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Discussion Starter #1
I took a test drive yesterday. Easy to drive. Decent handling for a big van. tight turn radius. Cockpit ergos leave something to be desired. I'm 5-10 and when I put the seat in a position that felt right for the steering wheel my legs were a little cramped.

My biggest gripe is the auto tranny. I dislike automatics, but I was hoping this would have some sort of manumatic type operation and be acceptable. It looks like it does with the -/+D shifter, but I found that when I tried to shift + it indicated that it was in a higher gear but I could tell by the RPM that it didn't shift. I like to keep it in as high of a gear as possible for the best fuell economy (no, I don't lug the engine). It wasn't just keeping me from lugging the engine, it definitely could have been shifted down a gear, but it kept me in a gear just in case I needed more power than I thought I needed.
The other thing it did that I didn't like was an automatic downshift when I was going downhill. I was coasting, in drive, downhill at a speed I liked, could have been faster, when it decided I needed more engine braking and shifted down a gear. Very annoying. It seemed like I could give it a little gas and then let off and we were happy again, but I'm not sure I could be happy long term with this tranny.
I think it's going to be tough to maximize fuel economy with this transmission. That alone might make the diesel option, or a Ford more attractive.
Is this tranny used in any other Ram trucks?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
In regards to the upshift issue, does anyone know how its supposed to work? I think it was around 2500 RPMS when it auto downshifted, bringing the revs up to about 3500 & when I tried to force an upshift it wouldn't go. Perhaps there is some rev limit that it won't go below with a requested upshift.
 

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Remember you were driving a brand new vehicle that hadn't learned it's owners' driving habits yet.
Our Jeep Wrangler was this way when we first got it, (Uses the NAG-1 Mercedes 5spd trans), and has since settled in to a more "normal" drive.
The PM 6spd auto is an upgraded version of Chrysler's minivan transmission
 

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Is this tranny used in any other Ram trucks?[/QUOTE]

Local service manager said the gas engine and transmission combination are also used in the Dodge Journey.
One more reason to go with the diesel which is used in commercial trucks in Europe.
 

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"The 62TE is a six-speed derivative of the 41TE first introduced on 2007 Chrysler Sebring models fitted with the 3.5 L EGJ V6. Applications also include the Pacifica crossover (4.0 L), the RT Platform minivans (3.8 L & 4.0 L V6; also 2.8 L Diesel for Europe), and the Dodge Journey (3.5 L).
Applications:

Found this at Wikipedia.com
 

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Unfortunately, Dodge did not elect to design a tranny specifically for PM. You get a better, newly designed 8 spd transmission in the Ram pickup at a starting price more than $4K less.
As for learning driving habits that is a feature I can live without. It's on my Mercedes ML and I hate it. Most of the time I'm stuck in slow traffic. Then when I want it to be a little aggressive it's sluggish and shifts poorly sometimes. After I take it out on the highway and flog it a little, it finally starts operating how I want. Ironically it performs about the same as after a reset from battery disconnect, so it is presumably the default setting is what I want.
 

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Unfortunately, Dodge did not elect to design a tranny specifically for PM. You get a better, newly designed 8 spd transmission in the Ram pickup at a starting price more than $4K less.

...cut....
Isn't the RAM pickup's transmission a ZF 8 HP? That one is used by many top auto manufacturers. If RAM wants a new FWD transmission for the PM they don't have to design it themselves. I'd prefer a transmission from a top transmission company. ZF recently introduced a 9 speed FWD auto that might work for a PM. If not they could probably beef up the design as needed. Chrysler is already using the 9 speed so that's a good sign that it may eventually make it to the PM.
 

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I think the 9spd ZF is the ticket for both the gas & diesel, but don't hold your breath waiting for that combination anytime soon.
In 2011 only about 250,000 full size cargo vans were sold in the US, & 45% were Fords. Meanwhile Chrysler plans to produce 500,000 Jeep Cherokee models in 2014. The numbers of vans sold for Chrysler (perhaps 50,000-75,000?) don't allow much of a budget for upgrades.
 

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I think the 9spd ZF is the ticket for both the gas & diesel, but don't hold your breath waiting for that combination anytime soon.
In 2011 only about 250,000 full size cargo vans were sold in the US, & 45% were Fords. Meanwhile Chrysler plans to produce 500,000 Jeep Cherokee models in 2014. The numbers of vans sold for Chrysler (perhaps 50,000-75,000?) don't allow much of a budget for upgrades.


Agree it's about cost. PMs are work trucks after all. But how much more can it really cost when they are already using the 9-speed FWD and AWD auto with the 3.2L smaller version of the Pentastar V6? I'm guessing it's just a matter of time unless these 9-speed start having problems.

By the way, Wikipedia list the transmission as the 948TE. I'm pretty sure the 9 is for 9-speed and the 48 for 480 Nm torque rating. That's good to know.



wikipedia said:
The Cherokee features Chrysler's 2.4L Tigershark I4 engine, which will achieve 31 MPG and a driving range of 495 miles (797 km). The engine will produce 187 PS (138 kW; 184 hp) and 232 N·m (171 lbf·ft) of torque.
Optional for the Cherokee is Chrysler's new 3.2L Pentastar V6 engine, which features FlexFuel capabilities to be able to run on ethanol. It achieves 29 MPG and produces 275 PS (202 kW; 271 hp) and 324 N·m (239 lbf·ft) of torque. The Cherokee is Chrysler's first product to feature the all-new engine.
All Cherokees feature Chrysler's new nine-speed automatic transmission, designed by ZF and manufactured by Chrysler.[5] Not only is the Cherokee the first Chrysler vehicle to feature a nine-speed transmission, it is the first sport utility vehicle to feature a nine-speed transmission. The transmission yields approximately two additional miles per gallon with the V6 engine option compared to a six speed automatic.[5]
Front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models are available, with Jeep's Selec-Terrain system being available on the latter. These are named differently depending on the markets, with the FWD being slightly less expensive.
 

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Agree it's about cost. PMs are work trucks after all. But how much more can it really cost when they are already using the 9-speed FWD and AWD auto with the 3.2L smaller version of the Pentastar V6? I'm guessing it's just a matter of time unless these 9-speed start having problems.
There is another consideration besides torque, & that is vehicle weight. A loaded PM will be significantly heavier than a loaded Cherokee. I would guess if it is in the works it will be 2+ years before it gets into a PM. It is rare for any manufacturer to make significant changes to a newly introduced vehicle before it has been out for 2 model years, & the lower the volume, the less likely it is to see changes.
 

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Cockpit ergos have me concerned as well, especially with almost everything else being just right, be it cost, cost per mile, and so on. I'm also 5' 10", and being uncomfortable in an in-town runabout is one thing, but for hundreds to thousands of miles, it doesn't sound like fun. Hopefully it is something I could get used to eventually.

The competition seems to be better in this regard. The Sprinter, I read zero complaints about ergonomics, and the new Transit is not out yet, so that is still an unknown.
 

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Agree it's about cost. PMs are work trucks after all. But how much more can it really cost when they are already using the 9-speed FWD and AWD auto with the 3.2L smaller version of the Pentastar V6? I'm guessing it's just a matter of time unless these 9-speed start having problems.

By the way, Wikipedia list the transmission as the 948TE. I'm pretty sure the 9 is for 9-speed and the 48 for 480 Nm torque rating. That's good to know.
480 NM would put it at a slightly higher rating than the current zf 8hp45 (450 nm) transmission behind the pentastar in the Rams which are also slightly more powerful

The 8 speed behind the hemi, and ecodiesel, is a 8hp70 (700 nm)
 

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Cockpit ergos have me concerned as well, especially with almost everything else being just right, be it cost, cost per mile, and so on. I'm also 5' 10", and being uncomfortable in an in-town runabout is one thing, but for hundreds to thousands of miles, it doesn't sound like fun. Hopefully it is something I could get used to eventually.

The competition seems to be better in this regard. The Sprinter, I read zero complaints about ergonomics, and the new Transit is not out yet, so that is still an unknown.
The Sprinter has an excellent driving/seating position, and the seats aren't bad either, although the seat swivel is a pain compared to the PM.
But, as far as we're concerned, the dash layout, accessory switches, HVAC setup and cupholders are a joke compared to the competition. The HVAC setup is WAY, WAY more complicated than any North American made van
 

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We're about due for a new or significantly revised Chrysler minivan (the current one has been around since MY2008). We'll probably see the 9-speed in that, which has the 3.6L Pentastar.

I agree that the higher GVWR of the ProMaster versus the minivan may be a concern, but hopefully this can be addressed with minimal investment. The drivetrain of the ProMaster is basically the same as that in the current minivan, but with a lower final-drive ratio.

Certainly ProMaster sales will be a small fraction of minivan sales, but Chrysler would do themselves a favor by squeezing every last MPG out of the ProMaster as possible, since it can really affect the total-cost-of-ownership argument that is so important in a commercial application.
 

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All these complaints about the ergos have me worried.

Has anyone gotten any response from Dodge about the issue?


All of these worries are ridiculous. A lot of folks on here constantly think things could be better. We have a promaster in our fleet that is avg almost 18 mpg, and its not even broken in yet. The driving position is similar to a cdl vehicle; if you have never driven with a cdl, or don't like the driving position, get over it and go spend a fortune more on a different vehicle. Overall, the promaster is a money maker for companies and/or "you" if your a business owner operator. For the transmission issues being discussed, we drive ours slowly 60-65mph with lots of city driving, and allow adequate time for acceleration from stops. We have had no issues of downshifting during coasting down hills. Nor do we have downshifting issuess while accending hills; with that being said, we do allow the vehicle to lose some speed while accending hills to avoid a downshift. Anyone can nick pick at things (I wanted 4 cup holders not 3). Stops lo the crying and buy one. You will not regret your purchase. This van has increased our profits so much it isn't even real at this point, not to mention, there's very little maintenance to be done on these. Unlike the ill steal all your profits in the long run sprinters. For those that are planning on using this for personal reasons...this is a commercial vehicle, and wasn't designed for you.
 

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All of these worries are ridiculous. A lot of folks on here constantly think things could be better. We have a promaster in our fleet that is avg almost 18 mpg, and its not even broken in yet. The driving position is similar to a cdl vehicle; if you have never driven with a cdl, or don't like the driving position, get over it and go spend a fortune more on a different vehicle. Overall, the promaster is a money maker for companies and/or "you" if your a business owner operator. For the transmission issues being discussed, we drive ours slowly 60-65mph with lots of city driving, and allow adequate time for acceleration from stops. We have had no issues of downshifting during coasting down hills. Nor do we have downshifting issuess while accending hills; with that being said, we do allow the vehicle to lose some speed while accending hills to avoid a downshift. Anyone can nick pick at things (I wanted 4 cup holders not 3). Stops lo the crying and buy one. You will not regret your purchase. This van has increased our profits so much it isn't even real at this point, not to mention, there's very little maintenance to be done on these. Unlike the ill steal all your profits in the long run sprinters. For those that are planning on using this for personal reasons...this is a commercial vehicle, and wasn't designed for you.
Had a test drive a while back and I was happy.I put a down payment on one.
If Ram had to add this and add that and so on, put a 9 speed ,then later a
15 speed it does not end. Some people you can not satisfy.
But I disagree about the van not being designed for us the driver(air condition,low floor height,power windows) Also I feel people are afraid of
something new(change).
Sure they can do all the wants but then the cost will be at the sprinter level. What were all of you driving before this showed up? Was every thing
perfect? There is no such thing as perfect.
It take a bold move for Ram to bring this here, and good for them!
 

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All of these worries are ridiculous. A lot of folks on here constantly think things could be better. We have a promaster in our fleet that is avg almost 18 mpg, and its not even broken in yet. The driving position is similar to a cdl vehicle; if you have never driven with a cdl, or don't like the driving position, get over it and go spend a fortune more on a different vehicle.
With respect sir, it is not ridiculous to expect when driving a vehicle that is for business & personal use, that it be comfortable! I am happy to hear of your good experience with the PM, but are you driving this vehicle daily to work, & while working, & home, & to the grocery store? From your posts it sounds like your employees use the van for their work, quite a different experience from those of us with a bit more skin in the game.
Thank you for relating your experience, MPG, driving style etc. it is informative. Please keep in mind not all potential PM buyers have the same expectations for their vehicle, that doesn't make them unreasonable.
 

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With respect sir, it is not ridiculous to expect when driving a vehicle that is for business & personal use, that it be comfortable! I am happy to hear of your good experience with the PM, but are you driving this vehicle daily to work, & while working, & home, & to the grocery store? From your posts it sounds like your employees use the van for their work, quite a different experience from those of us with a bit more skin in the game.
Thank you for relating your experience, MPG, driving style etc. it is informative. Please keep in mind not all potential PM buyers have the same expectations for their vehicle, that doesn't make them unreasonable.

I work right alongside my employees, and I have spent Appx 80-90hrs in our pm in the past 7 days. When speaking it was designed for commercial use, I was referring to low floor etc. it doesn't feel like a luxury vehicle on the inside, however, I believe it is very comfortable. It's just absurd some of these posts from some members on this forum.

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Let's see some useful information such as mpg from other users etc. diesel info up fit info...come on something useful. This whole site is turning into a whining fest. Ill tell your everything about the pm you need to know: excellent gas mileage, cab is comfortable for a cargo van, transmission is excellent so far, motor has more than enough power, easy to get in and out of the cargo area.
 
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