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Discussion Starter #1
I had the rare opportunity yesterday to take a ProMaster diesel 2500, Cargo Van, Long (159") WB high roof, 236" OAL for a lengthy spin courtesy of my neighbor whom is a senior engineer working on finalizing that very truck for production. I first seen this vehicle about a month ago in his driveway and was very intrigued by the shape and size. I have been in the market for a replacement of the ever so small 2500 express that I own. The diesel/auto manual is quite impressive. The first gear winds up quick but I have to say the overall speed was impressive but there was no load either. The ride was incredibly smooth and at 80mph it had not even began to labor the engine. The inside was crazy big and now I can't get one soon enough to replace the knee killer express I drive. The cab is very forward and that may take some getting used to for some coming from a van. The turning radius could not be better on a big van like this. I managed to turn 180 over 3.5 parking spaces between my drivers door. The diesels will not be available until march 2014. My neighbor claims there should be no problem getting 25mpg out of it with the 1500lbs of weight I would carry (mostly tools and none too heavy) My express under the drive I take every day yields about 14mpg at it best. I can't say enough good about this truck so far. I will be taking another trip soon. I can't wait to order my own.
 

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Thanks miked for the update I wonder why the diesel is going to be so late?
How does that manual auto work? Guess I have to wait until March for the diesel.
But I will pre order soon. This will be my first new vehicle ever (I am 49 years old)
always bought slightly used. Currently have Ford diesel E350 cube van for the past
12 years(got my moneys worth out of it and some). I am starting to like the ProMaster
more and more.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks miked for the update I wonder why the diesel is going to be so late?
How does that manual auto work? Guess I have to wait until March for the diesel.
But I will pre order soon. This will be my first new vehicle ever (I am 49 years old)
always bought slightly used. Currently have Ford diesel E350 cube van for the past
12 years(got my moneys worth out of it and some). I am starting to like the ProMaster
more and more.
I have also bought used but the last few years of growth and conservative operation has paid off.
The manual-auto works just like a stick but no clutch or shifting required. The truck has a parking brake and the shifter has "D" drive, "N" neutral, "R" reverse and "M" manual. I didn't try the manual shifting for some reason, maybe because I was so thrilled with everything else. I was really surprised at how fast this truck took off and I never floored it once. Like I said the first gear winds up quick then there is the pause of the clutch and then second kicks in. I think that it may accelerate a bit slower in first to second compared to the express but that is still up in the air. Merging on the freeway was absolutely no problem. Overall I think that it would kick my 4.8 gasoline express in the pants for a 0-60 race, loaded or not.

The engineer said that RAM is planning on an option of a sealed, window or a sliding door bulkhead to minimize sound, that is great news for me as I work in Detroit and my commercial insurance wants everything short of shotgun protecting the interior contents. Funny thing is that this truck was very quiet as is.
I asked him about getting additional rust protection and he said RAM paid plenty of attention to the rust problems that the sprinter had and learned from it. I looked in the wheel wells and it had some type of coating under the whole truck.
My Express sucks a lot more today than it did a few days ago and spring is going to feel a long way off. I hate climbing in and out of that van, i'm 6'-0" and #230 so crouching or kneeling to get tooling out sucks.
 

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I have also bought used but the last few years of growth and conservative operation has paid off.
The manual-auto works just like a stick but no clutch or shifting required. The truck has a parking brake and the shifter has "D" drive, "N" neutral, "R" reverse and "M" manual. I didn't try the manual shifting for some reason, maybe because I was so thrilled with everything else. I was really surprised at how fast this truck took off and I never floored it once. Like I said the first gear winds up quick then there is the pause of the clutch and then second kicks in. I think that it may accelerate a bit slower in first to second compared to the express but that is still up in the air. Merging on the freeway was absolutely no problem. Overall I think that it would kick my 4.8 gasoline express in the pants for a 0-60 race, loaded or not.

The engineer said that RAM is planning on an option of a sealed, window or a sliding door bulkhead to minimize sound, that is great news for me as I work in Detroit and my commercial insurance wants everything short of shotgun protecting the interior contents. Funny thing is that this truck was very quiet as is.
I asked him about getting additional rust protection and he said RAM paid plenty of attention to the rust problems that the sprinter had and learned from it. I looked in the wheel wells and it had some type of coating under the whole truck.
My Express sucks a lot more today than it did a few days ago and spring is going to feel a long way off. I hate climbing in and out of that van, i'm 6'-0" and #230 so crouching or kneeling to get tooling out sucks.
On new vehicles coming out these days you don't need to worry about rust prevention, most have in the area's where it's needed as you've seen/heard.

probably years down the road you might want to get it done.
 

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Hey miked did you get to go for another test drive yet?
I can not believe it that this will fit in my garage (the high roof one).
9' door and 10' ceilings.
A friend of mine has a new Sprinter and no way will it fit. It sure makes a difference
in a front wheel drive, same cargo height but overall lower to the ground.

I am thinking if you had a big load in the both of them including the Ford Transit, how
much better it will handle than the Transit or the Sprinter,less sway in a corner.
The heavy load is a lot lower to the ground. Not that we drive like madmen but in
a panic turn (someone running out between two park cars or something like that).

Also I love the looks of these (Promaster):)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No I haven't gone for another spin but I will let you know when I do. I'm going to build a 900SF garage to house this baby with a 9' door and 14' lid. I have been wanting to build an "accessory building" for a long time. Where I live they eased up on the garage rule so I don't have to count the attached garage SF to build. Just a few years ago I would have had to go in front of the zoning board and they always start the request for variance with the word "NO" and work from there. I think I am going to get this fitted out with a Sortimo interior. Composite and aluminum should be nice. What I gather from the brochure it should be a done at the factory interior.

Hey miked did you get to go for another test drive yet?
I can not believe it that this will fit in my garage (the high roof one).
9' door and 10' ceilings.
A friend of mine has a new Sprinter and no way will it fit. It sure makes a difference
in a front wheel drive, same cargo height but overall lower to the ground.

I am thinking if you had a big load in the both of them including the Ford Transit, how
much better it will handle than the Transit or the Sprinter,less sway in a corner.
The heavy load is a lot lower to the ground. Not that we drive like madmen but in
a panic turn (someone running out between two park cars or something like that).

Also I love the looks of these (Promaster):)
 

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Mike I know what you mean by crawling around on your knees. I use to have a gmc savana and express for my electrical contracting biz and it sucked. I own a 04 sprinter now and love it except when it breaks down lol. I took a 136" high roof for a test drive and it was awesome. Seems way faster than my sprinter. Even tho my sprinter is a regular roof 140" wb the 136" pm had 2 ft more cargo length than mine. I really wanna get one and can't decide if I wanna wait for the diesel or just get the gasser. Mpg is my biggest concern with the gasser but if you took the maintenance and fuel cost in a diesel into consideration against a gasser I think it would be pretty close to the same. Gas right now is $3.25 and $3.99 for diesel in michigan right now. I've owned a lot of diesel trucks and the maintenance is high on them. For example oil changes are triple the price.
I also never bought brand new and I hate doing that. If We can wait till the diesel comes out I'm sure we could save a few grand or more on the ones out right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I hear you about the maintenance cost but for me I believe that the diesel will be the better way to go. I drive about 90-100 miles each day and about 85% are highway. PM is supposed to get about 18K between oil changes so that is a plus. I am not sure about the mileage in the V-6 but my buddy tells me 25 MPG should be no problem for the diesel. I look at it this way and maybe I am flawed. The express gets about 15MPG on the best day so if I get 25 that is 66% better range/gallon. If the cost of diesel is about 15% higher/gallon (usually 15-18%+) then maybe I will average about 50% more range per dollar or SAVE 50% on fuel. If I take my monthly fuel bill of $700 and half that it will put $350 on my payment so if I get a payment of $550/month then it is only costing me $200/month EXTRA for a vehicle replacement. To have a vehicle that I can stand up in this is very much worth the extra cost. Maybe my math is off a little but not by much.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I made a spreadsheet with fields that you can enter for; gas cost, diesel cost, MPG for both, yearly miles driven and diesel upgrade cost and it calculates; year to pay back diesel upgrade cost, cost MPG, yearly cost for both. Send an email to [email protected] and I will send it to you. It is an excel format and the yellow fields are your inputs. My calculations on the prior comment are off as for savings with this sheet, not a rosy as it sounded but not bad at all either.
 

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I made a spreadsheet with fields that you can enter for; gas cost, diesel cost, MPG for both, yearly miles driven and diesel upgrade cost and it calculates; year to pay back diesel upgrade cost, cost MPG, yearly cost for both. Send an email to [email protected] and I will send it to you. It is an excel format and the yellow fields are your inputs. My calculations on the prior comment are off as for savings with this sheet, not a rosy as it sounded but not bad at all either.
Yes, as you found out using MPG to compare fuel economy can be misleading. Assuming same fuel cost per gallon, increasing MPG by 50 percent as in the example you listed in your prior comment only results in 33% reduction in fuel used. Assuming more expensive diesel fuel makes it even less attractive. That's why I prefer the European way of measuring fuel consumption in liters per 100 kilometers. We could use gallons per 100 miles if using US units. It's similar to the way fuel consumption in most industrial engines is measured; whether airplanes, boats, or ships. It's also commonly measured and reported in gallons per hour.

By the way, in my opinion the comparison should be incremental if trying to decide whether the diesel is worth the premium. First I'd compare the gas PM to the existing vehicle, and if that makes sense, then I'd compare the diesel PM to the gas PM. Only if the gas PM did not look attractive against the existing vehicle would I then compare the more expensive diesel directly to the existing vehicle.
 
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