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Best work van?12/21
Trading a conventional Ford van for a Mercedes Sprinter van 2500 (standard length) was one of the best decisions I've made, and I'm ready to upgrade from my 2004 to a vehicle with more life left. I also want the option of converting it to a camper van after 3-4 years (or if I hit the lottery sooner). I just test drove a newer Mercedes 2500 long body and am leaning in that direction, as the extra room will be great for both work needs and conversion scenario. Of course Ford is now fully into this category with the Transit, and Ram Pro is the only front-wheel drive version. Any good or bad experiences with these latter two?
Had a Sprinter for over 6 years. Now I currently have the Dodge Ram Van.
I really like the Dodge compared to the Sprinter. The walls are definitely straighter so there is more room at the top of the truck. It has a convenient storage area over top of the seating area. Store things up there that I don't use often but need to have.
The gas mileage is not as good. My Sprinter was the older model style and got about 20 mpg. What I heard about the new Sprinters is that they get about 15 mpg. My Dodge gets 14.9 mpg over the last year. With the lower cost of gasoline versus diesel, I am ahead cost wise in the game. The front wheel drive part doesn't really affect me one way or the other.
Both vehicles have the tall top, so that is what I am comparing each other on the room at the top. Really like the straight sides as I load items up the top of the van sometimes.
Thanks Puzzleman, I love the 20 mpg on the 5 cylinder diesel of my 2004, but Mercedes stopped that engine in 2007 and went to the 6 cylinder turbo. I'd take a 2006 if it was pristine, as this 5 cylinder engine can go forever--mine has 227k. There must be some benefit on ice and snow with the front wheel drive, no? Tony
I live in Michigan and I know an Engineer who works for Fiat/Chrysler and he told me that if I was looking for a new work van, I could probably get a good deal on a 2018 model if I found one on a new car lot. The Dodge vans have made design changes for the 2019 and he felt dealers would want to move these 2018 models off their lots.
I do own a 2012 Dodge CV van and I bought it new in 2013 and it has been a good van. A much smaller van than what you are looking for, but it works for us for smaller deliveries.
Tony, I had a 2005 and put over 325,000 miles on it.
The price difference between the MB and Promaster was also a big part of the equation. I couldn't see the the big difference for the extra money wanted by MB.
Have had my Promaster for 18 months and I am pleased with it.
The Ford Transits are definitely worth a look. One of the stupidest moves Ford made was taking so long to bring the Euro van to the US. They've been making Ford Transit vans since the the 1960's. Read the Wiki page.
I've been to many European countries, NZ, & AU. The Transits have been everywhere for decades except North America.
All of the other vans look the same. Fiat, Renault, VW.
I'm in the market for a van. Currently we use my personal pickup and a 18' enclosed trailer for everything. It is a pain on the days when you don't need to haul much, (one cabinet, or just a handful of tools but too much to fit in the cab), and the weather sucks.
A small cube van makes zero sense for us, too big for the small stuff, not big enough to handle big deliveries.
A 22' box truck would be sweet for deliveries, but way too big for the oddballs. Plus DOT hassles. You can fly under the radar with a pickup for the most part, tough to do in a box truck.
I think we're going to go with a one ton Ford Transit. Mostly because I like the way it looks, and I trust Ford more than Fiat. I have a Fiat pickup, purchased because I trust a Cummins over any other brand, and Fiat is the only manufacturer you can get a regular transmission anymore.
One of my contractors has a half dozen Promasters. The guys really like the low floors, but complain about them not doing well in snow. But all vans are terrible in snow.
The Ford Econoline was loved by the mechanical trades, but it's a crappy fit for cabinetmakers.
Mercedes vans were super popular around here, but I think the numbers have fallen off a lot since the other models have been introduced.
Currently drive an ford e350, been researching vans for awhile now. Kind of a hobby of mine. lol. Here is the feel I get from all my research.
Ford-Kind of the jack of all trades. Big cubic ft, can tow, good fuel mileage, Can configure it a ton of ways, reliability is decent.
Mercedes-The best in class cubic ft, limited towing, reliability is decent. Servicing is an issue. Closest dealer to me is over an hour away. This and towing capacity eliminated it for me.
Dodge-Can turn on a dime, lowest loading height, front wheel drive. Reliability is questionable. Do not even consider the diesel. The transmission is awful.
Nissan-Problably the most reliable by default. It is built old school style, on a truck frame. Big v8 for power. Only comes in one length and gas mileage will be the worst of them all. These two were a deal breaker for me.
Chevy-old school truck frame with no high roof. A deal breaker for probably all of us. Bad fuel mileage except for diesel.
IMO, these vehicles are insanely over priced. The ford I want stickers for $46,000. If you compare that to a $46,000 truck its no comparison. The trucks are so much nicer. But if you tow a trailer, you get 10 miles a gallon while the van can get 18 mpg cruising at 70. If they made a truck that gets 18 mpg while towing, I would get that in a heartbeat. But it doesn't exist.
Just looked at all 3 pretty much side by Sid at KBIS show. The dodge cargo are was very nice, I have a hard time with h how ugly that thing is.