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Discussion Starter #1
I built a spreadsheet to calculate how long it will take to break even on the additional cost of the diesel option.


Here in my town, reg. gas is currently 3.72, diesel is 4.05

Diesel option = 4000 + 8% tax, financed 60 months @ 3.5% = $4715 extra cost

Def useage calc'd at 1.5% of fuel @ $7 / gal


I used a hypothetical rate of 20 mpg avg. for the gas motor

So what we have here is a Gas vs. diesel + DEF + Extra option cost per mileage travelled comparison

Using this criteria I found that the diesel would have to average 29.92 mpg to break even @ 100000 miles

If the diesel averages 25 mpg, the break even mileage figure moves all the way out to 240000 miles.

gas vs diesel maintenance costs were not included in these calc's

I was a bit surprised.
It certainly makes a case for the gas motor
 

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it definitely makes sense to go for the gas model, buying the diesel model will make more sense when buying it used because the amount you can negotiate off might bring it down to the price of used gasoline models.
 

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And most likely the diesel model will last the longest. From what I have noticed Diesel vehicles usually stick around with first owners for most of its life span since the mileage is great. But even without a good negotiation would it be smart to just go with the diesel?
 

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If you carry light weight then its ok, If you load both the gas and diesel down with
heavy cargo the diesel will come out on top as far as fuel economy is.
The gas engine has to rev high rpms to get in its torque range (4000) the diesel is 1400 rpm. Now the numbers will change in fuel cost.
 

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I have read that the Ducato 3.0l diesel gets 28 imperial mpg, which is around 25mpg USA equivalent.

I think in practice since a Chrysler Town and Country van gets a combined 20mpg, and the Ram commercial van gets 21mpg (empty) you may only get 17-18mpg with a v-6 Promaster.

How does that change the numbers?
 

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I ran your numbers with slightly different mpg (as noted in my previous post), and am getting a result which says that the potential buyer needs to be careful and run a sensitivity analysis before concluding on a powerplant.

Say I run 100,000 miles with both gas and diesel variants
Gas: 100,000mi. @18mpg = 5555gal fuel @ $3.72/gal = $20,666

Diesel: 100,000mi. @25mpg = 4000gal fuel @ $4.05/gal = $16,200
+Diesel Exhaust Fluid = 1.5% of 4000gal = 60 gal @$7/gal = $420
Total Diesel fuel cost = $16,620

Fuel Savings per $100,000 mi = $4046

Mileage to break even is then ~116,500 mi.
A one to two year payoff is not too onerous in my opinion.

Other factors that people across the country must adjust for is fuel cost differences, def cost (I see $6/gal or less), and sales tax (I live in a state with no sales tax); these all influence the break even point.

But these are minor factors, the major factor on break even cost will be mpg stats on the pentastar and diesel variants, when will they be released?
 

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For me as a personal not everyday vehicle the pentastar is more economical.

I am sure for commercial use such as delivery vehicle where there would be a high mileage per year the pay back on the diesel would be worth it.

When I bought a Ram 2500 back in '95 going with the V10 over the Cummins was better for me since I used it just for occasional hauling/towing and inclement weather.
 

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I think even 18mpg is optimistic for the gasoline. It weighs a half a ton more than a minivan and bucks alot more wind. 16 would be my guess.

Mileage isn't the only consideration. From the looks of the interior there will not be a removable cover like current full-sized designs. I seriously dislike transverse V engines, especially overhead cam, for access to the rear cylinder bank and for general engine bay clutter. And the Pentastar scares me. Exhaust manifolds cast into the heads, fragile spark plug tubes, and all kinds of high tech tricks to add refinement and power. I'm not anti-technlogy but I don't want an engine with 2 cylinder heads that could cost $1500 each to replace. I may not have much experience with diesels but these new gasoline engines seem like they could be more difficult and costly to maintain in the long run than a diesel. Long-term parts availability will probably favor the diesel as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think vehicles in this class are required to post official mpg stats. I've only seen anecdotal mpg figures on Sprinters, from forums and independent review articles.

I've found some good info on European websites with mileage figures for Fiat Ducatos, Ford Transits, and Sprinters, but these are with different powertrains than what we will have here, with the exception of the 3.0L V6 Sprinter. They can be a bit confusing as they are using imperial gallons or L/100km figures.

When I started researching this new crop of vans, I thought getting a diesel would be a no-brainer and a gas motor wasn't even on my radar. But after reading about all the complaints and utter disgust associated with the complex emissions control systems that the diesels are burdened with these days has made me reconsider. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the Sprinter Forums these days. Apparently they are pretty temperamental and bloody expensive to fix. Everybody over there has a few "limp mode" stories to share.

I'll need to see some real world data before I can make an informed decision on the G vs. D issue.

We're living in interesting times . . .
 

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... after reading about all the complaints and utter disgust associated with the complex emissions control systems that the diesels are burdened with these days has made me reconsider. ...
Yea, they both scare me. I thought gas would be a no-brainer until I read more on the Pentastar. Swap the Sprinter powertrain for the simpler, all-aluminum 5.3 GM and six-speed auto that's in my dad's Silverado, and I'd be way more interested. He gets the 21 mpg highway claimed and it would probably shave about $6000 off the price of the van. In the transverse engine Promaster I'd like to see a less complex, inline 6 laid over at 45 degrees with the transmission along side and under the engine. That was the layout in my old SAABs and it was a tidy and serviceable package.
 

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I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think vehicles in this class are required to post official mpg stats. I've only seen anecdotal mpg figures on Sprinters, from forums and independent review articles.

I've found some good info on European websites with mileage figures for Fiat Ducatos, Ford Transits, and Sprinters, but these are with different powertrains than what we will have here, with the exception of the 3.0L V6 Sprinter. They can be a bit confusing as they are using imperial gallons or L/100km figures.

When I started researching this new crop of vans, I thought getting a diesel would be a no-brainer and a gas motor wasn't even on my radar. But after reading about all the complaints and utter disgust associated with the complex emissions control systems that the diesels are burdened with these days has made me reconsider. There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth on the Sprinter Forums these days. Apparently they are pretty temperamental and bloody expensive to fix. Everybody over there has a few "limp mode" stories to share.

I'll need to see some real world data before I can make an informed decision on the G vs. D issue.

We're living in interesting times . . .
agreed. real life mileage is going to be more help in deciding.
 

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Yea, they both scare me. I thought gas would be a no-brainer until I read more on the Pentastar. Swap the Sprinter powertrain for the simpler, all-aluminum 5.3 GM and six-speed auto that's in my dad's Silverado, and I'd be way more interested. He gets the 21 mpg highway claimed and it would probably shave about $6000 off the price of the van. In the transverse engine Promaster I'd like to see a less complex, inline 6 laid over at 45 degrees with the transmission along side and under the engine. That was the layout in my old SAABs and it was a tidy and serviceable package.
There's nothing wrong with the Pentastar. There was a mexican factory making some defective castings. It is a very efficient and durable motor engineered from the start to stand up to truck duty.

More importantly, when considering which engine, figure out how the van will be used. The manual transmission will be more efficient in stop and go driving, and when working hard.

The lower initial cost savings will be to your advantage if you don't drive that many miles, and those will be highway miles.

I would not even CONSIDER the gas engine for stop and go, commute or in-city driving for delivery. Or, for heavily loaded and / or towing operation.

Steady state fuel economy on flat ground is NOT the only consideration. Automatics consume lots of fuel in stop and go driving and towing / mountains and tend to have shortened lives in those situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think both engines will get the engine stop/start feature that will eliminate the bulk of engine idling.

Now this is a concept I don't have a lot of faith in.

I know they're doing it in Europe. There must be a way to switch that function off and on.

In my normal driving area, there are lots of intersections where you have to turn on to busy highways with 60 mph traffic, from a dead stop. I'll be danged if I attempt that without the motor running already.

It would be hard on the equipment in lengthy stop and go traffic jams too.

It has worked ok on a few golf carts that I've driven. :D
 

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The mpg rating will likely change a lot while driving based on how much stuff you have in the back of the Promaster. many of us will increase the weight of the vehicle significantly because we are transporting a lot of cargo. This fluctuating weight will make the true mpg rating hard to find.
 

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When they give us MPG ratings its usually with no load.

There are lots of factors for mileage realistically. It can only give you a general idea.
 

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The mpg rating will likely change a lot while driving based on how much stuff you have in the back of the Promaster. many of us will increase the weight of the vehicle significantly because we are transporting a lot of cargo. This fluctuating weight will make the true mpg rating hard to find.
yeah i think what we're going to see here is people mentioning the approx weight of the cargo along with all the other things that factor into the MPG number they got.

Reallly looking forward to real world numbers
 

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TTAC tested a FIAT Ducato 3.0 in the Bay Area, still don't know how they got, but with load testing going over mountain passes they got very positive mpg figures, please note that he was relying on the Ducato's trip computer to compute the mpg (buy I believe it is accurate):

Over 850 miles the Ducato averaged 29.6 imperial MPG which translates to 24.6 US MPG. Keep in mind the Ducato had 3,300lbs of cargo in the back and the van climbed from sea-level to 2,200 feet every trip. These are impressive numbers. Based on local gasoline and diesel prices of 3.99 and 4.10 per gallon respectively, the pay back time for the diesel’s expected $4,000 premium would be just over 2 years at 20,000 miles a year. That’s without factoring in the increased reliability of a diesel engine, longer transmission fluid lifetime in the robotic unit and lengthy engine oil replacement cycles.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/review-2013-fiat-ducato-cargo-van-video/
 
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