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Discussion Starter #1
Business is slow this time of year so being bored and not wanting to watch any more Jerry Springer re-runs I decided to jump in the PM and checkout the 2019 Sprinter and Transits. Here what I found:

Sprinter:

1. New 2.0 gas engine with 9 speed transmission. Test drove you think the PM is underpowered this thing was a dog! Test drove the 3.0 diesel with the 7 speed transmission very smooth lots of low end power as usual but with the same problematic emissions crap no thanks! Cockpit updated nice and simple kinda of sparse looking typical German design/engineering looks simple but underneath a complex/complicated mess! Dimensions remain the same fit and finish very good. Expensive as expected.

2. Transit:

1. New I4 diesel didn't have one to test drive but I expect the same as most diesels feel slow to get going but once up to speed fine. Standard V6 Meh.... not all that great I think Pentastar 6 much better. Ecoboost V6 lots of power very quick but nothing extraordinary. Crew versions offered attractive but I don't have a need for this all the kids are grown and I generally don't like people. All wheel drive another attractive offering but living in Texas I really have no use for this. Front end re-fresh as well as the cockpit nice but once again meh... Dimensions stay the same.

Conclusion: Promaster still better even though no significant changes to exterior or engine. I will be ordering a new 159 extended today. Now the wait begins again!
 

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I've never thought of my PM as underpowered. That was an interesting statement to make.
I could see how a 2.0 gas motor would be too small for a large van no matter what transmission is fitted. You need some displacement to make torque.
 

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On the transit, did they move the emergency brake so you could swivel the driver's seat or is it still on the right of the seat?
 

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Business is slow this time of year so being bored and not wanting to watch any more Jerry Springer re-runs I decided to jump in the PM and checkout the 2019 Sprinter and Transits. Here what I found:

Sprinter:

1. New 2.0 gas engine with 9 speed transmission. Test drove you think the PM is underpowered this thing was a dog! Test drove the 3.0 diesel with the 7 speed transmission very smooth lots of low end power as usual but with the same problematic emissions crap no thanks! Cockpit updated nice and simple kinda of sparse looking typical German design/engineering looks simple but underneath a complex/complicated mess! Dimensions remain the same fit and finish very good. Expensive as expected.

2. Transit:

1. New I4 diesel didn't have one to test drive but I expect the same as most diesels feel slow to get going but once up to speed fine. Standard V6 Meh.... not all that great I think Pentastar 6 much better. Ecoboost V6 lots of power very quick but nothing extraordinary. Crew versions offered attractive but I don't have a need for this all the kids are grown and I generally don't like people. All wheel drive another attractive offering but living in Texas I really have no use for this. Front end re-fresh as well as the cockpit nice but once again meh... Dimensions stay the same.

Conclusion: Promaster still better even though no significant changes to exterior or engine. I will be ordering a new 159 extended today. Now the wait begins again!
Good Luck with your order. I read somewhere that the PM assembly line was shut down (at least temporarily) because of the numbers on dealer lots. Dealers for the ost part seem to be only interested in ordering PMs for the trades and not concerned for those of us that want to convert them into living quarters.

I am a 2019 Ext owner as well. The build is going slowly because of the cold weather here and mot likely will not pick up momentum until it is consistently in the 50s.

All the best!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mine 2015 low roof seems to be underpowered. Downshifts on the slightest incline lightly loaded. When I haul my 2500# travel trailer its really struggling. Funny thing is, when I had a high roof 2500 as a loaner while some warranty work was going on it seemed like it had plenty of power and didn't downshift at all on the same roads/inclines? Weird!
 

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I've never thought of my PM as underpowered. That was an interesting statement to make.
I could see how a 2.0 gas motor would be too small for a large van no matter what transmission is fitted. You need some displacement to make torque.

The little turbo-4 has about the same amount of torque, but gives up almost 100 HP compared to ProMaster. The Sprinter probably weighs a bit more also if of equal cargo volume.

DE2085F3-CA4F-495F-B445-A72C9D38718B.jpeg
 

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P.S. — At Tampa RV SuperShow the ProMaster van was very well represented in Class B campers. The higher-cost luxury units were mainly on Mercedes Sprinter vans, but for lower-cost units the PM seemed to own much of the market. I didn’t count them but would bet there were more PM Class Bs than on Transit vans.
 

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I have to agree. It's certainly not a 400 hp V8, but considering it's a V6 in a large van, it does ok for itself.
The only thing that leaves a little to be desired is how it runs out of torque in 6th and has to downshift to maintain or speed up. But it's not the end of the world and it gets going through the first 3 gears pretty good.
 

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I agree on the downshifting. I keep the van bare bones with nothing in the cargo area. I do find it annoying that on the flat roads it does downshift in and out of 6th. Worse with the cruise control as it will drop a few MPH before it accelerates. I got used to it chucking it off to crude technology. It certainly wasn't a 54k van.
 

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My low top doesn't downshift all that much, mainly just on steeper hills or with a good headwind. I read the mid-top Ford Transits have over 20% more wind drag than the low top but I can't find the link. I'm sure it's a factor with the HT PM too but no idea how much.

I drove from the southernmost tip of the Everglades up to Florida City to Key West recently and got 24 mpg (computer read 25) on that flat terrain, even with all the stop and go along the way. Didn't notice much if any downshifting at all while cruising. Coming back out of the Keys and through Miami to north of Palm Beach there was a buffeting head/cross wind and it dropped to 20.5 mpg and there was some occasional downshifting due to the gustiness. For the whole 2400-mile mixed-driving trip ( 45-60 mph back roads, stop and go city driving around Atlanta and elsewhere, 65-75 mph interstates, construction zones and so on) I averaged 19.5 mpg so I can't complain.
 

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I was hoping for somewhere around 20. I'm at 14 right now. So there's the 20% drop for the high top. I think it will go up once summer is here and probably up a little more for long road trips.
Hopefully.
 

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Hi,
The high roof about 100 inches high vs 90 inches high for the low roof. That's a 10% increase in frontal area, so if the drag coefficient is the same for both, you would expect a 10% increase in drag at the same speed.

When traveling at highway speeds, normally about half the power is going into aero drag and the other into rolling resistance, so a 10% increase in drag would give about a 5% reduction in MPG.

My high roof routinely gets between 19 and 20 mpg on long trips. 14 MPG seems really low to me.

Gary
 

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I was hoping for somewhere around 20. I'm at 14 right now. So there's the 20% drop for the high top. I think it will go up once summer is here and probably up a little more for long road trips.
Hopefully.
You're way up near Buffalo so lots of cold and snow. Unless you get out for longer drives you may not even be getting up to full operating temperature so that all takes a toll. Even just driving into town here in the SE my mileage has been as low as 16.5 mpg with only a mile or two here, shut off for a half hour (cool off), a mile or two there, shut off, and so on.
 

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Hi,
The high roof about 100 inches high vs 90 inches high for the low roof. That's a 10% increase in frontal area, so if the drag coefficient is the same for both, you would expect a 10% increase in drag at the same speed.

When traveling at highway speeds, normally about half the power is going into aero drag and the other into rolling resistance, so a 10% increase in drag would give about a 5% reduction in MPG.

My high roof routinely gets between 19 and 20 mpg on long trips. 14 MPG seems really low to me.

Gary
That 19-20 mpg sounds really good for a high top, glad to hear it. I've found hilly terrain on the interstate can really take a toll as well. My PM doesn't seem to make up on the downhill what it loses downshifting to go uphill. In some of those cases mpg's been as low as 18. Of course wind is always a factor and it's impossible to accurately tell what impact it's having.
 

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Hi,
The high roof about 100 inches high vs 90 inches high for the low roof. That's a 10% increase in frontal area, so if the drag coefficient is the same for both, you would expect a 10% increase in drag at the same speed.

When traveling at highway speeds, normally about half the power is going into aero drag and the other into rolling resistance, so a 10% increase in drag would give about a 5% reduction in MPG.

My high roof routinely gets between 19 and 20 mpg on long trips. 14 MPG seems really low to me.

Gary
At 60 MPH or higher, rolling resistance should be much less than half the power unless you’re extremely loaded down with off-road tires and running low air pressure. In other words, for practically everyone, wind drag at highway speeds is the main power user on level roads with little or no wind.

In case of ProMaster, I doubt high roof is 10% greater in frontal area or total drag because roof gets narrower as you go up, plus mirrors, underbelly, etc. remain similar in magnitude. Just an educated guess though.
 

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I thought drag increased exponentially with more speed.
I assumed it increased exponentially with added surface area as well.
Meaning, a 10% increase in area or speed, doesn't translate to an equal 10% of drag or fuel efficiency loss.
 

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I have to agree. It's certainly not a 400 hp V8, but considering it's a V6 in a large van, it does ok for itself.
The only thing that leaves a little to be desired is how it runs out of torque in 6th and has to downshift to maintain or speed up. But it's not the end of the world and it gets going through the first 3 gears pretty good.

What’s hard to accept is that even if it had a 400 HP (naturally aspirated) engine, it would still downshift more often than most drivers like. The simple reason is that to get best possible fuel economy, engineers would be forced to gear highest transmission gear (6th) so that engine is working hard near maximum available torque. And as soon as driver needs more power to accelerate, fight headwind, or climb a hill, the larger engine would need to downshift anyway.

A turbo engine can get around this problem because it can be geared to operate at much lower torque compared to its available maximum torque while still having a good Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC). Instead of downshifting, increasing boost can get job done.

At present we can either waste some fuel by running at higher RPM (or having larger displacement) with greater torque reserve, get a turbo, or accept occasional downshifts. None are perfect.
 
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