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Old 10-11-2013, 12:51 AM   #1
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Default 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

I created a comprehensive overview comparing the 5 most popular Cargo vans used in RV conversions. The new 2014 models of the Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster, Mercedes Benz Sprinter, Nissan NV and the Chevy Express are included.
Especially the Transit and ProMaster vans are substantially different from previous models and offer features not seen before.

The Cargo Van comparison can be found at*http://cargovanconversion.com/cargo-...parisons-intro

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Old 10-11-2013, 01:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

Good work

Are you still working on your van?
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Good work

Are you still working on your van?
Little actual work done during the summer months and the heat here in Florida is not cooperating either. Now ready to continue....

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Old 10-11-2013, 03:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

Very good van comparison. I'm hoping Dodge discounts their ProMaster, or else Mercedes will eat their lunch in no time flat when it comes to fleet sales. Of course, Ford is the wildcard in the bunch, because the EB V6 means less HP loss when at higher elevations. Ford also excels on fleet sales and can claim more service depos than M-B or FL, but the Sprinter has had a ten year run here in the US, and is starting to get entrenched.
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

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Originally Posted by mlts22
Very good van comparison. I'm hoping Dodge discounts their ProMaster, or else Mercedes will eat their lunch in no time flat when it comes to fleet sales. Of course, Ford is the wildcard in the bunch, because the EB V6 means less HP loss when at higher elevations. Ford also excels on fleet sales and can claim more service depos than M-B or FL, but the Sprinter has had a ten year run here in the US, and is starting to get entrenched.
True!

Besides the business aspect, I think that a lot of the model changes (the so-called European styling) are good for vandwellers and/or those who convert their cargo van into a RV. Especially the 1500 Ram ProMaster, which is taller with a lowered cargo floor, meaning more interior height. The other side of the coin is that it doesn't fit in a standard 7' garage. Time will tell how buyers react to that.
Bigger side and rear doors is another attractive change for cargo van conversion dwellers. Especially the fact that most new vans have sliding doors on the side and rear doors that open more than 180 degrees. No more doors blocking your entry.

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Old 10-11-2013, 04:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

I've mentioned this before, but there is one major selling point about the new vans that is less economic but more psychological/PR. The fuel economy. Yes, the newer Euro-style vans are more expensive, but fleets can tout the better MPG for good PR.

Plus, with how uncertain oil/gas prices are, it is a nice thing to know that 25 gallons of fuel can get you 300-500 miles of range and that bringing along a few five gallon fuel cans will actually significantly extend one's driving range (assuming 80% fuel in a can, each five gallon can could get one about 50-75 miles.)
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

When it gets to fleets, they are also going to take a close look at maintenance and repair costs. MB has some really expensive parts pricing, at least compared to other models like the Express and Econoline. If Ford and Fiat are smart, they will hold the line on parts and service pricing on the new vans, as that could give them the advantage they need to make inroads on MB.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:50 PM   #8
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The two disadvantages MB has for fleets is exactly that. Price, as well as service depot availability can be an issue on that front. Where I live, there is a M-B place that services Sprinters, and a FL place. However, compared to that, there are at least five Ford places nearby, three RAM shops, and four Chevy dealers. If I drive to Houston, I pass at least seven Ford places, and at least four Dodge dealerships.

In the past, Dodge only had "five star dealers" for Sprinters. This time around, it seems that any RAM place that sells trucks will have the ability to work on ProMasters, which is a nice selling point. I think part of this is because Fiat has been selling Ducatos in Mexico for many years, so other than the new drivetrains, it isn't that big a jump from a Ducato to a ProMaster as it would be from a Ram Van in the '90s to a T1N Sprinter.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22
The two disadvantages MB has for fleets is exactly that. Price, as well as service depot availability can be an issue on that front. Where I live, there is a M-B place that services Sprinters, and a FL place. However, compared to that, there are at least five Ford places nearby, three RAM shops, and four Chevy dealers. If I drive to Houston, I pass at least seven Ford places, and at least four Dodge dealerships.
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
In the past, Dodge only had "five star dealers" for Sprinters. This time around, it seems that any RAM place that sells trucks will have the ability to work on ProMasters, which is a nice selling point. I think part of this is because Fiat has been selling Ducatos in Mexico for many years, so other than the new drivetrains, it isn't that big a jump from a Ducato to a ProMaster as it would be from a Ram Van in the '90s to a T1N Sprinter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
When it gets to fleets, they are also going to take a close look at maintenance and repair costs. MB has some really expensive parts pricing, at least compared to other models like the Express and Econoline. If Ford and Fiat are smart, they will hold the line on parts and service pricing on the new vans, as that could give them the advantage they need to make inroads on MB.
It's also good to know for the private owner, about parts pricing and the availability of dealers.

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Old 10-15-2013, 11:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

Quote:
Originally Posted by cargovanconversion
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22
The two disadvantages MB has for fleets is exactly that. Price, as well as service depot availability can be an issue on that front. Where I live, there is a M-B place that services Sprinters, and a FL place. However, compared to that, there are at least five Ford places nearby, three RAM shops, and four Chevy dealers. If I drive to Houston, I pass at least seven Ford places, and at least four Dodge dealerships.
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
In the past, Dodge only had "five star dealers" for Sprinters. This time around, it seems that any RAM place that sells trucks will have the ability to work on ProMasters, which is a nice selling point. I think part of this is because Fiat has been selling Ducatos in Mexico for many years, so other than the new drivetrains, it isn't that big a jump from a Ducato to a ProMaster as it would be from a Ram Van in the '90s to a T1N Sprinter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
When it gets to fleets, they are also going to take a close look at maintenance and repair costs. MB has some really expensive parts pricing, at least compared to other models like the Express and Econoline. If Ford and Fiat are smart, they will hold the line on parts and service pricing on the new vans, as that could give them the advantage they need to make inroads on MB.
It's also good to know for the private owner, about parts pricing and the availability of dealers.

Van.
With closing in on 120,000 miles traveling into some of the remotest reaches in North America with two Sprinter Bs and no need for parts and service yet other than routine 10,000 mile interval servicing, I think I'll stick with proven quality.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:00 AM   #11
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
With closing in on 120,000 miles traveling into some of the remotest reaches in North America with two Sprinter Bs and no need for parts and service yet other than routine 10,000 mile interval servicing, I think I'll stick with proven quality.
And I saw a dead Sprinter (Freightliner) on a exit ramp today while running errands. Both are samples of one and useless in the real world of evaluating data or reliability.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

People are more likely to report a breakdown or expensive repair etc. on forums and groups so it is good to hear reports that all is working as expected too. I know when I Google the GM 6.5l turbo or the transmission or fuel system etc., it is a wonder that my van can be trusted to even make it out of my driveway. The reality (for me) is that it works well.

A few more production years will have to elapse before we see meaningful cargo van sales numbers. Ford might just come out on top with their new Transit van.
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Old 10-16-2013, 04:53 PM   #13
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
People are more likely to report a breakdown or expensive repair etc. on forums and groups so it is good to hear reports that all is working as expected too. I know when I Google the GM 6.5l turbo or the transmission or fuel system etc., it is a wonder that my van can be trusted to even make it out of my driveway. The reality (for me) is that it works well.

A few more production years will have to elapse before we see meaningful cargo van sales numbers. Ford might just come out on top with their new Transit van.
As Marko says, the internet is full of complaints that can really mess up the equation, and from what I have been reading lately, a large part of them may be bogus reviews and complaints by paid ringers that work for the competition. A place like this probably gets much better information and accurate statements than the general search gives you, though. I do find the RV information very interesting, though, especially with the B's. Folks seem to love their new, or new to them, B in spite of problems, minimizing the issues in the big picture. Some do seem to hit "critical mass" with the problems and go into complete hate it mode, without much of a middle ground.

It is too bad that the 3rd party information gatherers for repairs and repair costs all seem to have some bias or such (Edmunds, JD Power, even Consumer Reports), as it would be nice to get some good reliable data without all the noise in it.

It is also pretty amazing how much different examples of the same vehicle can be lemons or outstanding, regardless of overall "rating". I drove a 1992 Escort wagon for 210,000 miles over 18.5 years of Minnesota commuting, and other than maintenance items, it had less than $1000 in total repairs the whole time. It went to the junkyard, driven, after it got so rusty it was starting to buckle and the brake lines rusted off the back, or it probably would have gone another 100K. But I also know folks with the highly rated things like Lexus, that have spent a small fortune to keep them going. As they say "your results may be different".

I am sure it won't be long after the Transit and Promaster hit the street that we will start hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly, all to be taken with a grain of salt. Any conclusions we jump to now are totally speculation. As was said, the longer term sales numbers will tell a better tale, as most of these vans will be going into commercial use. If they don't cut it for the commercial guys, they will fade to oblivion, regardless of how inexpensive they are.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:33 PM   #14
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Default Re: 2014 Cargo Van Comparisons

At the end of the day, it comes down to your own personal experience. Most will drive a good car that serves them well, some have a dud. Remember that these new vans (Ram ProMaster and Ford Transit), already have a long history in Europe. Specific mechanical problems will show up, but that will take a few years to manifest.
An open question is how different the American use and road conditions are and how these vans will cope. I do wonder, why the ProMaster's rust-through warranty is so much less than the other cargo vans? Are they using thinner sheet metal?

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