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I'm in northern Europe on biz this week (Belgium, France, Germany) and I've driven about 1000 KMs in the past 4 days. Lots of time to take inventory of the vans on the road. Some observations

- Ducato is WIDE. Seeing one drive next to the previous version of the sprinter (the 2000's one) it is stunning to see the width and "vertical" walls difference.

- Ducato is LOW. The tall roof is mighty close in height to a current sprinter low roof. No exactly mind you, but it is surprising to see them next to each other.

- Informal survey - Ducato (+ Citroen + Peugeot - they are the same) EVERYWHERE. This is how I would rank how often I saw the various models. So for example, I saw 10 "Promasters" for every 1 VW transport van.

Ducato - 10
Sprinter - 6
Renault - 3
Iveco - 3
Transit - 2
VW - 1
 

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The Ducato is supposed to be incredibly popular so I am not that surprised. I also would hope that the Ducato being popular is a sign that the vehicle is great. I certainly am hoping that its popularity overseas means that it is a good value vehicle.
 

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Fiat Ducato specs show mid-roof vans (our high roof) at just over 99 inches. That brings them closer in height to low-roof Sprinters.

I saw my first ProMaster on the street today and the rear end looked high, almost like it was jacked up (was just probably empty). That extra suspension lift, along with possible larger tires of the PM probably account for the height difference between Ducato and PM. Pictures of the Ducato appear more level to me.

For what it's worth, the high roof van looked wide and stable coming at me. By comparison older Sprinters look tall and very narrow, like they can be rolled over easily (referring only to visual proportions).
 

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Air suspension would be awesome. I'd love the front of mine to be level with the rear. And also to be able to lower the van when parked and unloading, now that would definately be worth it.
 

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I think they rise up the rear suspension to charge the front of the vehicle for best towing capacity and traction.
The Ducato rear suspensions work with the springs at low loads and with the rubber elements at high loads.
Maybe the Promaster has bigger leafs and smaller rubber elements...
Air suspensions:
 

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Side view in park mode (concept air suspension) Again very low step in height. You can not do this to a Sprinter or a Transit because of the
differential (Rear axle).
The amount a vehicle can lower (or kneel) should be limited by suspension travel. While Sprinters and Transits are higher in the first place due to differential solid axle, the amount they could drop should be similar. I'd expect the rear axle will hit bump stops after 4 or 5 inches. Maybe a little less.

Many RWD buses with air suspension kneel for passenger boarding so it seems very doable for Sprinters and Transits also. Granted that since the PM starts out 5 or 6 inches lower it should have an advantage when kneeling also.
 

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Ducato roof height is 99" PM 101 because of the beefy leaf springs they
put in there.
Floor height -2" Ducato 19" PM 21"
Front wheel drive allows a drop axle (trailer type axle)
I see with out the leafs in there 8" until total bottomed out (metal to metal).
Safely drop 6" in park mode on a air bag and rubber stopper.
19 - 6 = 13" step in height. 13 inch step in height Wow!

Of course if you try and drive like this you are going to break something.
They have programs on the controllers that see the height at which is
set on the controllers.
So no matter what weight you put in it ,it will always be at the set height.
 

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Yeah, the PM has to be significantly wider. How else would vans just under 21 feet long have essentially the same cargo volume of one just over 24 feet long?

The shorter cab due to FWD accounts for a little of the difference in volume, but most of it is in "average" width.
 

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Ducato roof height is 99" PM 101 because of the beefy leaf springs they
put in there.
Floor height -2" Ducato 19" PM 21"
Front wheel drive allows a drop axle (trailer type axle)
I see with out the leafs in there 8" until total bottomed out (metal to metal).
Safely drop 6" in park mode on a air bag and rubber stopper.
19 - 6 = 13" step in height. 13 inch step in height Wow!

Of course if you try and drive like this you are going to break something.
They have programs on the controllers that see the height at which is
set on the controllers.
So no matter what weight you put in it ,it will always be at the set height.
It'd be great if with air suspension they could get the high-roof PM to kneel low enough to go through 8-foot garage door, which is closer to 94 inches open. Don't think it would quite make it though.
 

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It'd be great if with air suspension they could get the high-roof PM to kneel low enough to go through 8-foot garage door, which is closer to 94 inches open. Don't think it would quite make it though.
If it does fit, then one day you forget to lower your van, That would be
a bad day LOL! Ouch!
 
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