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Discussion Starter #1


How do you think the new Transit will fair against the competition?

Sprinter, Promaster, Transit, NV
 

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This is just my opinion, so take it for what it is worth (likely nothing):

Sprinter: Dealer network too sparse to be taken seriously by fleets, although the Freightliner people do try their best. You also pay Mercedes prices when things break. This will end up becoming more of a boutique chassis for top end motorhomes running northwards of $150,000.

ProMaster: Likely going to be competition for fleets because it is well established in Europe. Not as good as a Transit, but it is inexpensive, has a low cost per mile, and is durable.

NV: Wildcard. I'm sure some people will buy it just because they don't like buying domestic cars.

Transit: Probably the best all-round option, unless someone needs the 24 feet of the long Sprinter (again, RV upfitters.) Best fleet sales in the industry. Very good support/dealer network. Low cost per mile.

Funny thing is, with the haze of options, discounts (Fiat Chrysler Automotive is offering a $5000 credit at an upfitter), and other shell games, right now, there is no clear winner by price. A diesel Transit is very close to a Sprinter in MSRP.

For me, it depends on the RV upfitter. If nobody bothers to upfit Transits, that will not be a good thing. In Europe, there are a lot of Ducato motorhomes (their edition of the ProMaster), but upfitted RV Transits are relatively few and far between.
 

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Wait, I don't even know what the NV is. What company makes that?

I am looking into the Promaster as well but it seems to be getting mixed reviews. I just know that it is so popular in Europe that I figure it must be good.
 

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Wait, I don't even know what the NV is. What company makes that?
It's Nissan's foray into the commercial / full-size passenger van business. They spun up in 2011/2012.

They also have an NV200 that runs up against the Ford Transit Connect.

More at Nissan Commercial Vehicles: Utility & Cargo Vans, Pickup Trucks, Fleet Vehicles

I'm actually looking at a passenger van for my family of eight; and it's down to the NV and the Ford Transit Wagon. The 2013 NV Passenger that I test drove a month ago drives much better than the Ford E-350 extended I previously drove; smaller turn radius, handles more like a truck than a cargo van. At this point I'm waiting to test drive a Transit Wagon before I pull the trigger on a purchase.
 

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My opinion, also worth nothing is as follows.

Promaster-Has unique & useful features not found in other vans, will build a following & take market share from other competing vans.

Sprinter-Have driven the 2014 4cyl 7spd & am impressed however, diesel only powertrain, cost, dealer sparsity, & expensive repairs. I see their market share dropping with PM & Transit offering similar large vans with potentially lower operating costs.

GM-I am a current owner of an Express, it's a good reliable van but needs updating. GM has the ability to compete with Ford but have seen nothing about future large cargo van plans. Perhaps they plan to capture the folks who want large v8 RWD vans? I see them also losing market share to Transit & PM.

Nissan-Not a serious competitor to Transit & PM. Why have a van with a pickup front end? Vans are boxes on wheels, attaching a van body to a pickup front end is inefficient, & wastes packaging space.

Transit-Potentially a good design, lots of versions, will at least hold the market share of the Econoline (45%) could get a larger share if it proves reliable & durable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i'd say the promaster is too new to know how durable it is

and the same would go for the transit.
 

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Nissan has a big edge over it's competition. Nearly everywhere I go I see a Nissan NV which surprises me a lot, NISSAN of all car makers.
 

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Nissan-Not a serious competitor to Transit & PM. Why have a van with a pickup front end? Vans are boxes on wheels, attaching a van body to a pickup front end is inefficient, & wastes packaging space.
One might make the same argument for every non-van out there. Why not stuff the engine of every vehicle back into the passenger compartment and make it a small "van?"

One clear reason is ease of maintenance -- one can actually access the engine & stuff without dropping it out of the van. In addition, the long front end significantly improves driver/pass comfort from the increased legroom due to engine not encroaching into the cabin. Having driven an E-350 for a couple years, my relatively short wife (5'1") said she hated the sense of dangling from the driver's seat or cramped legroom in passenger seat -- and loved driving the NV because it was so much more comfortable to drive and sit in.

What's more, our E-350 was an extended body passenger wagon, and it was painful to drive -- like steering a boat. The NV we test drove, despite being just as long, was simply easier to drive and didn't feel as difficult to maneuver. I look forward to comparing the Transit Wagon to the NV; though again, I suspect the "van" feel of the Transit may prove a disadvantage to the NV in my own buying decision this spring/summer. I'm not trying to be an apologist for the NV, but I do think their design isn't inherently a bad design. Of course, my opinions are worth as much as you're paying for them as well. :)

Love it or hate it, Nissan has definitely chosen to distinguish themselves as a "different kind of van."

Nissan has a big edge over it's competition. Nearly everywhere I go I see a Nissan NV which surprises me a lot, NISSAN of all car makers.
That actually surprises me. I've only seen a few on the road and their sales numbers were only 10% of Ford's E-series in 2013.



But I think it's great if Nissan can actually increase their sales numbers, serious competition will only give the various automakers more motivation to pay attention and continually improve this segment.
 

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One might make the same argument for every non-van out there. Why not stuff the engine of every vehicle back into the passenger compartment and make it a small "van?"

One clear reason is ease of maintenance -- one can actually access the engine & stuff without dropping it out of the van. In addition, the long front end significantly improves driver/pass comfort from the increased legroom due to engine not encroaching into

My point about vans being boxes on wheels & the NV not being an efficient box is evident if you look at the dimensions of the NV 2500 low roof & compare it to the Transit low roof shortest version. The NV is 240" long & 83.9"high with a cargo capacity of 234 cu/ft. The Transit is 220" long, 83.5" high with cargo capacity of 248 cu/ft. Transit is 20" shorter, same height, & has 14 cu/ft more capacity, a better box on wheels IMO.
As to engine access, how many van owners are needing the extra space to wrench on their vehicles? I have done basic maintenance on my Express with a tight engine compartment, oil changes, greasing front suspension, air filters. I suspect most owners are having a professional mechanic handle repairs beyond the basics?
Have you sat in a 2014 Sprinter? I am 6'4" & the legroom for me is vast, good design of the driving position with plenty of legroom is possible without having the long hood of the NV.
Not every vehicle needs to be packaged like a cargo van, but having driven them for 25+ years, with little compromise of comfort, I see no reason not to drive the most space efficient box on wheels.
 

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My point about vans being boxes on wheels & the NV not being an efficient box is evident if you look at the dimensions of the NV 2500 low roof & compare it to the Transit low roof shortest version. The NV is 240" long & 83.9"high with a cargo capacity of 234 cu/ft. The Transit is 220" long, 83.5" high with cargo capacity of 248 cu/ft. Transit is 20" shorter, same height, & has 14 cu/ft more capacity, a better box on wheels IMO.
You raise a valid point; but the tradeoff here may be that the NV drives like a truck instead of a van; and some would consider that an advantage. Sure, if you're talking about most capacity per inch of overall length, the NV is an obvious loser. But there are NV owners who moved away from Ford/Chevy/Sprinter precisely because the engine wasn't directly under them, cramping the passenger space. One former Sprinter owner also complained about the loud engine noise in the van vs. the NV. I have no personal experience there, so... :|

As to engine access, how many van owners are needing the extra space to wrench on their vehicles? I have done basic maintenance on my Express with a tight engine compartment, oil changes, greasing front suspension, air filters. I suspect most owners are having a professional mechanic handle repairs beyond the basics?
Fair enough and probably true.

Have you sat in a 2014 Sprinter? I am 6'4" & the legroom for me is vast, good design of the driving position with plenty of legroom is possible without having the long hood of the NV.
Not every vehicle needs to be packaged like a cargo van, but having driven them for 25+ years, with little compromise of comfort, I see no reason not to drive the most space efficient box on wheels.
Again, I'll grant your point, though the E-series legroom on the front passenger seat was pathetic, the left leg basically had to swerve to the right. For a cargo van with one driver, no biggie; but for a long road trip with the family, no fun.

For us, the NV was more pleasant (in test driving) than the E-350 (which we owned for 2 years 'til it was totaled in Dec), both driving and passenger-ing. The Sprinter is more expensive to purchase and maintain; so it's not a candidate. However, the Transit Wagon is very much something we want to see and compare with the NV before making our next "big van" purchase; and I'd love for it to be a much better experience than the NV and go for it! :) I've got no particular affinity for the NV, just trying to suggest that it's not necessarily a non-starter out the gate. I wouldn't be here if I didn't think there's room for multiple options! :)

Thanks for the food for thought, by the way, it's really helpful!
 

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For us, the NV was more pleasant (in test driving) than the E-350 (which we owned for 2 years 'til it was totaled in Dec), both driving and passenger-ing. The Sprinter is more expensive to purchase and maintain; so it's not a candidate. However, the Transit Wagon is very much something we want to see and compare with the NV before making our next "big van" purchase; and I'd love for it to be a much better experience than the NV and go for it! :) I've got no particular affinity for the NV, just trying to suggest that it's not necessarily a non-starter out the gate. I wouldn't be here if I didn't think there's room for multiple options! :)

Thanks for the food for thought, by the way, it's really helpful![/QUOTE]

Sounds like we are looking at vans for somewhat different uses. My next van will be my only vehicle. It will be for personal as well as business use. Having driven for business an extended Express cargo I have grown tired of the 54' turning circle & 244" length. I have determined that I don't need all of that space & it is a liability when maneuvering in crowded parking lots & in congested areas, the reason I like the packaging of "short hood" vans. I will be looking at the low roof Transit models as they both have considerably shorter turning circles than my Express.
I drive 99.5% of the time alone so I don't pay much attention to the passenger space, I can see where it is important if it is used more frequently as you do.
The ride/driving characteristics of vans has not been an issue for me. I occasionally drive a 7 hour round trip in my Express without fatigue, it tracks arrow straight after 10 years & 100,000 miles with original front suspension components.
Good luck in your search for a big van!
 

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Having driven for business an extended Express cargo I have grown tired of the 54' turning circle & 244" length. I have determined that I don't need all of that space & it is a liability when maneuvering in crowded parking lots & in congested areas, the reason I like the packaging of "short hood" vans.
Ouch, 54'. That's ridiculous.

Did I mention the surprisingly nice 45.2' turning circle of the NV? Being able to make a U-turn in a residential street wowed me and negated my concerns about the length of the vehicle (which I'm used to). My Ford had a 48.6' turning circle. Those 3 feet made a difference! The base (regular wheelbase) Transit is listed on edmunds.com as having a 39.2' radius; though I suspect I'd get the extended wheelbase which is likely bigger...

I drive 99.5% of the time alone so I don't pay much attention to the passenger space, I can see where it is important if it is used more frequently as you do.
Yup. I'm told a large majority of customers of the NV Passenger version have been large families like mine. :)

Good luck in your search for a big van!
Thanks, you too!
 

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Ouch, 54'. That's ridiculous.

Did I mention the surprisingly nice 45.2' turning circle of the NV? Being able to make a U-turn in a residential street wowed me and negated my concerns about the length of the vehicle (which I'm used to). My Ford had a 48.6' turning circle. Those 3 feet made a difference! The base (regular wheelbase) Transit is listed on edmunds.com as having a 39.2' radius; though I suspect I'd get the extended wheelbase which is likely bigger...



Yup. I'm told a large majority of customers of the NV Passenger version have been large families like mine. :)



Thanks, you too!
According to the specs posted on this site the long wheelbase Transit has a 43.7' turning circle. Lots of 3 point turns with my 54' extended Express!
 

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I've driven both the Transit and now the Promaster, just last Saturday.

I did find the Transit to have my left arm in my normally comfy driving position and the pedals more car like.

I liked the Promaster would fit in the garage AND I can stand upright in it plus drive it through a car wash.

It's really nice to finally have choices as a full sized van buyer!
 

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Former Sprinter and NV owner. Now have 250 ext diesel Transit. Sprinter was good van except for lack of dealers. Nissan NV very comftorable to drive. cargo area to short (9ft.10 in.) V8 globs of power but sucked up gas,best 13.5 mpg. Only 500 miles on transit,hope for the best
 

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so whats your MPG on your diesel transit:)


At 500 miles, I hope he's just getting ready to undertake his first fill up.


Epps
 

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Former Sprinter and NV owner. Now have 250 ext diesel Transit. Sprinter was good van except for lack of dealers. Nissan NV very comftorable to drive. cargo area to short (9ft.10 in.) V8 globs of power but sucked up gas,best 13.5 mpg. Only 500 miles on transit,hope for the best
Keep us posted. I am really interested in your vs Sprinter experiences and opinions as you build up the miles and time....
 

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