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Discussion Starter #1
Its been three days with the new PM now. Have driven almost 200 miles in and around town and the local highways.

I wanted to start a thread for tracking my own thoughts and things that I notice.

Warning, this will be VERY long and rambling. But what the heck, its just more information, thoughts, and opinions out there for folks.


Seating position - Its different. I knew coming into this that it was a more upright position, but I didn't realize how much. Over the first day of driving I continually adjusted my position. I kept moving the seat forward a little bit at a time. Driving now with my feet below me instead of out in front of me as in my Audi. My right knee is a bit over 1" from the bolster. This had a side benefit that I can now comfortably reach the steering wheel. Now instead of driving at 8-4 hand position, 9-3 is the usual, and 10-2 around town works well.

Parking brake handle - At first I smirked about the comments on here about it being a "shorts grabber". I hadn't come near it. Then I caught my slightly baggy old denim shorts as I quickly hopped out. Yup, ripped. Have now changed my behavior to touch it on the way out so I know where it is.

U-Connect screen - dang it is bright at night! And while the radio screen is fine during the day, the backup camera view is easily washed out if there is sun shining on the screen. I found today that the dimming option also dims the radio screen. Will have to play with that next time I drive at night.

Ride quality - It rides surprisingly well, better than I expected, especially considering it is currently empty. Though I’m sure the 5470 pound curb weight helps with that. (stopped at the local landfill scales, with a full fuel tank, minus driver weight). The long wheelbase probably helps as well. There were a few times I saw a bump in the road and cringed a little bit, but didn’t feel much at all. Comparing again to my daily driver (‘99 Audi A4, lowered), its a much gentler ride, but more firm. I’ve also found it to be great at speed bumps; completely opposite from my Audi with stiff suspension, 40-series tires, and 3” ground clearance. ;)

Body Sway - I’ve seen comments from some Sprinter owners complaining about how much the stock Sprinter would rock when entering a driveway ramp at an angle; often reduced by adding a rear sway bar. I purposely went a bit fast into the entry at Home Depot, and at an angle, and was a bit surprised. It did lean a bit, but it didn’t rock back and forth. Overall it was quite stable. I know it has a decently sized front sway bar, didn’t notice anything on the rear. And maybe this behaviour will change once the van is loaded.

Cruise Control - I like it, fairly easy to figure out. Though its not as easy to control as the D-pad style controls on the Mini Cooper’s steering wheel. One problem is the location, its right where the turn signal stalk should be, or close to it.

Turn Signals - I really like that it has the ‘temporary’ turn signals. Or whatever you want to call it. Tap the lever lightly, the lights blink for five times and turn off. So nice. Again, it was something we’re used to in the Mini, but it only blinks three times and we’ve always wished for five. Very nice feature. Problem is, as related in the CC comment, the turn signal stalk is quite a ways forward. Will get used to it, but have been a couple times I went to signal and moved the CC stalk instead.

Headlights - I like that they're up high. Not sure why, but I do. They're not the greatest at night. Better than the lights in my '99 Audi, but not as good as the lights in our '08 Mini Cooper. And the high beams don't do much to the sides, they're really only a little more straight ahead. I like that I can leave them ‘on’, and they all turn off with ignition off. And turn off right away. I don’t like the delayed headlight stuff. I’ve long driven with my headlights on during the day, its an automatic thing in other cars I drive to reach up and turn on the lights. We probably won’t be touching that switch very often in the PM, it will just stay ‘On’.

Fog Lights - I like the looks of the front end with them turned on, but that’s about it. As an actual fog light they seem rather worthless. They do a great job of lighting up the road 3’ in front of the van, which then reflects back into the cab. They do nothing for distance lighting down low at ground level, like I’m used to with fog lights. I took a quick peek at them, did not see anything on the lens to control the light beam. Its a bare bulb behind a plain lens, that’s it.

Silver front grill - Wasn’t sure how this would turn out with the silver paint. Got this because I wanted the fog lights. But, in person, it works quite well. It does a nice job of visually breaking up the big black front grill and bumpers. And the trim pieces aren’t so much as black, as a dark gray. Which I might prefer to a pure black, looks good next to the silver paint.

Forward visibility - Wow, that is one helluva windshield. Love it. Those A-pillars though, gotta get used to the size of them. Had a couple times in the first day where I had a car or pedestrian hiding behind them. Have found myself already getting used to moving my torso to the side to see around it when needed.

Side visibility - Not a problem with the standard sized mirrors. SO glad we did not get the wide mirrors. Only reason I could see for those is if you’re frequently towing a trailer that is wider than the van. The post in the drivers side windows does get in the way though. For me it blocks vision for the outside part of the main mirror. Not a problem as I can still see right down the van just fine, and see what’s behind me; then use the convex mirror to see what’s beside me. My girl sits a bit further back, and she’s commented that the window post blocks right in the middle of the side mirror.

Sliding door window - Making this a conversion, we wanted it for light and visibility, but I’ve also already found it very useful when driving, especially in parking lots. You could get by without it, using your mirrors and being lucky, but get it if you can.

Rear windows - Not the greatest visibility out the rear, but not too bad. Already used to a split window rear view from our Mini Cooper Clubman with the rear barn doors. The PM has a bigger chunk blocked in the middle, but doesn’t seem as bad as the pictures I have seen from the Transit rear windows where the middle column is quite large. Fairly soon here I plan to cover most of the left window, as it will be blocked by the bathroom in the left rear corner. Don’t need to get used to visibility and then lose it.

Seats - Definitely not meant for short-legged folks. I have a 29” inseam, with the seat adjusted all the way down front and rear my feet just comfortable touch the floor. I wouldn’t mind another ½-1” lower. I hope to gain some of that when I put in a floor mat. The passenger seat will be getting a swivel, which will raise it up. Darn good chance I’ll be getting one of the shorter seat bases from Europe. The seats themselves seem comfortable enough, haven’t done any long road trips yet. I do wish the headrest allowed a little more recline for my head, its quite upright. Might take it out and turn it around, have done that in borrowed cars a few times.

Access to the back from the front - Its decent, but not great. I like that the parking brake lever is outboard and not taking up floor space in the middle. The seats are fairly far apart. But it is the armrests that get ya. If you have both armrests up, its is now quite narrow between the seat backs. I wouldn’t give up the armrests though, I’ll learn to maneuver as needed.

Over-visor storage - Nice and handy, easy to reach into while seated. Have found it works great for hat storage; sit down, take off cap, toss it up there, grab and go when getting out.

Over-cab storage - This is the larger storage tray above the seats. It is quite large, but also harder to access, especially for us shorter folks (I’m 5’8”). Haven’t really used this yet, but can see a future for larger quick-access items. We already have a small stool for the van, will probably end up using it to access this area.

Hitch and tow package - Not even 200 miles on the van yet, so obviously I haven’t towed anything yet. But looking at it while crawling around under the van, its nice. Looks solid. The receiver is tucked up right against the ‘bumper’. Even comes with a little rubber plug for the receiver. Extra bonus that it provides both flat-four and round-seven trailer connectors. No more dealing with adapters.

Step-in height - Its not a jacked up 4x4 truck, but its not real low either. I can see that we’ll be getting some steps mounted. I like the looks of the hoop steps over running boards. Will also be looking at some hitch-mounted step for the rear.

Noise levels - Wow. This thing is quiet. I have yet to use the decibel meter app on the phone to compare it to my Audi, but its been surprising me how quiet it is. Noisiest bit so far was on the highway, concrete pavement, and rutted from studded tires. But good luck finding anything that’s quiet on that. I could hear some odd wind noise while driving in a crosswind, mostly from the back. Was wondering if it was pulling at the door seals a bit.

Back-up camera - Works nice. I like that it is high mounted. Not as likely to miss something (like a friend who backed into her partially-closed garage door because the view from the camera at license plate level was clear). Did some testing and found that it has a great view right down the back of the van. The closest it can see on the ground is only 1” away from the edge of the bumper, not too bad. Two things would make it nicer though. 1) A larger screen that does better in direct sunlight. 2) Having the guide lines bend in relation to turning the steering wheel.

Alloy wheels - Glad we got them. I like the looks over the steelies, especially with the silver paint job. I was thinking about doing some Plastidip work on them, going with a dark grey, or even something wacky like blue or purple. Changed my mind a bit though. Still thinking about Plastidip, but doing it just to darken recessed areas of the wheel, make the ‘spokes’ stand out a bit.

Intercooler - Of course I spent some time crawling under the van. Found the intercooler and was surprised that it was not larger. Its wide enough, but only 7 rows tall. I’m used to intercoolers on small turbo cars like Mitsubishi Evos or Subies, or even larger diesels like the bigger Fords, where the intercooler is often as large as the radiator. I guess its enough, though. I do like that the lower grill has a plastic diamond mesh for rock protection over the intercooler. Thinking about doing similar for the open grill up top to protect the radiator.

Fast starts - No, I haven’t floored it off the line, yet. If you want silly acceleration in a van, go get the Transit with the EcoBoost turbo engine, or so I’ve heard. ;) But the low first gear for the diesel does make for a slow start, especially when its shifting to second before you’ve crossed the intersection. I found that when I needed a quicker start (such as a left turn from a parking lot driveway) I would come to a stop, shift to manual and bump it to second. Taking off in second does not seem to be a problem, and avoids the slow 1-2 shift. Once moving I’ll tap it back over to Drive and let the little robot do its thing.

Engine noise - Middle ground on this, but that’s a good thing. Its not real quiet like some of the new BMW or VW diesels. But its also not a clackety rattling mess like the classic Cummins engines or old Ford Powerstrokes. Its quiet enough to talk to someone standing beside the van, but has enough noise to remind you that it is a diesel.

Turbo whine - I’m rather bummed that I’ve not been able to hear any yet. But then, still breaking in the engine and have yet to load it up with full boost yet on a long hill.

Gauges - It would have been nice to have a different gauge panel for the diesel. A tach with a lower number range would have been good.. If not that, at least having the redline marked for the diesel. I’m also one that likes to have more information, not less. I miss not having an oil temp gauge, used to that from the Audi. I’d also like to see a boost gauge, even though I don’t think that’s very common for factory diesels. I will probably be getting an Ultragauge to set up some of the this and other information.

Gauge panel - Maybe it because designers never do a real mock-up anymore, but I wonder about that when you get bad reflections in a very obvious place. If the sun is on my left knee, it reflects very nicely on the left half of the speedometer; end up having to move my head to the side, or shade my knee to clearly read the speedo. Nearly every car I’ve driven, aside from my old ‘71 Dodge Coronet, has had some bad reflections on the gauges at some point.

Armrests - These are nice, glad we got the six-way seats. The quick height adjustment works well, and I’ve found myself changing it a little bit just to get a slightly different position for a change. As mentioned elsewhere, they can get in the way while trying to move to the back.

Brake lights - We picked up the van early evening. I drove it a few blocks to dinner, then traded cars and followed it all the home. Was not impressed with the brake lights. Bright enough when it was dark, but not that big in size. Would have been nice to have the top of the light housing be a brake light as well. I’m thinking of swapping out for LED bulbs for all the rear lights (brake, turn, reverse, and clearance).

Front clearance lights - They definitely give the van a ‘commercial’ feel. Still getting used to seeing them there. I did find an nighttime advantage to having them: I had a couple times where I was coming up to an intersection with an oncoming car waiting in the left turn lane. They had plenty of time to turn, and usually I would have expected them to do so. Then I realized that what they saw coming was a ‘truck’, with high-mounted headlights and roof clearance lights and might have decided it was worth waiting a bit.
 

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Well Zyzzyx (great name BTW), I'm at two-weeks ownership yesterday. Am finally getting the hang of two sticks left of the steering wheel. Have finally found that comfortable seat position, much like you describe, and have yet to get goosed by the handbrake, but my knees do fear that step down getting out. I despise the seatback recline knob! Had that years ago on an '81 Toyota; hated it then too. The other day I tried lowering the PM seatback all the way just to see how far it'd go - it goes WAY down. But it took a full minute of working my wrist off to get it there and another full minute to return it. I do agree the Uconnect screen, even fully dimmed or in night mode, is a little bright for highway driving at night. So, as I did for my Magellan GPS unit, I've cut a piece of that easy-peel vinyl limo tint which I place on its face as needed; works good. One thing about the backup camera (and this is the first vehicle I've owned that had one), I really wish it had the option of turning on manually at any time. Even with rear glass and good mirrors, visibility out the back is limited. Seems it would be nice/smart to have it on all the time if wanted as supplement to the rearview mirror. Maybe I can trick the cam/Uconnect into thinking its getting backup light voltage and use as needed.

Headlights/fogs/DRLs/parklights: In the early evening, until twilight when headlights are needed, I really like using the fogs by themselves. That also turns the front and rear clearance lights and taillights on. It looks really sharp. It might be nice to have the park lights in the mix too, but apparently the only way you get park lights without the headlights on is to kill the motor, remove the key, cycle headlight switch off then on, put a boiled egg in the middle cup holder, have a signed note from Mother Teresa and wait for the third sunday of the month (alternate leap years only). I do like that an adjustable headlight delay is available when needed. And yeah, they're not real fogs. Nowdays "factory fogs" are usually little more than vanity lights. But with the PM's high-mounted headlights they do serve a purpose.

I haven't had probs with reflections in the gauge cluster, but I think the speedometer is a bit small, would be better with some mark indicating the "5" in-betweeners, and from my position the left side (where most the action is) is obscured by the steering wheel.

The hitch, btw, is a Class V. I believe most aftermarket hitches for the PM are Class III.

I think these ProMasters look great in the silver. If I'd known how much grief swapping a double seat would be, I might have waited and custom ordered one very similar to yours. With the Diesel, I guess you don't have to worry so much about which way the wind is blowing when driving the Gorge, huh. Enjoy!
 

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Zyzzyx,
You might fix your "No van in the driveway yet"
I enjoyed your comments. My dealer says just after July 1.... three weeks to deliver?
RD
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Brakes - Wow, this thing stops. And stops NOW. I haven't looked but it must have some good sized disc brakes hiding behind those 16" wheels. I'm sure that its designed to be able to stop full GCVW of 12,000#, but that makes for some great stopping when empty (~5600#).






(and RD, I see my new sig when previewing, I've started a request thread elsewhere to get it checked out)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Folding Mirrors - Inititally I was thinking this was a bit gimmicky. Who the heck needs to fold in their mirrors? Its just something to show off. Wrong. With the van being so wide, its a nice option to fold in the mirrors when using a standard parking spot. With them out, its easier for you or other folks to bump into them. Also nice that its a one-push on the button, but would be even better if it could be done without needing the key.


Side Windows - Electric, of course. Can you even get roll-down windows anymore? On anything? Nevermind, I don't really care... Anyway, nice to see that they have an auto-down feature for both windows. Took me a bit to figure it out though; press and hold for a moment to engage the auto-down. Bit of a bummer that there is not an auto-up feature though. Rather used to that from our other vehicles. Also kinda nice that they are so far off the ground; don't feel too bad leaving them open a few inches, not worried about someone just reaching in as they walk by.


Steering - Just a comment on the full-lock steering: its almost 4 turns lock-to-lock. I think most cars are 3 to 3.5 turns, so you notice the extra movement available. And be sure to use it when needed! First couple times I went to turn around I paused at where I am used to stopping with the steering wheel, then realized I had at least another half turn to go, and the van turned in even tighter!
 

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Informative thread, and right on the money with my first impressions of my own ProMaster. Particularly the location of the cruise control lever--it is almost exactly the same spot as was the turn signal lever on my previous vehicle, so the first few hundred miles I was constantly hitting the cruise lever when trying to signal a lane change. I miss having cruise control buttons on the steering wheel, would use that a lot more than the steering wheel radio volume buttons. Living in a hilly area I fiddle with the cruise a lot trying to prevent the downshift (mine is a gasser).

I *love* the powered folding mirrors. My driveway is very narrow and I had to manually fold the mirrors of my previous van (both sides, and doing the passenger side manually is a pain) And if I forgot to unfold them when starting to back up, had to stop and open windows, scoot over to reach the passenger one, etc. Now one button push and they are folded or unfolded!

All your comments regarding the UConnect screen and backup camera are spot-on. I don't have rear windows and really wish it came with a setting to turn the camera display on anytime. (that's one of my DIY projects) I "fix" the too-bright nighttime display by hitting the "display off" button.

I really like the way UConnect integrates with the phone. When listening to a CD, if a phone call comes in it automatically pauses the CD audio so I can answer the call via the UConnect handsfree bluetooth connection. Hang up and the CD resumes where it left off (this is important when the CD is an audiobook).
 

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I accepted delivery on June Eleventh too, a 2014 2500 window van...

On the turn signals: In the CD-Rom included with the vehicle manual it patiently explains 'tap the stalk up or down lightly, but not past the detent, to flash signals THREE times. The internal noise and dash pilot lamps merrily wink & dink away eight or nine times but the manual describes it as 3 exterior indicator flashes. And no I've not counted/timed exterior lamp on times ... : )

In my 2014 the turn signal 'lane change assist' so far is a PITA, either too light of touch and it strobes briefly or linger tapping stalk and it fails to automatic blink and merely blinks while stalk is twisted... or it just locks left/right. So far I'm about 1-in-8 for successfully engaging it.

Anyhow, nice write up and thanks for posting - I'll be a thread starter on my truck soon...

Edit: deleted smiley face, those are some homely graphics for sure...
 

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I accepted delivery on June Eleventh too, a 2014 2500 window van...

On the turn signals: In the CD-Rom included with the vehicle manual it patiently explains 'tap the stalk up or down lightly, but not past the detent, to flash signals THREE times. The internal noise and dash pilot lamps merrily wink & dink away eight or nine times but the manual describes it as 3 exterior indicator flashes. And no I've not counted/timed exterior lamp on times ... : )

In my 2014 the turn signal 'lane change assist' so far is a PITA, either too light of touch and it strobes briefly or linger tapping stalk and it fails to automatic blink and merely blinks while stalk is twisted... or it just locks left/right. So far I'm about 1-in-8 for successfully engaging it.

Anyhow, nice write up and thanks for posting - I'll be a thread starter on my truck soon...

Edit: deleted smiley face, those are some homely graphics for sure...
Ahhhh... The CD-Rom... Welcome to the world of FCA! Never have I seen such a poorly written document. So many mistakes like the blinkers, that you found. Just wait until you look for a fuse in there. Better luck finding the Holy Grail...

Whoever let that go to the public should get their butt kicked - hard.
 

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In my 2014 the turn signal 'lane change assist' so far is a PITA, either too light of touch and it strobes briefly or linger tapping stalk and it fails to automatic blink and merely blinks while stalk is twisted... or it just locks left/right. So far I'm about 1-in-8 for successfully engaging it.
I think the greatest learning curve with these vans is all the stuff that happens on the left side of the wheel. Takes a while. At first, I'd reach to dim the highbeams and trip the lane change deal; I'd prepare for a right turn and bump the cruise up faster; I'd try to power up the cruise only to realize I'd turned on the headlights, etc. There is some logic in how its set up, but with two stalks it does seem a bit schizophrenic. After two and a half weeks I'm not screwing it up quite as much.
 

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Brakes - Wow, this thing stops. And stops NOW. I haven't looked but it must have some good sized disc brakes hiding behind those 16" wheels. I'm sure that its designed to be able to stop full GCVW of 12,000#, but that makes for some great stopping when empty (~5600#).





When I was researching the PM had the largest brakes of the big 3. I want to be able to tow a small boat that may not have trailer brakes so that was a big plus for me.
They do work well
 

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In the early evening, until twilight when headlights are needed, I really like using the fogs by themselves. That also turns the front and rear clearance lights and taillights on. It looks really sharp. It might be nice to have the park lights in the mix too, but apparently the only way you get park lights without the headlights on is to kill the motor, remove the key, cycle headlight switch off then on, put a boiled egg in the middle cup holder, have a signed note from Mother Teresa and wait for the third sunday of the month (alternate leap years only)
Re: park lights: I just looked at my own avatar ... my bad, nevermind - no need to boil an egg or bother Mother Teresa.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Electric Windows - The work as expected going down, but they are a bit slow going up. And if you put them up with the engine off, they are even S L O W E R. I'm curious to get a voltmeter on things, but I expect it to be OK. Hoping that its something that will get better over time as motors and grease and sliding things on tracks break in a bit.


Exterior Paint Job - Well... its not white, and that's one big thing I wanted. I do really like the metallic silver, though probably would have been quite pleased with the sandstone as well. However if I was to do it again, would probably go with the sandstone, or a non-metallic color. The paint job is... splotchy. Sort of. Its not as bad as some of the early silver vans where the sliding door is obviously a different shade, but there are 'dark' areas on the right side, particularly right behind the sliding door and near the rear, more pronounce at the top. The areas show up more when looking at the van from the rear quarter, and even more so when wearing polarized sunglasses. I'll probably never stop noticing it, but probably will stop caring as much. After all, it is a generic commercial cargo van; not a show quality, collectors edition, matching numbers, limited production, super snazzy something-or-other.


Sliding door, inside handle - The lever on the inside works to open the sliding door when closed, but not to release it when fully opened. It never has, but I expect it should. Will be checking in with the dealer on that one.


Closing the sliding door - Have (yet?) not had any of the problems others have mentioned about the door not closing all the way. Its a bit of a challenge in our driveway, as its about a 10 degree upslope, gotta get that door moving uphill. But on the flats, there has been plenty of 'air escape' available to have it close fine.
 

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Its been three days with the new PM now.....I wanted to start a thread for tracking my own thoughts and things that I notice.
Good stuff, @Zyzzyx. I'll be curious to follow your experiences with yours. Mine's supposedly leaving Mexico today. Hoping to get confirmation that it made it past the border tomorrow and will be here Friday or Monday. ...especially since I'm counting on car camping in starting next Tuesday and don't know where my actual tent is so no fallback plan big fun wootwoot..

:)PP
 

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Good stuff, @Zyzzyx. I'll be curious to follow your experiences with yours. Mine's supposedly leaving Mexico today. Hoping to get confirmation that it made it past the border tomorrow and will be here Friday or Monday. ...especially since I'm counting on car camping in starting next Tuesday and don't know where my actual tent is so no fallback plan big fun wootwoot..

:)PP
How do you know where it is? My dealer is giving me NO INFORMATION and now seems to be non-comunicative if I ask. I thought Ram had a tracking for orders to our email but not to me! I emailed the seller on the day of build and was told nothing known until Monday. Monday was told it would be "a few weeks" before they saw it. Hum?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Power delivery - I only have 300 miles on it so far. Have probably been driving it too easy so far, thinking it should have been getting more cylinder pressure than its had. With engine off, I gave the throttle pedal some full strokes, to get a feel of full throttle position. Driving around tonight I gave it about 50% throttle once it warmed up. Wow, that drives much different. Really feel it pull hard in each gear, fun stuff. Shifts earlier too, not running up to 3k and waiting. Bit of a different driving for me as I'm usually quite calm and slow around town. As I get more miles on it though, I plan to do some more moderate throttle accelerations until I get up to 1000 miles. At that point I'll consider the initial break-in mostly done and drive it as normal (which will probably mean back to easy driving)
 

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How do you know where it is? My dealer is giving me NO INFORMATION and now seems to be non-comunicative if I ask.
I don't know for sure yet, but my dealer said a couple days ago that it was showing as "D1 status with an estimated ship date of June 22nd." I just wrote to ask them if it made it past customs yet. Asked about online tracking, but sounds like that'll be a dead end.
:)PP
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Cabin floor covering - I like the looks of it, but am also planning to get a full size floormat to cover it all. There's more than a few cracks, crevices, and seams for stuff to fall (or flow) into. Considering the battery is right under foot, I don't want stuff getting in there.

The access covers in the floor are a bit annoying too. At least the one in the middle for the fuel tank. Much of the floor is foam-backed and 'squishy' (which I have gotten used to. But the connectors to hold that access panel in place are quite solid, very noticeable if you step on the corner connectors instead of the foam floor right next to it. And the connectors don't need much to let go. A few times already I have caught my foot on the small access panel and pulled it out. Again, looking forward to getting a full coverage floormat.


Windshield washers - Wow, this windshield is a dirt and dust magnet. Haven't had too many bugs on it yet, but just the dust accumulation seems worse than my other cars. Finally had to clean it a bit this morning. Pulled the wiper stalk towards me and... SPRITZ, wipe, wipe, wipe. Hey... that's not too bad. SPRITZ again, and wipe. Looks like the two spray nozzles each have three distinct jets giving a good coverage on the windshield. Worked quite well at in-town speeds, will have to see how if the airflow of highway speeds affects them.


Remote keyfob - I like it. Same switchblade style as my Audi key. Gives me something to fiddle with when bored and standing around. Already used to the separate front and rear unlock buttons, though slightly annoying when you want to unlock the whole van at once. I do really like the range for the keyfob though, quite impressive. Don't recall exactly, but seems like from nearly 10 parking spots away. I've seen other cars that are nearly 100 yards range, but I don't need that. However, my old Audi only works from about 3-4 parking spots away.
 

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Windshield washers - Wow, this windshield is a dirt and dust magnet ...
Amen! And many bugs here. First things I purchased for my new PM: stepstool and a squeegee-scrubber with LONG handle.

Remote keyfob ...
Is the keyfob (or key) the only way to lock up the van when exiting? It doesn't seem there's any way to just hit an inside lock button, then close the door.
 

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Is the keyfob (or key) the only way to lock up the van when exiting? It doesn't seem there's any way to just hit an inside lock button, then close the door.
It's that or the key in the drivers door.

But haven't tried the rear lock... that might work?
 

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I finally jumped in and bought a new Promaster. My 99 Chevy Express bit the dust so that made the decision for me.
So far I am really happy.
Here are my impressions after a week of ownership:
1) Brakes make no discernible noise.
2) The transmission is fine. I live in Chicago, which is flat as a pancake, so the weird downshift that some people complain about doesn't show up. However, I drove out of state and encountered some hills and I did experience the heavy downshift. It wasn't a big deal, but noticeable.
3) The mirrors take some getting used to. I have the regular length mirror arms, which leave me with a considerable blind spot directly behind the truck. Also, they are very low (I look down to see them) compared to what I am used to. I can get used to that. I am having a back up camera installed next week.
4) Visibility (forward and side) is excellent.
5) Turning radius is AWESOME!
6) Non-tilt steering wheel is lame. I use the bottom of the wheel, as using the top too much makes my shoulders ache.
7) The seats are very upright, without much remedy for me since I have the cargo partition wall. I scoot the chair forward so I can get a little recline. Also, the standard seat has pretty much no adjustment capability.

I will update, including MPG, when I have some more time with it.
 
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