram's face grew on me too. Originally I liked the idea of a 4x4, but no van will ever perform like a Jeep.
 

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Is there really still a huge difference in price for a similar spec promaster vs. transit? Thought the prices were now somewhat similar for a similarly equipped van but I could be wrong. There are far more transits on the road than promasters which should make parts and service easier/cheaper...
 

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All Ford products are ridiculously overpriced. It's because they have name recognition and brand-loyal customers. Even though they have product failure and after the sale product support that's as horrible as anyone else's. Also, Ford probably spends more on advertising than Chrysler spends on manufacturing the PM.
The only way I would consider a Ford van is if it was used for work, most of its cost was a write-off and I could replace it every few years. Only because it's rwd and has more torque. And because there's not many options. If you want a HR van, there's 4 to pick from. And if you want rwd, there's 2. And if you want an 8cyl, there's 1.
If there were 8 companies making 8 variations of 8 different vans, Ford would be at or close to the bottom of my list.
As for the look of the PM, it has the lowest center of gravity and the most aerodynamic shape. So I find it the most attractive.
 

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Is there really still a huge difference in price for a similar spec promaster vs. transit?
They are similar only when you compare a MID roof Transit to a HIGH roof Promaster. Compare HIGH to HIGH roof, and Promaster is thousands cheaper. MID roof Transit is too low for me. I’m tall.
 

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They are similar only when you compare a MID roof Transit to a HIGH roof Promaster. Compare HIGH to HIGH roof, and Promaster is thousands cheaper. MID roof Transit is too low for me. I’m tall.
Yes, but the high roof transit is 81" inside while the high roof PM is 76" inside so you're not really comparing apples to apples for transit high roof vs. PM high roof. The med roof transit is 72" inside which would be high enough for me (5'7"). The high roof transit would be nice for multi level sleeping or tall people.

Im not saying either is a better value but a lot of the transit sticker shock might be from people comparing prices of transit wagons to cargo PM's. I chose the PM because it was cheaper than the transit for the size/configuration I wanted and mostly because the extra width allows me to sleep widthwise. If I were tall and couldnt sleep width-wise anyway there is a high chance I would have gone with a transit.
 

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Really , to me it's not how you look , it's how you see . Like what you see out out of the windshield , those fantastic panoramas as you crest a ridge and the road stretches for miles .
Spending the muny on fuel , not a nameplate .

PS all these vans are butt ugly , a '67 Mustang fastback is beautiful . Or a 427 Cobra and most of all , GT 40 coupe .
 
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