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Discussion Starter #1
Don't get me wrong, I really, really like the new Promaster and I wish to buy one, but there are some things that need improving, modification or changing. In some cases, Chrysler could not 'leave well enough alone' from the original FIAT Ducato. None of these are major, but some are annoying, but not annoying enough to pay a $10k premium for a Mercedes Sprinter.



Hopefully Chrysler monitors these forums and as the Promaster goes into 2015 model year, it will address some of these issues. In that light, I hope that this thread should be viewed as a repository for constructive criticism.


First up, are the cup holders. Cup holders in that location make a lot of sense, but if you look at the whole interior relative to the Ducato it doesn't seem well thought out.


Here's the original Ducato interior, the center console has a recessed storage bin:




and here is the RAM Promaster with the drink holders on the lower center console:



It looks to me that the cupholders, while logically located, practically eliminate legroom for the middle passenger when the three seat option is selected. This is poor design.


Second, the press releases

http://media.chrysler.com/newsrelease.do?&id=13836&mid=1
states that the Promaster will have a total of 8 (eight) cupholders(!) - apparently two cupholders in . Are 8 cupholders necessary for a van that will usually carry 1-2 people?


I think it would be great if RAM were to offer at cost, an option to delete the cupholder and retain the Ducato style storage bin in its place. Perhaps 3 seat Promasters will include this as standard, I don't know...


My second critique, is the lighting.
The original Ducato does not have indicator lights on the roof:



and here is the PM:



I am wondering if there is a law that requires these indicator lights in the USA, as I don't think they add anything to the design and probably reduces the fuel economy incrementally. Perhaps RAM thought they needed to make the van look more 'commercial', I don't know.


A related concern is that living in the Pacific NW, we have about 4-5 months of persistant rain here, and if the tacked lights don't have perfect gasket sealing, then water infiltration and roof rusting would be a huge problem. I will have to inspect one at a dealer to find out about that.


Another concern is that there is no manual transmission offering with the 3.0L diesel, just the automated manual.
There have already been some complaints about the automated transmission and supposedly they will be addressed, but again the Ducato in Europe has the manual option, I don't know why USA doesn't get the same.


For starters, a full manual is simpler, and secondly, it will cost less to produce.
I can appreciate that commercial fleets want automatics, but how about the independent contractors and owner/operators? Do they think we can't manage a manual gearbox?


Last concern, is that relative to the Sprinter rusting issue, RAM has stated that the corrosion control is improved. What the heck does that mean? Is the entire body and frame now galvanized?


As I said, these are minor criticisms, hopefully RAM picks up on these issues, I think it is a great design.


kw
 

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I wouldn't say the indicators decrease fuel economy at anything thats measurable.

The interior photo of the Promaster isnt working.
 

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Don't get me wrong, I really, really like the new
My second critique, is the lighting.
The original Ducato does not have indicator lights on the roof:


I am wondering if there is a law that requires these indicator lights in the USA,
kw
Yes, it is a law in the US. The light requirement kicks in when a vehicle width exceeds X amount. I forgot the width. I used to work in automotive engineering.
 

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You have to move the engine forward and redesign the van for better cup holders.

The width is the same as the Ducato but with the added wheel moldings (one inch each).

There are pros and cons on this new to us design, Take the Nissan as the engine is
forward and plenty of room for cup holders,but there cargo and floor height does not
even come close to the Promaster. The Promaster is bus like, the Nissan is truck like.
 

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Thats a good place to have the cup holders, i think they could have also did something with the door panels, it would be even better to have cup holders in the door panels like how a lot of new cars are.
 

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they wont want to bring another manual option in because honestly it probably won't sell. noone knows how to drive manual nowadays. the take rate on manual cars is very low,
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think the Promaster has TWO cupholders in each door panel, down low. That's a total of 8 cupholders...

Thats a good place to have the cup holders, i think they could have also did something with the door panels, it would be even better to have cup holders in the door panels like how a lot of new cars are.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I realize the take rate on something like this would be probably about 5%, BUT they manufacture the FIAT Ducato for Mexico in the same factory (Saltillo), and the ONLY option is a 5 spd manual. You would think it would be an option, at least. Chrysler estimates that the take rate on the 3.0 diesel is only 15%.

This is an example of conventional wisdom, you can only sell an auto van in the US, while the rest of the world does fine with manual gearboxes.

they wont want to bring another manual option in because honestly it probably won't sell. noone knows how to drive manual nowadays. the take rate on manual cars is very low,
 
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keithwwalker
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