Current Sprinter & it's Competition...

Sprinter SS

Member
I recently went to the Houston International auto show and I was able to check out various vans in one spot. I had not had a chance to look at the newly released Ram Promaster but as curious as I was I was not super impressed. The build quality was so so but the design is majorly less robust than a Sprinter. In the cargo area I saw wiring harnesses not fastened down, low quality plastic details and paint that barely covered the metal and was sprayed over gritty dirty surface.

Most amazing was the engine compartment. Wow, that is a tough to access engine. The one they had there had the 3.8 liter gasser motor and looking under the front the oil pan is just hanging down, maybe only 5 to 6 inches from the ground. The motor hangs so low in the engine room.

They had a new transit connect there which is a real upgrade from current connect but not really a direct competitor for a Sprinter. Ford guy said late fall on full size transit.

Then when I went out to my 12 model van to drive home it felt so solid, interior quality and engine so smooth. For now I think the Sprinter is still king of the hill in my view.
 
I checked out a ProMaster at a Cape Cod Dodge dealer; not impressed, for much the same reason as Sprinter SS. Plus, I've never been a fan of front wheel drive; the c-v joints (f.w. drive equivalent of a u-joint in a r.w. drive) don't hold up nearly as well as u-joints, and cost a lot more to buy and to install. If they're that much trouble in a car, I have my doubts about them in a truck. Also, I never cared for the way the f.w.d. cars I've driven have handled. Then again, I'm 62 y.o.-guess I'm old-fashioned, and used to r.w.d. I'm confidently-and eagerly-awaiting delivery of my Sprinter!
 
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speaking of front wheel drive...this Sprinter has been absolutely phenomenal in the snow! Not sure if the added 2000+ lbs makes a great difference in my case, but the traction and control on snow covered roads makes me a bit cocky
 

tphilly

New member
The Ram Promaster is just a re-badged Citroen Relay with a bigger engine than it's European counterpart. Here in the Uk, you can only get them with a 2.2 diesel engine. If they have used citroen build quality then it's one to stay away from.
 

Uncle Dave

2013 3500
yep... still trying to figure out how to shoehorn in the f150 & mustang parts.. and get them to work together properly. :bash:

Taking the existing engine and drivetrain from the wildly popular and highly formidable F150 Ecoboost and mounting to a van chassis is not a tall feat nor a new idea.

Tune the suspension for the load - throw in a couple of components switches that work elsewhere and you are in bushiness.

The dually diesel comes up now in the configurator. I though MB would hold that edge for at least another year.

UD
 
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PaulDavis

Member
The Ram Promaster is just a re-badged Citroen Relay with a bigger engine than it's European counterpart. Here in the Uk, you can only get them with a 2.2 diesel engine. If they have used citroen build quality then it's one to stay away from.
The story in the US is that it is a Fiat Ducato with a new front "nose". No idea which one is correct.
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
Taking the existing engine and drivetrain from the wildly popular and highly formidable F150 Ecoboost and mounting to a van chassis is not a tall feat nor a new idea.

Are we not talking ford?? Detroit/Michigan labour pool?

Tune the suspension for the load - throw in a couple of components switches that work elsewhere and you are in bushiness.

I prefer 'trimmed' meself.

The dually diesel comes up now in the configurator. I though MB would hold that edge for at least another year.

Are we not still talking 'ghosts' here?

UD
...other than the above, you are correct sir.
 

Uncle Dave

2013 3500
...other than the above, you are correct sir.
Yeah we are talking Ford, but in the case of the F150 drivetrain- the squirrel found its nut blind or not. That package redefines 1/2 ton payload an performance with mileage.

Trimmed/ Tuned- ok..

Ghost on the config- That really depends if that config is available in europe if it is Id say its no ghost.

I know the diesel "2500" transit equivalent is both available and a good truck, I have clients that have them and they like them.

Im on Team Benz with my own wallet but I respect this competitor as formidable and no joke.

UD
 

6cyclone6

Member
It will be a good adversary for the Sprinter, however by the major player(s) moving to the euro type van I think it will highlight the legitimacy of the Sprinter for those who dismiss it based of it being so different from typical American offerings. The price point for the Transit will slim the gap between the Ford and the Sprinter as well. The Dodge (fiat) is doing fairly well in Europe, but there will be resistance due to the fwd, and how just plain ugly it is. The price point on it is lower then the Sprinter, but it is closer than an Econoline or Express. I have seen them both (transit preproduction) and Promaster in person. There is a reason they are less expensive.
 

OrioN

2008 2500 170" EXT
It will be a good adversary for the Sprinter, however by the major player(s) moving to the euro type van I think it will highlight the legitimacy of the Sprinter for those who dismiss it based of it being so different from typical American offerings. The price point for the Transit will slim the gap between the Ford and the Sprinter as well. The Dodge (fiat) is doing fairly well in Europe, but there will be resistance due to the fwd, and how just plain ugly it is. The price point on it is lower then the Sprinter, but it is closer than an Econoline or Express. I have seen them both (transit preproduction) and Promaster in person. There is a reason they are less expensive.
Currently, I believe Dodge is pushing Sprinter sales... just last week and end of December, two of my buddies, both contractors and with near 10 year old Savana & econoline respectively, purchased 2014 Sprinters after viewing and road testing the rammaster. Sadly, one was so thrilled with the MB, he forgot to negotiate :bash:. And, bought a low roof too. :shifty:
 

Boxster1971

2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
The Ford Transit delay could be caused by need for some redesign to meet US safety/crash standards. That was the cause for some delay on the US sale of new BMW i3 electric.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Since the news has stories about Ford hiring 1000 new workers to produce the Transit, one would expect that they will show up at dealers before late summer. I doubt Ford would hire folks to stand around. Will they know what they are doing, would be a better question.
 

boardster

New member
The Ford Transit delay could be caused by need for some redesign to meet US safety/crash standards. That was the cause for some delay on the US sale of new BMW i3 electric.
Yeah but this Transit is supposed to have been designed from the beginning as a world vehicle including U.S. That stuff would have been designed right in at the start.
 

pgr

New member
The Ford Transit delay could be caused by need for some redesign to meet US safety/crash standards. That was the cause for some delay on the US sale of new BMW i3 electric.
I doubt that very much. More likely simply problems getting up to speed!
 

flman

Well-known member
...other than the above, you are correct sir.
Yeah we are talking Ford, but in the case of the F150 drivetrain- the squirrel found its nut blind or not. That package redefines 1/2 ton payload an performance with mileage.

Trimmed/ Tuned- ok..

Ghost on the config- That really depends if that config is available in europe if it is Id say its no ghost.

I know the diesel "2500" transit equivalent is both available and a good truck, I have clients that have them and they like them.

Im on Team Benz with my own wallet but I respect this competitor as formidable and no joke.

UD
The Ford Econoline has proven it self as a great van, and the Ford F150s have been proven for over 50 years. Sounds to me like Ford is in no rush to push a flop out the door, they want to get it right so that I may some day be the happy owner of a torquey Ecoboost gas engine powered van. :thumbup:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jnE9eN7Vi4
 
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bobojay

New member
They are building Transit pre-production "bodies in white" right now as we speak. This is a very, very complicated vehicle to get up & running, and after the new Escape recalls fiasco, I'm sure they want to get it right.
Most of you don't have any idea how hard it's going to be getting this van going with all the build options, new tooling, new paint shop, and 700+ new employees, and most of all, the new suppliers that had to build new facilities around the Kansas City area with the same, just getting up to speed issues.
Once the Transit is up and running I think it will be a very tough competitor to the Sprinter. I know the interior shots I've seen show a very up to date, quality, modern looking interior.

I'm speaking here from 34+ years of experience with GM in production at 5 different facilities.

By the way, "bodies in white" is a term used for vehicles that are built strictly for dimensional and parts fitment verification. They won't ever see the light of private ownership and get scrapped after all the checks & tests are made
 

boardster

New member
O.K., so they're doing this right. But realistically, to take delivery of one that has been built with whatever mods it took to get past the initial recall issues that we have to assume will happen given the complexity of this new van we're looking at maybe Jan 2016?
I'm getting too old for that......
 

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