Another Transit vs Promaster post

I wrote this on a YT video comment:

They are both good very good vans. Comes down to personal preference / needs for the most part.

Transit PRO:
* more engine choices
* more roof height choices (the medium roof is 6′ inside, an overlooked option for average and shorter folks)
* more popular = more peer knowledge, US aftermarket support, more used Transits for sale
* mechanical limited-slip differential option due to RWD
* better towing due to RWD

Transit CON:
* backup camera in the door so you can’t see if you are backing up with the doors open
* relatively short wheelbase for vehicle length
* least ground clearance of any fullsize cargo van
* costs more

Promaster PRO:
* very wide. 4″ wider at the bottom and more like 6″ at the top since it doesn’t narrow significantly up top.
* more cargo volume at every length
* better traction due to FWD
* lower cargo area due to FWD. This gives 10″ more headspace for a given roof height
* commodity engine and trans (3.6l pentastar, 62TE trans) easily sourceable
* .9″ more ground clearance than Transit
* better turning radius for each wheelbase
* costs less to buy and operate: my TCO calculations show the Transit costing 6.7% more over 5 years (including purchase, fuel for base engines, maintenance, insurance, etc)
* dominates European RV market = European aftermarket support (but can be expensive to import)

Promaster CON:
* only one gas engine option
* FWD, if you don’t like that
* some folks don’t like the bus-like driving ergos
* rebadged FIAT Ducato, if you base your buying decisions on memories of the 1970s

I bought the 159″ high roof Promaster and absolutely LOVE it.

Total Cost of Ownership: Eurovans

I did some crunching on the NADA site and here is the breakdown for TCO over 5 years.


So the cheapest total cost over the first 5 years would be the NV, with the Promaster in a close 2nd place.    Most expensive is the Ford Transit.

With just running costs (not including purchase) the Promaster is least expensive, with the Transit in second place.  The Chevy Express has the highest expenses, which I found surprising.  And that’s not even counting the $1000s it would take to install a high top.

There are also varying amounts of play between MSRP and Invoice prices, so you may be able to haggle a bit more with the Transit and Express.

Promaster 159″ high Ford Transit 148″ high NV2500 v6 high Chevy Express
MSRP $33,190.00 $36,665.00 $29,790.00 $31,415.00
Invoice $31,787.00 $33,824.00 $28,547.00 $29,216.00
4.23% 7.75% 4.17% 7.00%

I also ran the top chart with invoice prices and it didn’t change any rankings:

costs $49,712.00 $51,793.00 $52,769.00 $55,547.00
costs + purchase $81,499.00 $85,617.00 $81,316.00 $84,763.00

The gap between the Promaster and NV2500 decreased, as did the gap between the Transit and the Express.

The Sprinter is not compared here because I could only find diesel Sprinter numbers to compare.  In both cost and cost + purchase ratings it was the most expensive, but that may be partially or completely a function of the diesel option.


finally comparing Transit and Promaster

After striking out recently I had two excellent dealer visits today.

First stop – SouthWest Auto mall Ford in Greenville, Tx

SW Auto mall is a Buick/Ford/GMC dealer but of course all I cared about was the Ford area. I was met by Cole, a friendly millennial with an easy manner.  He didn’t have any high roof Transits in stock (no surprise, I haven’t seen one anywhere yet) but he did have several MR.   Continue reading “finally comparing Transit and Promaster”