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C&D Diesel Comparison Test


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Ha! I bet I got a lot more to look with the title rather than "Van Comparison test". Well, it is an unconventional test but there isn't much to read on these work horses that help suport our economy(s) more than we give them credit for. Ususally these just get one little instrumented test with one engine, usually the most powerful. Well, they brought us the diesel options for all three of the major players. They excluded the Nissan only because they don't have a diesel option.


Well, here ya go!


2015 Ford Transit 150 Power Stroke vs. 2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 BlueTec vs.2014 Ram ProMaster 1500 EcoDiesel


"We didn’t drive three full-size modern vans 430 miles just to gain admittance to the 43rd annual Van Nationals. We also drove them there (with a dorm room’s worth of furniture from IKEA) so we’d have a place to sleep away our drunkenness.


Oh, right, and also to perform a comparison test of the newest big boys. After what seemed like a century of incremental improvements to the old-school American vans, our market is now awash with new European-derived big boxes, as well as little-sibling versions. We chose three of the new plus-size van-guard: the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (now in its second generation here in the U.S.), the new-to-America Ford Transit, and a curious-looking thing called the Ram ProMaster. For the sake of intensified Euro-ness, we chose turbo-diesel engines as the exclusive power source.This choice effectively knocked Nissan’s NV2500 out of our test, since the company offers only gasoline V-6s and V-8s in its big hauler. Chevrolet has dropped its light-duty full-size Express van because it was dragging down the company’s fuel-economy average. Heavy-duty versions are still available, but the Express was deemed too out of step with the modern vans to include anyway.

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We specified windowless cargo versions of each entrant because they seemed somehow more in step with the custom vans we expected to encounter at the Nationals. Also, we weren’t running a shuttle service, and we didn’t want people looking through the windows at us as we snored. And then the Ford showed up with windows anyway. We chose low-roof models to diminish the commercial-van look (fat chance!), and no dualies or four-wheel-drive or super-extended models were allowed. The idea was to make them, as much as possible, candidates for modern van customizers. ..."



It was a weird read, imo. I was expecting more of a comparison like they do with cars and trucks. It seemed a little too broad yet it was still entertaining as there isn't much on these work horses. I also thought that 22-23mpg was pretty solid for these guys. It's basically doing truck work but not getting truck fuel economy. Also, I found it weird that the Ram had a 3.0 I4 when they have a 3.0 v6 already in house. Maybe just the displacement kind of threw me for a loop because they're both 3.0's.

Edited by ccap41
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^ Man, that Ram is attrocious to look at! I mean these are vans and 100% purpose built for work not for looks but good grief does it look bad.  It is amazing that these vans were pushing 40k (I think 35-38, as tested) and there is nothing to them. Empty, large, vans , with the optional diesel motor yet turning close to 40k. That's a lot to swollow for a smaller business, I would think.

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