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Found 22 results

  1. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the EQV Concept at the Geneva International Auto Show today. The concept features a 100 kWh battery that enables the van to travel up to 249 miles (400 km) on a single charge. Rapid charging functionality enables 62 miles of range in just 15 minutes. The concept utilizes a front drivetrain with 201 hp electric motor. The motor, transmission, cooling system and power electronics come together in a compact integral unit. The battery is placed under the load floor and takes up no room in the passenger compartment. While this is a concept, Mercedes says that a production version of this van will come to market. No word yet on when that will be, though the word "soon" was used. Related: Geneva 2019: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC gets a refresh Mercedes Benz Introduces the New AMG GLE 53 Curtains for the Mercedes-Benz SLC View full article
  2. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the EQV Concept at the Geneva International Auto Show today. The concept features a 100 kWh battery that enables the van to travel up to 249 miles (400 km) on a single charge. Rapid charging functionality enables 62 miles of range in just 15 minutes. The concept utilizes a front drivetrain with 201 hp electric motor. The motor, transmission, cooling system and power electronics come together in a compact integral unit. The battery is placed under the load floor and takes up no room in the passenger compartment. While this is a concept, Mercedes says that a production version of this van will come to market. No word yet on when that will be, though the word "soon" was used. Related: Geneva 2019: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC gets a refresh Mercedes Benz Introduces the New AMG GLE 53 Curtains for the Mercedes-Benz SLC
  3. Ford released their new 2020 Ford Transit yesterday at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. While it has been updated alll over, the biggest changes are mechanical. The biggest news is around the new all-wheel drive system. Ford designed the Transit's AWD to not raise the load floor or seat height, making the AWD model as easy as the RWD model for entry, exit, and loading. The AWD system can send 100% of the torque to the front wheels when needed in low traction situations. All-wheel drive will only be available on gasoline engine equipped Transits. Under the short hood is a choice of an all-new gasoline V6 which replaces the 3.7 liter, an all new 2.0 liter bi-turbo 4-cylinder diesel which replaces the 3.2 diesel, and a carryover 3.5 liter Ecoboost gasoline V6, now with start/stop. Both of the gasoline engines can be ordered with heavy duty alternators to help run add-on equipment. No matter which engine is chosen, power is shifted through a 10-speed automatic. All new 2020 Transits get standard driver-assist features like automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane-keeping system, and auto high-beam headlamps. Passenger XLT versions are equipped with those features plus Ford's Co-Pilot360 which includes blind-spot information system, cross-traffic alert, and side and rear sensing system. The 2020 Ford Transit will hit dealers Fall of 2019. Ford Press Release on Page 2 A MOM, A HIKER AND A DELIVERYMAN WALK INTO A SHOWROOM; EACH DRIVES OUT IN A NEW 2020 FORD TRANSIT New features for best-selling Ford Transit family include available all-wheel drive for improved traction; 2020 Transit also sees two all-new engines and new 10-speed automatic transmission New driver-assist features – including standard Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and available Ford Co-Pilot360™ technologies – help improve on-road confidence, uptime and productivity for customers Standard FordPass Connect™ modem with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and connectivity for up to 10 devices helps drivers stay in touch with their vehicle, business and customers INDIANAPOLIS, March 5, 2019 – Proving once again that the best never rest, Ford – America’s van leader for 40 years – improves its best-selling Transit family with smart new technology, advanced driver-assist features and enhanced capability for a wide range of customers whether they use their vans to carry kids, seek out adventures or deliver cargo. “When we introduced Transit five years ago, it immediately became America’s go-to full-size van for fleets, small businesses and large families,” said Mark Buzzell, Ford director, fleet, lease and remarketing operations. “We listened to our commercial and family customers and updated Transit with useful amenities like standard Wi-Fi so kids or crew can stay connected, and helpful driver-assist features like available adaptive cruise control to take the stress out of traffic.” Upgrades include an available all-wheel-drive system, all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue® bi-turbo I4 diesel, all-new 3.5-liter PFDi V6 gasoline engine with port fuel and direct injection and new 10-speed automatic transmission, plus new interiors and seating options. The 2020 Ford Transit offers the most vehicle configurations in its class to help customers specify just the right van for any job. In addition to cargo van, passenger van, chassis cab and cutaway, a new crew van joins the lineup. It can carry five people in two rows of seating with side curtain airbags. Tailored for owners who need to move larger crews plus gear to a job site, the crew van is an enhancement to the 2020 Ford Transit family based on customer feedback. A more capable Transit Because work doesn’t stop when the weather gets bad, Transit offers an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that’s always on to provide enhanced traction on icy, snowy or muddy roads. “We integrated Transit’s new all-wheel-drive system into the vehicle design early on to ensure it does not raise the load floor or seat height, making this van configuration as easy to enter and exit as the standard rear-wheel-drive model,” said Ray Eyles, Ford Transit chief program engineer. “This is a significant benefit for commercial drivers who are in and out of their vehicles dozens of times a day, as well as for shuttle bus passengers and families.” In normal mode, this all-wheel-drive system continuously monitors and optimizes torque output with the capability of sending up to 100 percent of available torque to the front wheels to help prevent slipping on loose surfaces. Using the vehicle’s selectable drive modes, the driver can engage mud and ruts or slippery modes at any speed to help increase the all-wheel-drive system’s capability for traveling in challenging conditions. All-wheel drive is available with gasoline powertrains. With 2020 Transit chassis cab and cutaway models, customers can also carry more, as the maximum GVWR increases from 10,360 pounds to 11,000 pounds. New and improved powertrains are designed to meet a wide range of customer needs including advances in fuel efficiency. The all-new 3.5-liter PFDi V6 is the new standard gasoline engine. It features port fuel and direct injection for improved efficiency versus the outgoing 3.7-liter engine. An available all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue® bi-turbo I4 diesel engine is more fuel-efficient and offers more power and torque than the outgoing 3.2-liter diesel engine. It is equipped with Auto Start-Stop and is quieter than its predecessor. Customers can also choose the proven 3.5-liter EcoBoost® gas engine, which now includes Auto Start-Stop Technology, as well. Both gas engines can be ordered with dual 250-amp alternators to provide a robust power supply for upfit equipment. All engines are paired with Ford’s proven 10-speed automatic transmission, which offers a wide span of gear ratios, off-the-line performance and low engine speeds while highway cruising – all designed to contribute to improved fuel efficiency for model year 2020. Nicely equipped, Transit is easy to drive Ford adds new driver-assist features to an already well-equipped van to create the smartest Transit ever. These features can decrease the likelihood of an accident and improve uptime. New driver-assist features standard on every 2020 Transit cargo van, crew van, passenger van, cutaway and chassis cab include Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and Pedestrian Detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, Lane-Keeping System and auto high-beam headlamps. Transit passenger van XLT is equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360™, which includes the features listed above plus Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage and cross-traffic alert. A new side sensing system joins the existing reverse sensing system as standard on XLT. Available enhanced active park assist can simplify maneuvering into parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spots. With the touch of a button, it provides prompts to the driver to manage gear selection, accelerator and braking, while Transit automatically steers itself into place. Enhanced active park assist includes park-out assist, which automatically steers the van out of a space while the driver controls the gear shifter, accelerator and brakes, making for less stress. Other new driver-assist features available include adaptive cruise control, front and rear split-view camera and adjustable speed limiting device. Smart and connected Transit is incredibly useful and fun The ability to stay in touch comes standard with the new Transit with an embedded FordPass Connect™ modem with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and connectivity for up to 10 devices – fun for families and incredibly useful for commercial customers who use their van as mobile office or workshop. USB outlets in every row of the passenger van can even mitigate family squabbles. Fleets can further enhance efficiency by choosing available new Ford Telematics™ and Ford Data Services™, which put an array of tools at the disposal of fleet managers. Fleet managers can optimize their business with easy-to-use features like detailed live map GPS tracking with order-to-delivery status, geofencing with alerts and key performance indicators. Fuel waste reporting helps identify ways to save costs, while Ford Telematics suggests coaching opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce waste and reveal concerns like seatbelt use or speed compliance. Managers can receive proactive maintenance notifications and vehicle health alerts, enabling them to schedule service, plan ahead and maximize uptime. Other technology updates include a center stack that can be optioned two different ways – either with a standard 4-inch full-color multifunction display or 8-inch slim-line touch screen display, each with the latest in SYNC® 3 plus Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay™ compatibility. A 4.2-inch productivity screen in the cluster provides vehicle information and phone call status. AppLink for SYNC allows customers to control select apps on the touch screen without plugging in their Android or iOS device. Form follows function Exterior updates for Transit are subtle but functionally driven. A new power sliding door is available for cargo van and passenger van to make getting loaded up as well as exiting the vehicle easier. Premium high-intensity discharge headlamps with signature LED surround are available. Three grilles will adorn different models in van, chassis cab and cutaway configurations – a three-bar design with black or chrome bars and an open mesh design for maximum cooling. Vans equipped with the powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine get a larger grille for maximum cooling. Transit has a new interior with a modern dashboard and features designed to improve comfort and practicality, such as durable new fabrics on the seating surfaces, plus myriad cupholders and compartments for storing gear and gadgets. Grab handles are improved, vents are updated to better direct heated and cooled air, and overall ergonomics are enhanced to make using everything a bit easier. Optional swivel front seats are available for the first time in response to recreational vehicle customer requests. The upgraded 2020 Ford Transit will ship this fall to Ford’s nationwide network of 3,000 dealers, including more than 675 dedicated Commercial Vehicle Center locations.
  4. Ford released their new 2020 Ford Transit yesterday at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. While it has been updated alll over, the biggest changes are mechanical. The biggest news is around the new all-wheel drive system. Ford designed the Transit's AWD to not raise the load floor or seat height, making the AWD model as easy as the RWD model for entry, exit, and loading. The AWD system can send 100% of the torque to the front wheels when needed in low traction situations. All-wheel drive will only be available on gasoline engine equipped Transits. Under the short hood is a choice of an all-new gasoline V6 which replaces the 3.7 liter, an all new 2.0 liter bi-turbo 4-cylinder diesel which replaces the 3.2 diesel, and a carryover 3.5 liter Ecoboost gasoline V6, now with start/stop. Both of the gasoline engines can be ordered with heavy duty alternators to help run add-on equipment. No matter which engine is chosen, power is shifted through a 10-speed automatic. All new 2020 Transits get standard driver-assist features like automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane-keeping system, and auto high-beam headlamps. Passenger XLT versions are equipped with those features plus Ford's Co-Pilot360 which includes blind-spot information system, cross-traffic alert, and side and rear sensing system. The 2020 Ford Transit will hit dealers Fall of 2019. Ford Press Release on Page 2 A MOM, A HIKER AND A DELIVERYMAN WALK INTO A SHOWROOM; EACH DRIVES OUT IN A NEW 2020 FORD TRANSIT New features for best-selling Ford Transit family include available all-wheel drive for improved traction; 2020 Transit also sees two all-new engines and new 10-speed automatic transmission New driver-assist features – including standard Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and available Ford Co-Pilot360™ technologies – help improve on-road confidence, uptime and productivity for customers Standard FordPass Connect™ modem with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and connectivity for up to 10 devices helps drivers stay in touch with their vehicle, business and customers INDIANAPOLIS, March 5, 2019 – Proving once again that the best never rest, Ford – America’s van leader for 40 years – improves its best-selling Transit family with smart new technology, advanced driver-assist features and enhanced capability for a wide range of customers whether they use their vans to carry kids, seek out adventures or deliver cargo. “When we introduced Transit five years ago, it immediately became America’s go-to full-size van for fleets, small businesses and large families,” said Mark Buzzell, Ford director, fleet, lease and remarketing operations. “We listened to our commercial and family customers and updated Transit with useful amenities like standard Wi-Fi so kids or crew can stay connected, and helpful driver-assist features like available adaptive cruise control to take the stress out of traffic.” Upgrades include an available all-wheel-drive system, all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue® bi-turbo I4 diesel, all-new 3.5-liter PFDi V6 gasoline engine with port fuel and direct injection and new 10-speed automatic transmission, plus new interiors and seating options. The 2020 Ford Transit offers the most vehicle configurations in its class to help customers specify just the right van for any job. In addition to cargo van, passenger van, chassis cab and cutaway, a new crew van joins the lineup. It can carry five people in two rows of seating with side curtain airbags. Tailored for owners who need to move larger crews plus gear to a job site, the crew van is an enhancement to the 2020 Ford Transit family based on customer feedback. A more capable Transit Because work doesn’t stop when the weather gets bad, Transit offers an intelligent all-wheel-drive system that’s always on to provide enhanced traction on icy, snowy or muddy roads. “We integrated Transit’s new all-wheel-drive system into the vehicle design early on to ensure it does not raise the load floor or seat height, making this van configuration as easy to enter and exit as the standard rear-wheel-drive model,” said Ray Eyles, Ford Transit chief program engineer. “This is a significant benefit for commercial drivers who are in and out of their vehicles dozens of times a day, as well as for shuttle bus passengers and families.” In normal mode, this all-wheel-drive system continuously monitors and optimizes torque output with the capability of sending up to 100 percent of available torque to the front wheels to help prevent slipping on loose surfaces. Using the vehicle’s selectable drive modes, the driver can engage mud and ruts or slippery modes at any speed to help increase the all-wheel-drive system’s capability for traveling in challenging conditions. All-wheel drive is available with gasoline powertrains. With 2020 Transit chassis cab and cutaway models, customers can also carry more, as the maximum GVWR increases from 10,360 pounds to 11,000 pounds. New and improved powertrains are designed to meet a wide range of customer needs including advances in fuel efficiency. The all-new 3.5-liter PFDi V6 is the new standard gasoline engine. It features port fuel and direct injection for improved efficiency versus the outgoing 3.7-liter engine. An available all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue® bi-turbo I4 diesel engine is more fuel-efficient and offers more power and torque than the outgoing 3.2-liter diesel engine. It is equipped with Auto Start-Stop and is quieter than its predecessor. Customers can also choose the proven 3.5-liter EcoBoost® gas engine, which now includes Auto Start-Stop Technology, as well. Both gas engines can be ordered with dual 250-amp alternators to provide a robust power supply for upfit equipment. All engines are paired with Ford’s proven 10-speed automatic transmission, which offers a wide span of gear ratios, off-the-line performance and low engine speeds while highway cruising – all designed to contribute to improved fuel efficiency for model year 2020. Nicely equipped, Transit is easy to drive Ford adds new driver-assist features to an already well-equipped van to create the smartest Transit ever. These features can decrease the likelihood of an accident and improve uptime. New driver-assist features standard on every 2020 Transit cargo van, crew van, passenger van, cutaway and chassis cab include Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and Pedestrian Detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, Lane-Keeping System and auto high-beam headlamps. Transit passenger van XLT is equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360™, which includes the features listed above plus Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage and cross-traffic alert. A new side sensing system joins the existing reverse sensing system as standard on XLT. Available enhanced active park assist can simplify maneuvering into parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spots. With the touch of a button, it provides prompts to the driver to manage gear selection, accelerator and braking, while Transit automatically steers itself into place. Enhanced active park assist includes park-out assist, which automatically steers the van out of a space while the driver controls the gear shifter, accelerator and brakes, making for less stress. Other new driver-assist features available include adaptive cruise control, front and rear split-view camera and adjustable speed limiting device. Smart and connected Transit is incredibly useful and fun The ability to stay in touch comes standard with the new Transit with an embedded FordPass Connect™ modem with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and connectivity for up to 10 devices – fun for families and incredibly useful for commercial customers who use their van as mobile office or workshop. USB outlets in every row of the passenger van can even mitigate family squabbles. Fleets can further enhance efficiency by choosing available new Ford Telematics™ and Ford Data Services™, which put an array of tools at the disposal of fleet managers. Fleet managers can optimize their business with easy-to-use features like detailed live map GPS tracking with order-to-delivery status, geofencing with alerts and key performance indicators. Fuel waste reporting helps identify ways to save costs, while Ford Telematics suggests coaching opportunities to increase efficiency, reduce waste and reveal concerns like seatbelt use or speed compliance. Managers can receive proactive maintenance notifications and vehicle health alerts, enabling them to schedule service, plan ahead and maximize uptime. Other technology updates include a center stack that can be optioned two different ways – either with a standard 4-inch full-color multifunction display or 8-inch slim-line touch screen display, each with the latest in SYNC® 3 plus Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay™ compatibility. A 4.2-inch productivity screen in the cluster provides vehicle information and phone call status. AppLink for SYNC allows customers to control select apps on the touch screen without plugging in their Android or iOS device. Form follows function Exterior updates for Transit are subtle but functionally driven. A new power sliding door is available for cargo van and passenger van to make getting loaded up as well as exiting the vehicle easier. Premium high-intensity discharge headlamps with signature LED surround are available. Three grilles will adorn different models in van, chassis cab and cutaway configurations – a three-bar design with black or chrome bars and an open mesh design for maximum cooling. Vans equipped with the powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine get a larger grille for maximum cooling. Transit has a new interior with a modern dashboard and features designed to improve comfort and practicality, such as durable new fabrics on the seating surfaces, plus myriad cupholders and compartments for storing gear and gadgets. Grab handles are improved, vents are updated to better direct heated and cooled air, and overall ergonomics are enhanced to make using everything a bit easier. Optional swivel front seats are available for the first time in response to recreational vehicle customer requests. The upgraded 2020 Ford Transit will ship this fall to Ford’s nationwide network of 3,000 dealers, including more than 675 dedicated Commercial Vehicle Center locations. View full article
  5. (Author's Note: As was pointed out to me on Facebook, the diesel engine is nowhere to be seen on the consumer site or the configurator. Yet, it appears in FCA's media materials. In an email sent this afternoon, Ram Trucks spokesman Nick Cappa said the option has been dropped for 2018. This review has been updated with this new information. -WM) I’ll admit that I was a bit crazy requesting a 2018 Ram ProMaster van for review. Ever since it was introduced, I have been interested in this rebadged version of the Fiat Ducato van sold elsewhere. Unlike most vans that use a rear-wheel drive layout, the ProMaster uses a front-wheel drive one. I wanted to know if this works for a vehicle designed for work. But I also have an odd curiosity to cargo vans in general as I wondered what it would be like to drive one for a week as my daily driver. This is what I found out. Function over form best describes the design brief for the Ram ProMaster. The overall profile reminds us of an oversized dustbuster with a steeply raked and short front end and tall sides. Awkward is the kindest word to use on the ProMaster’s front end with the grille placed very low, acres of gray plastic, headlights positioned near the windshield, and a large glass area. The rest of the ProMaster’s design fits in line with other cargo vans with clean sides, split-opening rear doors, and a set of optional wheels.  The ProMaster offers a wide variety of configurations. With three weight classes, three body styles, and various roof height and length options, you’ll be able to find a van that fit your needs. Our particular tester is one of the popular configurations; a 2500 with the 159-inch wheelbase and high roof option. Getting inside the ProMaster isn’t tough thanks to wide opening front doors and steps to help you climb up. Once in, you’ll notice one of the key benefits to the ProMaster’s exterior. The large glass area not only makes the interior feel airy, it provides excellent outward visibility. This helps make maneuvering in tight spaces easier. The design is very utilitarian with a plain look and controls within easy reach of the driver and passenger. There are some clever touches such as the integrated clipboard latch on the top of the dash to hold paperwork and numerous storage spaces. Many surfaces are covered in hard plastics which will hold up to the various work demands being put upon by owners. One area that will be a major issue for drivers is the seating position. Instead of you sitting in front of the steering wheel, Ram has the wheel set up similar to a school bus or semi-truck where you sit over it. Not helping is the placement of the pedals where you step down instead of push forward. The end result is a driver being in a hunched over position. This could be somewhat alleviated if there was a tilt adjustment for the steering wheel. But Ram only offers a telescoping adjustment. The only way to get a sudo-tilt adjustment is to adjust the angle of the seat. The seats themselves are perfect for a long workday with excellent support and firm cushioning. It needs to be noted that the ProMaster only offers the bare minimum when it comes to seat adjustments such as angle and position. If you want lumbar adjustments, you need to tick that box on the option list. All ProMasters come with a 5.3-inch touchscreen with FCA’s UConnect infotainment system. Our test van came with the optional TomTom navigation system. The small screen makes it slightly difficult to look at quickly or use while on the move. We would skip the TomTom navigation system as the graphics are quite dated and it takes some time to process before providing directions. At least the base UConnect system has many of the qualities we like on the larger systems such as a simple user interface and snappy performance. Step behind the cockpit to enter the massive cargo space. Our particular ProMaster configuration boasted 420 cubic feet of space and max payload of 4,020 pounds. One of the reasons I had requested the van was to get a number of items at my parent’s house to be donated. The van was up to the task by swallowing up everything including a dining room set. The low step-in height, rear-doors that open up 260-degrees, and numerous tie-down points to keep cargo in its place were appreciated. There are two engines on offer for the ProMaster. We had the base 3.6L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. There is an optional a 3.0L turbodiesel inline-four with a six-speed automated manual. (No more diesel for 2018 according to FCA). The V6 engine moves the van with no issue even with a large amount of cargo. As for the automatic, it delivers smooth shifts. However, the transmission showed some slowness to change gears. We’re assuming this is due to van only having 350 miles when we took delivery. For those who need a specific setup in the cargo area such as plumbers or painters, Ram offers various uplift packages that include such items as shelving, integrated tool boxes, and dividers. The low mileage might also explain the fuel economy figure of 15.7 mpg in mostly city driving. No EPA numbers are available due to the van’s gross vehicle weight being above 8,500 pounds. It is evident that Ram’s prime consideration for the suspension was tuned to deal with heavy loads and not comfort. With the van empty, the ride quality is quite harsh with many bumps making their way inside. Fill up the van and the ride begins to smooth out somewhat. Steering takes a lot of effort as it's very slow and requires a driver to make a number of rotations to do simple turns. There is a fair amount of road and wind noise coming inside the passenger compartment. If I was to judge the ProMaster like I would with a normal passenger car or SUV, it would be towards the bottom. There is a long list of problems such as the odd driving position, the number of comfort features that are optional, slow steering, and harsh ride. But I need to look at the ProMaster in a different light since it isn’t built for people like me. It is built for people who need a vehicle that can handle holding a lot of cargo or tools, along with being on some sort of worksite for periods at a time. Then the ProMaster begins to show some bright spots. The massive cargo area with the low step-in and tie-down point make it great for deliveries or moving. Using a front-wheel drive setup doesn’t hurt the ProMaster’s capability in terms of payload, and will help the van when the weather becomes terrible like a snowstorm. Finally, the V6 engine is plenty powerful for any situation the ProMaster is in. While I found the ProMaster to be a bit much to be used a daily driver for me, I can very much see the appeal for those in the commercial market. Just be sure to try the seating position as that will be the item that will influence your decision the most. Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the ProMaster 2500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Ram Trucks Model: ProMaster Cargo Trim: 2500 159" Wheelbase - High Roof Engine: 3.6L DOHC 24-Valve V6 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,400 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 4.483 lbs Location of Manufacture: N/A Base Price: $35,095 As Tested Price: $43,460 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge) Options: Sliding Driver-Side Door without Glass - $595.00 Trailer Tow Group - $585.00 UConnect 3 Navigation with 5-inch Display - $495.00 16-inch x 6.0-inch Aluminum Wheels - $445.00 Wood Composite Floor - $445.00 Premium Appearance Group - $395.00 Interior Convenience Group - $345.00 ParkSense Rear Park-Assist System - $295.00 Rear Hinged Doors with Deep Tinted Glass - $295.00 Speed Control - $295.00 Upper and Lower Side Wall Paneling Group - $295.00 LED Cargo Areas Light Bars - $285.00 225/75R16C BSW All-Season Tires - $250.00 Driver/Passenger 6-Way Adjustable Lumbar Seats - $245.00 Power Folding/Heated Mirrors - $245.00 Security Alarm - $245.00 DOT Certified Roadside Safety Kit - $195.00 Heated Driver Seat - $195.00 Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel - $195.00 SiriusXM Sat Radio w/1-Year Subscription - $195.00 Rear Assist Handles - $150.00 Heated Passenger Seat - $145.00 Instrument Panel Bright Bezels - $95.00 12-Volt Rear Auxiliary Power Outlet - $45.00
  6. (Author's Note: As was pointed out to me on Facebook, the diesel engine is nowhere to be seen on the consumer site or the configurator. Yet, it appears in FCA's media materials. In an email sent this afternoon, Ram Trucks spokesman Nick Cappa said the option has been dropped for 2018. This review has been updated with this new information. -WM) I’ll admit that I was a bit crazy requesting a 2018 Ram ProMaster van for review. Ever since it was introduced, I have been interested in this rebadged version of the Fiat Ducato van sold elsewhere. Unlike most vans that use a rear-wheel drive layout, the ProMaster uses a front-wheel drive one. I wanted to know if this works for a vehicle designed for work. But I also have an odd curiosity to cargo vans in general as I wondered what it would be like to drive one for a week as my daily driver. This is what I found out. Function over form best describes the design brief for the Ram ProMaster. The overall profile reminds us of an oversized dustbuster with a steeply raked and short front end and tall sides. Awkward is the kindest word to use on the ProMaster’s front end with the grille placed very low, acres of gray plastic, headlights positioned near the windshield, and a large glass area. The rest of the ProMaster’s design fits in line with other cargo vans with clean sides, split-opening rear doors, and a set of optional wheels.  The ProMaster offers a wide variety of configurations. With three weight classes, three body styles, and various roof height and length options, you’ll be able to find a van that fit your needs. Our particular tester is one of the popular configurations; a 2500 with the 159-inch wheelbase and high roof option. Getting inside the ProMaster isn’t tough thanks to wide opening front doors and steps to help you climb up. Once in, you’ll notice one of the key benefits to the ProMaster’s exterior. The large glass area not only makes the interior feel airy, it provides excellent outward visibility. This helps make maneuvering in tight spaces easier. The design is very utilitarian with a plain look and controls within easy reach of the driver and passenger. There are some clever touches such as the integrated clipboard latch on the top of the dash to hold paperwork and numerous storage spaces. Many surfaces are covered in hard plastics which will hold up to the various work demands being put upon by owners. One area that will be a major issue for drivers is the seating position. Instead of you sitting in front of the steering wheel, Ram has the wheel set up similar to a school bus or semi-truck where you sit over it. Not helping is the placement of the pedals where you step down instead of push forward. The end result is a driver being in a hunched over position. This could be somewhat alleviated if there was a tilt adjustment for the steering wheel. But Ram only offers a telescoping adjustment. The only way to get a sudo-tilt adjustment is to adjust the angle of the seat. The seats themselves are perfect for a long workday with excellent support and firm cushioning. It needs to be noted that the ProMaster only offers the bare minimum when it comes to seat adjustments such as angle and position. If you want lumbar adjustments, you need to tick that box on the option list. All ProMasters come with a 5.3-inch touchscreen with FCA’s UConnect infotainment system. Our test van came with the optional TomTom navigation system. The small screen makes it slightly difficult to look at quickly or use while on the move. We would skip the TomTom navigation system as the graphics are quite dated and it takes some time to process before providing directions. At least the base UConnect system has many of the qualities we like on the larger systems such as a simple user interface and snappy performance. Step behind the cockpit to enter the massive cargo space. Our particular ProMaster configuration boasted 420 cubic feet of space and max payload of 4,020 pounds. One of the reasons I had requested the van was to get a number of items at my parent’s house to be donated. The van was up to the task by swallowing up everything including a dining room set. The low step-in height, rear-doors that open up 260-degrees, and numerous tie-down points to keep cargo in its place were appreciated. There are two engines on offer for the ProMaster. We had the base 3.6L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic. There is an optional a 3.0L turbodiesel inline-four with a six-speed automated manual. (No more diesel for 2018 according to FCA). The V6 engine moves the van with no issue even with a large amount of cargo. As for the automatic, it delivers smooth shifts. However, the transmission showed some slowness to change gears. We’re assuming this is due to van only having 350 miles when we took delivery. For those who need a specific setup in the cargo area such as plumbers or painters, Ram offers various uplift packages that include such items as shelving, integrated tool boxes, and dividers. The low mileage might also explain the fuel economy figure of 15.7 mpg in mostly city driving. No EPA numbers are available due to the van’s gross vehicle weight being above 8,500 pounds. It is evident that Ram’s prime consideration for the suspension was tuned to deal with heavy loads and not comfort. With the van empty, the ride quality is quite harsh with many bumps making their way inside. Fill up the van and the ride begins to smooth out somewhat. Steering takes a lot of effort as it's very slow and requires a driver to make a number of rotations to do simple turns. There is a fair amount of road and wind noise coming inside the passenger compartment. If I was to judge the ProMaster like I would with a normal passenger car or SUV, it would be towards the bottom. There is a long list of problems such as the odd driving position, the number of comfort features that are optional, slow steering, and harsh ride. But I need to look at the ProMaster in a different light since it isn’t built for people like me. It is built for people who need a vehicle that can handle holding a lot of cargo or tools, along with being on some sort of worksite for periods at a time. Then the ProMaster begins to show some bright spots. The massive cargo area with the low step-in and tie-down point make it great for deliveries or moving. Using a front-wheel drive setup doesn’t hurt the ProMaster’s capability in terms of payload, and will help the van when the weather becomes terrible like a snowstorm. Finally, the V6 engine is plenty powerful for any situation the ProMaster is in. While I found the ProMaster to be a bit much to be used a daily driver for me, I can very much see the appeal for those in the commercial market. Just be sure to try the seating position as that will be the item that will influence your decision the most. Disclaimer: Ram Trucks Provided the ProMaster 2500, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2018 Make: Ram Trucks Model: ProMaster Cargo Trim: 2500 159" Wheelbase - High Roof Engine: 3.6L DOHC 24-Valve V6 Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,400 Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,400 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - N/A Curb Weight: 4.483 lbs Location of Manufacture: N/A Base Price: $35,095 As Tested Price: $43,460 (Includes $1,395 Destination Charge) Options: Sliding Driver-Side Door without Glass - $595.00 Trailer Tow Group - $585.00 UConnect 3 Navigation with 5-inch Display - $495.00 16-inch x 6.0-inch Aluminum Wheels - $445.00 Wood Composite Floor - $445.00 Premium Appearance Group - $395.00 Interior Convenience Group - $345.00 ParkSense Rear Park-Assist System - $295.00 Rear Hinged Doors with Deep Tinted Glass - $295.00 Speed Control - $295.00 Upper and Lower Side Wall Paneling Group - $295.00 LED Cargo Areas Light Bars - $285.00 225/75R16C BSW All-Season Tires - $250.00 Driver/Passenger 6-Way Adjustable Lumbar Seats - $245.00 Power Folding/Heated Mirrors - $245.00 Security Alarm - $245.00 DOT Certified Roadside Safety Kit - $195.00 Heated Driver Seat - $195.00 Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel - $195.00 SiriusXM Sat Radio w/1-Year Subscription - $195.00 Rear Assist Handles - $150.00 Heated Passenger Seat - $145.00 Instrument Panel Bright Bezels - $95.00 12-Volt Rear Auxiliary Power Outlet - $45.00 View full article
  7. The relationship between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Volkswagen has been frosty, to say the least when it comes to a possible merger - Volkswagen has said no to this idea. But it appears the two have been talking about possible alliance when it comes to certain light utility vehicles. The Wall Street Journal has learned from a source that the two companies held discussions on producing some light-duty vehicles such as the Caddy van (Transit Connect and ProMaster City sized) and Amarok pickup. The source said the talks are still at an early stage. "It's still very vague, we have to see if this will be pursued," said the source. If these discussions do go somewhere, it might give Ram something it badly needs in the U.S.; a midsize pickup. Also, sources tell the paper that Volkswagen "isn’t currently eyeing the Jeep unit itself, or considering a takeover bid for Fiat Chrysler." They're still dealing with the fallout from the diesel emission scandal. Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)
  8. The relationship between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Volkswagen has been frosty, to say the least when it comes to a possible merger - Volkswagen has said no to this idea. But it appears the two have been talking about possible alliance when it comes to certain light utility vehicles. The Wall Street Journal has learned from a source that the two companies held discussions on producing some light-duty vehicles such as the Caddy van (Transit Connect and ProMaster City sized) and Amarok pickup. The source said the talks are still at an early stage. "It's still very vague, we have to see if this will be pursued," said the source. If these discussions do go somewhere, it might give Ram something it badly needs in the U.S.; a midsize pickup. Also, sources tell the paper that Volkswagen "isn’t currently eyeing the Jeep unit itself, or considering a takeover bid for Fiat Chrysler." They're still dealing with the fallout from the diesel emission scandal. Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) View full article
  9. Volkswagen is looking towards vans and a possible pickup as way to bolster its U.S. lineup and become something other than a niche player in the marketplace. Bloomberg reports that Volkswagen's head of the light commercial vehicle unit, Eckhard Scholz said the company is investigating whether or not to send some of their vans and possibly the Amarok - the only pickup VW builds at the moment - to the U.S. “Pickup trucks are a dominating segment,” while there’s also a trend in the U.S. toward compact European vans, Scholz said. “We’re looking at both options intensively.” Now if this sounds familiar, Volkswagen of America CEO said something similar back in January. Michael Horn told Automotive News the company was looking into bringing a van over - be it the large Crafter van or small Caddy. Source: Bloomberg
  10. Volkswagen is looking towards vans and a possible pickup as way to bolster its U.S. lineup and become something other than a niche player in the marketplace. Bloomberg reports that Volkswagen's head of the light commercial vehicle unit, Eckhard Scholz said the company is investigating whether or not to send some of their vans and possibly the Amarok - the only pickup VW builds at the moment - to the U.S. “Pickup trucks are a dominating segment,” while there’s also a trend in the U.S. toward compact European vans, Scholz said. “We’re looking at both options intensively.” Now if this sounds familiar, Volkswagen of America CEO said something similar back in January. Michael Horn told Automotive News the company was looking into bringing a van over - be it the large Crafter van or small Caddy. Source: Bloomberg View full article
  11. We know that Volkswagen is in the midst of readying a seven-seat crossover and a long-wheelbase Tiguan as a part of a new product offensive for the U.S., but that may not be the only vehicle in the plans. Automotive News reports that Volkswagen is considering two other vehicles for the U.S. The first is the production version of the Golf R-400 concept. The concept which made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show in November packs 395 horsepower version of the Golf R's turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. Hans-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen’s development chief tells Automotive News the company is close to making a decision on whether the model should go into production. “We are just in front of the decision to do it or not, but I personally think that we have good conditions to do it,” said Neusser. If Volkswagen decides to put the Golf R-400 into production, expect the company to send this model to the U.S. The other vehicle up for consideration is a van. Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen of America says the automaker is studying whether a van makes sense for the U.S. market place. “We’re studying this, and personally I believe we should do something based on the technology which we already have in this market,” said Horn. There are two candidates for the van proposal. First is the next-generation Crafter van which is about the size of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The other van is the Caddy which competes with the likes of the Ford Transit Connect and Fiat Doblo (Ram Promaster City). Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  12. We know that Volkswagen is in the midst of readying a seven-seat crossover and a long-wheelbase Tiguan as a part of a new product offensive for the U.S., but that may not be the only vehicle in the plans. Automotive News reports that Volkswagen is considering two other vehicles for the U.S. The first is the production version of the Golf R-400 concept. The concept which made its North American debut at the LA Auto Show in November packs 395 horsepower version of the Golf R's turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. Hans-Jakob Neusser, Volkswagen’s development chief tells Automotive News the company is close to making a decision on whether the model should go into production. “We are just in front of the decision to do it or not, but I personally think that we have good conditions to do it,” said Neusser. If Volkswagen decides to put the Golf R-400 into production, expect the company to send this model to the U.S. The other vehicle up for consideration is a van. Michael Horn, CEO of Volkswagen of America says the automaker is studying whether a van makes sense for the U.S. market place. “We’re studying this, and personally I believe we should do something based on the technology which we already have in this market,” said Horn. There are two candidates for the van proposal. First is the next-generation Crafter van which is about the size of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. The other van is the Caddy which competes with the likes of the Ford Transit Connect and Fiat Doblo (Ram Promaster City). Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  13. SEMA isn't the likely place for an automaker to introduce a new model, but Mercedes-Benz chose the aftermarket show to reveal the the North American versions of its new V-Class vans. For North America, the V-Class will be called the Metris and it will go sale next fall in cargo and passenger van models. Mercedes didn't go into any details about the Metris, but did talk about the four conceptual models that are sitting on the show floor. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro Shop - Golf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van - Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck - Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. RENNtech: Party/DJ Van - A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. "We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015. It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA "Mission Metris" presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate 'Mercedes-Benz Metris' and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. Source: Mercedes-Benz William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Mission Metris: A First Glimpse at the New Midsize Van from Mercedes-Benz at SEMA 2014 “Mission Metris” is a showcase of 4 midsize project vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas M-B Vans enters the US commercial midsize van segment in fall 2015, offering both passenger and cargo versions without any competitors in the same size category Introduction of the “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada Pricing and specifications to be announced in 2015 Sprinter large commercial van sales are up 17.3% YTD in 2014 in the US, the second largest global vans market for Mercedes-Benz MY2015 Sprinter enhancements include optional 4×4 (Q1/2015 intro) and super high roof, and standard equipment now includes Crosswind Assist on 2500 models and extended service intervals up to 20,000 miles Fuel-efficient 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain has a 50% take rate. 75% of all M-B Sprinter vans are upfitted Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing “Mission Metris,” a showcase of 4 new midsize Project Vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas. Designed to be a first glimpse at the new midsize commercial van entry into the US and Canada in fall 2015 for customers and upfitters alike, production versions of the cargo and passenger versions will be shown at a later date in 2015. This occasion also marks the introduction of the new “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada, whereas “Vito” will remain the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets. “We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015,” said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. "It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA “Mission Metris” presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate ‘Mercedes-Benz Metris’ and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety." Representatives from Mercedes-Benz and the following companies will be on hand to showcase their respective creative concepts: RENNtech: Party/DJ Van A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro ShopGolf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. In the US large van segment, Sprinter sales continue to be brisk, up 17.3% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment. Model year 2015 is even more exciting, with the addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models and increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles). An optional Sprinter 4×4 version of both cargo and passenger versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA. In addition to that, the option for a super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet. And the SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our ‘Green Leadership.’ All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment. Independent from the model year, up to 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications.
  14. SEMA isn't the likely place for an automaker to introduce a new model, but Mercedes-Benz chose the aftermarket show to reveal the the North American versions of its new V-Class vans. For North America, the V-Class will be called the Metris and it will go sale next fall in cargo and passenger van models. Mercedes didn't go into any details about the Metris, but did talk about the four conceptual models that are sitting on the show floor. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro Shop - Golf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van - Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck - Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. RENNtech: Party/DJ Van - A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. "We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015. It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA "Mission Metris" presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate 'Mercedes-Benz Metris' and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety," said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. Source: Mercedes-Benz William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Mission Metris: A First Glimpse at the New Midsize Van from Mercedes-Benz at SEMA 2014 “Mission Metris” is a showcase of 4 midsize project vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas M-B Vans enters the US commercial midsize van segment in fall 2015, offering both passenger and cargo versions without any competitors in the same size category Introduction of the “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada Pricing and specifications to be announced in 2015 Sprinter large commercial van sales are up 17.3% YTD in 2014 in the US, the second largest global vans market for Mercedes-Benz MY2015 Sprinter enhancements include optional 4×4 (Q1/2015 intro) and super high roof, and standard equipment now includes Crosswind Assist on 2500 models and extended service intervals up to 20,000 miles Fuel-efficient 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain has a 50% take rate. 75% of all M-B Sprinter vans are upfitted Mercedes-Benz Vans USA is introducing “Mission Metris,” a showcase of 4 new midsize Project Vans at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas. Designed to be a first glimpse at the new midsize commercial van entry into the US and Canada in fall 2015 for customers and upfitters alike, production versions of the cargo and passenger versions will be shown at a later date in 2015. This occasion also marks the introduction of the new “Mercedes-Benz Metris” nameplate for the US and Canada, whereas “Vito” will remain the midsize commercial van nameplate for all other global markets. “We are pleased to reconfirm our September announcement at the IAA Truck Show in Hannover that we will launch a midsize commercial van in the US market in fall 2015,” said Bernie Glaser, Vice President and Managing Director of Daimler Vans USA, LLC. "It is only logical that we take a global approach and also expand our successful vans business in the USA. Our SEMA “Mission Metris” presence with 4 different van concepts will be an effective way for us to hit the ground running to announce the nameplate ‘Mercedes-Benz Metris’ and to show off its unmatched versatility, size, and safety." Representatives from Mercedes-Benz and the following companies will be on hand to showcase their respective creative concepts: RENNtech: Party/DJ Van A definite show-stopper van, this van offers a mobile DJ van that looks as good as it sounds. Featuring a clamshell style roof that opens and acts as a backdrop for a DJ, this van is true form and function in one package. HQ Custom Design: Luxury Van Luxury Van conversions are nothing new for Mercedes-Benz vans. This design is an ideal example of an inspired executive shuttle van that also offers the best in audio/visual that is surrounded by the finest craftsmanship and attention to detail. RADO: Fire Chief Concept Truck Because Vans offer some of the finest dimensions for mobile command units for various local or national government agencies, this concept is a rolling communications center that could transport a Fire Chief to all locations in many situations. Garmin: Mobile Golf Pro ShopGolf lovers will love this rolling Pro Shop that features a high-tech golf simulator and infotainment system designed for both personal and merchandizing usage. Offering a Mobile Performance Center, this concept offers technology that helps players evaluate their golf game and simulate potential outcomes. In the US large van segment, Sprinter sales continue to be brisk, up 17.3% YTD. Model year 2014 brought new major enhancements such as a fresh and confident new front end exterior design, 4-cylinder BlueTEC clean diesel powertrain that already plays a similar role as its big brother, the V6, and upgrades of safety and infotainment. Model year 2015 is even more exciting, with the addition of standard Crosswind Assist on all 2500 models and increased service intervals of up to 20,000 miles (MY 2014 service intervals were up to 15,000 miles). An optional Sprinter 4×4 version of both cargo and passenger versions will also be added in Q1/2015, which will be the only ex-factory four-wheel drive system on the market for a commercial van in the USA. In addition to that, the option for a super high roof underlines the benchmark position concerning interior heights by offering an interior roof height of up to 7 feet. And the SULEV option for our standard 4-cylinder BlueTEC engine is the first SULEV diesel engine worldwide and underlines our ‘Green Leadership.’ All of these features highlight the position of the Sprinter as the most innovative large van in the segment. Independent from the model year, up to 75% of all Sprinters have upfitter treatment on them, regardless of extra shelving or extensive Recreational Vehicle modifications. View full article
  15. PickupTrucks.com is reporting that General Motors will be quietly dropping the light-duty full-size vans in the 2015 model year. That means the only vans you can buy at a Chevrolet or GMC dealer will be the 2500, 3500 and 4500 versions. GM sales spokesman Jim Cain said the 1500 models only made up 23 percent of the Chevrolet Express and 7 percent of the GMC Savana. "We recognize that the van space has changed radically. The 1500-series van was the last vehicle [of its type] that has been produced in North America that was under 8,500 pounds, and it had some very unique attributes to it," said Joe Langhauser, product manager for GM's full-size vans. GM isn't worried about the customers who bought the 1500. Langhauser said that buyers could either move up to the 2500 or go with something smaller like the City Express, due out in the 2015 model year. When asked about the 1500 model returning, Langhauser said it was possible. Source: PickupTrucks.com William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  16. PickupTrucks.com is reporting that General Motors will be quietly dropping the light-duty full-size vans in the 2015 model year. That means the only vans you can buy at a Chevrolet or GMC dealer will be the 2500, 3500 and 4500 versions. GM sales spokesman Jim Cain said the 1500 models only made up 23 percent of the Chevrolet Express and 7 percent of the GMC Savana. "We recognize that the van space has changed radically. The 1500-series van was the last vehicle [of its type] that has been produced in North America that was under 8,500 pounds, and it had some very unique attributes to it," said Joe Langhauser, product manager for GM's full-size vans. GM isn't worried about the customers who bought the 1500. Langhauser said that buyers could either move up to the 2500 or go with something smaller like the City Express, due out in the 2015 model year. When asked about the 1500 model returning, Langhauser said it was possible. Source: PickupTrucks.com William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. As the group of journalists were finishing up lunch and listening to closing statements of a presentation, the thoughts of many turned to what they would like to get their hands on next. Would it be the Jaguar F-Type? Maybe the Corvette Stingray? How about the SRT Viper? Yours truly had this same thought as well, but it wasn't towards to any of those vehicles mentioned. Instead, what I had my eye on was a yellow vehicle with NYC taxi graphics. Yep, I had my sights set on the Nissan NV200 Taxi. Trying to figure why I would want to drive a taxi cab of all things when there is a multitude of other vehicles that many would say are much more desirable could take years to figure out, so lets skip that and talk about the vehicle itself. The NV200 Taxi is a fully functional taxi cab with such items as the bright yellow paint, lights on the roof, the divider between the front and back, and other details. Sitting in the back is alright with loads of head and legroom. There's also enough space for a wheelchair fit back here (the NV200 has an integrated ramp to allow one to enter). As for the driver, controls are logically laid out and the front seat is pretty comfortable. Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder with 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, mated to a CVT. On city roads, the engine is more than plenty to get up to such speeds as 25 to 35 MPH. On the country roads of Elkhart Lake, the engine really had to pushed to get up to speed (55 MPH) and the CVT didn't really help matters as the drone would come in. Ride quality is really good. The NV200 Taxi's suspension setup soaks up bumps and ruts to make the trip feel somewhat relaxed. The same cannot be said when you take it into corner as the NV200 Taxi has the handling characteristics of a plat of Jello. If your taxi driver decides to a turn a little too quickly in the NV200 Taxi, hold on to dear life. Whether or not the NV200 Taxi becomes commonplace on New York streets remains to be seen. But Nissan has interesting option for those taxi operators who want something a bit versatile. Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the NV200 Taxi for the MAMA Spring Rally Year: 2014 Make: Nissan Model: NV200 Taxi Trim: N/A Engine: 2.0L Four-Cylinder Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 131 @ 5,200 Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 4,800 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/26/24 Curb Weight: N/A Location of Manufacture: Civac, Mexico Base Price: $29,700 As Tested Price: $30,560 (Includes $860.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  18. As the group of journalists were finishing up lunch and listening to closing statements of a presentation, the thoughts of many turned to what they would like to get their hands on next. Would it be the Jaguar F-Type? Maybe the Corvette Stingray? How about the SRT Viper? Yours truly had this same thought as well, but it wasn't towards to any of those vehicles mentioned. Instead, what I had my eye on was a yellow vehicle with NYC taxi graphics. Yep, I had my sights set on the Nissan NV200 Taxi. Trying to figure why I would want to drive a taxi cab of all things when there is a multitude of other vehicles that many would say are much more desirable could take years to figure out, so lets skip that and talk about the vehicle itself. The NV200 Taxi is a fully functional taxi cab with such items as the bright yellow paint, lights on the roof, the divider between the front and back, and other details. Sitting in the back is alright with loads of head and legroom. There's also enough space for a wheelchair fit back here (the NV200 has an integrated ramp to allow one to enter). As for the driver, controls are logically laid out and the front seat is pretty comfortable. Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder with 131 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque, mated to a CVT. On city roads, the engine is more than plenty to get up to such speeds as 25 to 35 MPH. On the country roads of Elkhart Lake, the engine really had to pushed to get up to speed (55 MPH) and the CVT didn't really help matters as the drone would come in. Ride quality is really good. The NV200 Taxi's suspension setup soaks up bumps and ruts to make the trip feel somewhat relaxed. The same cannot be said when you take it into corner as the NV200 Taxi has the handling characteristics of a plat of Jello. If your taxi driver decides to a turn a little too quickly in the NV200 Taxi, hold on to dear life. Whether or not the NV200 Taxi becomes commonplace on New York streets remains to be seen. But Nissan has interesting option for those taxi operators who want something a bit versatile. Disclaimer: Nissan Provided the NV200 Taxi for the MAMA Spring Rally Year: 2014 Make: Nissan Model: NV200 Taxi Trim: N/A Engine: 2.0L Four-Cylinder Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM: 131 @ 5,200 Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 4,800 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/26/24 Curb Weight: N/A Location of Manufacture: Civac, Mexico Base Price: $29,700 As Tested Price: $30,560 (Includes $860.00 Destination Charge) Options: N/A William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 8, 2013 Forbes had the chance to talk with General Motors' North American president Mark Reuss this week. Reuss talked about key gaps that he sees in GM's lineup and what could be done to fill them. We'll start with the Chevrolet Cruze. Since going on sale in the U.S., a lot of us have been wondering why there isn't a hatchback version. Especially considering the number of compact hatchbacks that are on sale has been growing and that Chevrolet sells a Cruze hatchback in Europe. Reuss said “That was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.” Even without the hatchback, the Cruze has been doing quite well, with 211,862 models sold so far this year. Speaking about the next-generation Cruze, Reuss said “the next-generation will blow you away.” From what we know, the next-generation Cruze will adopt a design profile similar to the Sonic. Maybe the five-door Cruze will come as well. Reuss also talked about a "contemporary wagon for mainstream America." Something more affordable than the wagons from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Cadillac's own CTS Sports Wagon. There are a few other models that were bandied about by Reuss including a compact van to take on the Ford Transit Connect, a “black hole” pickup truck that would be sandwhich between a medium-duty and heavy-duty truck, and a a flagship model for Buick that Reuss says “a much more beautiful Panamera.” Source: Forbes William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 8, 2013 Forbes had the chance to talk with General Motors' North American president Mark Reuss this week. Reuss talked about key gaps that he sees in GM's lineup and what could be done to fill them. We'll start with the Chevrolet Cruze. Since going on sale in the U.S., a lot of us have been wondering why there isn't a hatchback version. Especially considering the number of compact hatchbacks that are on sale has been growing and that Chevrolet sells a Cruze hatchback in Europe. Reuss said “That was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.” Even without the hatchback, the Cruze has been doing quite well, with 211,862 models sold so far this year. Speaking about the next-generation Cruze, Reuss said “the next-generation will blow you away.” From what we know, the next-generation Cruze will adopt a design profile similar to the Sonic. Maybe the five-door Cruze will come as well. Reuss also talked about a "contemporary wagon for mainstream America." Something more affordable than the wagons from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and even Cadillac's own CTS Sports Wagon. There are a few other models that were bandied about by Reuss including a compact van to take on the Ford Transit Connect, a “black hole” pickup truck that would be sandwhich between a medium-duty and heavy-duty truck, and a a flagship model for Buick that Reuss says “a much more beautiful Panamera.” Source: Forbes William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  21. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 6, 2012 Ford is making some big waves today in the van market. At a event today in Amsterdam, Ford unveiled the new Transit and Transit Connect. We'll begin with the 2014 Transit Connect. Ford has really done a good job of bringing Connect in line with their new design language. Up front, the Transit Connect wears a trapezoidal grille smaller, sleeker headlamps, and more pronounced foglamps. The back features slimmer taillights and a tailgate. No word whether the barn doors on the current Connect will be available. Ford is staying quiet on what will be the powertrain lineup will be, but has said the European model will receive "highly-efficient downsized diesel and petrol engines," while in the U.S., we'll get "a tailored range of gasoline powertrains." The 2014 Transit Connect arrives in late 2013. And it's bigger brother Ford also revealed the new Transit which will take the place of the E-Series van here in the U.S. The Transit will come variety of body styles, incorporating both short and long wheelbases, as well as standard- and tall-roof models for both Europe and the U.S. For Europe, the Transit will be available in front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive and use Ford's 2.2L Duratorq TDCi diesel inline-four. For the U.S., we will only get rear-wheel drive. Engines will include a "powerful diesel option" and Ford's 3.5L EcoBoost V6. The new Transit arrives in late 2013. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 3 Ford Reveals All-New Global Transit and Transit Connect Commercial Vehicles at 'Go Further' Event • Ford unveils its new generation of Transit commercial vehicles, developed on all-new global platforms for sale in Europe, North America and other worldwide markets • Tough, functional and professional, the all-new Ford Transit brings a new level of capability and versatility to the medium commercial van market; it replaces the heavier two-tonne Transit in Europe and worldwide markets, and replaces the E-Series in North America • Stylish all-new Ford Transit Connect delivers outstanding performance across load carrying ability, dependability and fuel economy, for a best-in-class cost of ownership package AMSTERDAM, Sept. 6, 2012 – Ford today revealed a new generation of world-class Transit commercial vehicles at its "Go Further" event. Developed under its "One Ford" global product strategy in Europe, the Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect models will be sold in Europe, North America and other worldwide markets, with product ranges tailored to the needs of customers in each region. "These new products will carry more, work harder, last longer, and cost our customers less to operate – just as Ford Transits have done for 47 years," said Barb Samardzich, vice president Product Development, Ford of Europe. "The unprecedented launch of two all-new Transit models will extend Ford's leadership in serving commercial vehicle customers around the world." The introduction of the new generation Transit and Transit Connect models is a major step in Ford's commitment to completely redesign its entire commercial vehicle line-up for Europe by the end of 2013. Using the latest global platforms, the two models highlight Ford's new approach to delivering the next generation of class-leading commercial vehicles to meet the needs of customers in all worldwide markets. The new range builds on almost 50 years of experience in creating market-leading commercial vans and was engineered at Ford's Centre of Excellence for commercial vehicles in Europe; applying global product development resources. The all-new Ford Transit replaces the heavier two-tonne Transit derivatives in Europe and other worldwide markets, and will eventually replace the popular Ford E-Series range in North America. Tough, functional and professional, new Transit brings new levels of capability and versatility to the medium commercial van market. Offering a comprehensive range of body styles and derivatives, with multiple wheelbases, roof heights and new chassis cowl versions, all-new and more capable Transit is tailored to the needs of key worldwide markets. For Europe, a full range of Transit bodystyles and derivatives, offering front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, will be powered by the latest 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel. In North America, customers can choose from several engines, including the proven 3.5-litre EcoBoost or a powerful diesel option; each features rear-wheel drive and at least 25 percent better fuel economy than a comparable E-Series. Multiple roof heights and wheelbases will be available. North American Transit vans will be manufactured in Kansas City, alongside the Ford F-150. The stylish all-new Ford Transit Connect will deliver new standards for the sub-one-tonne segment for load-carrying ability, cost of ownership and dependability. Available in a choice of short and long wheelbase versions, the new Transit Connect will offer European and North American customers the most flexible and functional loadbox in the segment, with a host of innovative features to enhance everyday productivity. Transit Connect features the latest low-CO2 powertrain technologies to deliver best-in-class fuel economy in all of its target markets. In Europe, the engine line-up will include highly-efficient downsized diesel and petrol engines, while the U.S. market will benefit from a tailored range of gasoline powertrains. The new model has a stylish cockpit with car-like design and craftsmanship, and offers the latest Ford interior technologies and driver assistance features. The Ford Transit brand has established a legendary reputation for toughness and dependability, and the new global Transit products have been engineered to extend that tradition. Both the all-new Transit and all-new Transit Connect have been subjected to Ford's ultra-stringent commercial vehicle testing and durability standards, covering millions of miles of arduous testing in laboratories, at proving grounds and on customer fleets. "Our new global Ford Transit products will be totally fit for purpose," said Samardzich. "These are the strongest, most capable and most efficient commercial vans we have ever built – this is the start of a new chapter in the Transit success story." In Europe, deliveries of the all-new Transit and Transit Connect are due to start by the end of 2013. The two new global models join the Transit Custom in Ford's renewed commercial vehicle line-up for Europe. Targeting the one-tonne market, the all-new Transit Custom is now on sale across European markets. It will not be introduced in North America but will be launched in other selected other global markets later. View full article
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 6, 2012 Ford is making some big waves today in the van market. At a event today in Amsterdam, Ford unveiled the new Transit and Transit Connect. We'll begin with the 2014 Transit Connect. Ford has really done a good job of bringing Connect in line with their new design language. Up front, the Transit Connect wears a trapezoidal grille smaller, sleeker headlamps, and more pronounced foglamps. The back features slimmer taillights and a tailgate. No word whether the barn doors on the current Connect will be available. Ford is staying quiet on what will be the powertrain lineup will be, but has said the European model will receive "highly-efficient downsized diesel and petrol engines," while in the U.S., we'll get "a tailored range of gasoline powertrains." The 2014 Transit Connect arrives in late 2013. And it's bigger brother Ford also revealed the new Transit which will take the place of the E-Series van here in the U.S. The Transit will come variety of body styles, incorporating both short and long wheelbases, as well as standard- and tall-roof models for both Europe and the U.S. For Europe, the Transit will be available in front-wheel, rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive and use Ford's 2.2L Duratorq TDCi diesel inline-four. For the U.S., we will only get rear-wheel drive. Engines will include a "powerful diesel option" and Ford's 3.5L EcoBoost V6. The new Transit arrives in late 2013. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 3 Ford Reveals All-New Global Transit and Transit Connect Commercial Vehicles at 'Go Further' Event • Ford unveils its new generation of Transit commercial vehicles, developed on all-new global platforms for sale in Europe, North America and other worldwide markets • Tough, functional and professional, the all-new Ford Transit brings a new level of capability and versatility to the medium commercial van market; it replaces the heavier two-tonne Transit in Europe and worldwide markets, and replaces the E-Series in North America • Stylish all-new Ford Transit Connect delivers outstanding performance across load carrying ability, dependability and fuel economy, for a best-in-class cost of ownership package AMSTERDAM, Sept. 6, 2012 – Ford today revealed a new generation of world-class Transit commercial vehicles at its "Go Further" event. Developed under its "One Ford" global product strategy in Europe, the Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect models will be sold in Europe, North America and other worldwide markets, with product ranges tailored to the needs of customers in each region. "These new products will carry more, work harder, last longer, and cost our customers less to operate – just as Ford Transits have done for 47 years," said Barb Samardzich, vice president Product Development, Ford of Europe. "The unprecedented launch of two all-new Transit models will extend Ford's leadership in serving commercial vehicle customers around the world." The introduction of the new generation Transit and Transit Connect models is a major step in Ford's commitment to completely redesign its entire commercial vehicle line-up for Europe by the end of 2013. Using the latest global platforms, the two models highlight Ford's new approach to delivering the next generation of class-leading commercial vehicles to meet the needs of customers in all worldwide markets. The new range builds on almost 50 years of experience in creating market-leading commercial vans and was engineered at Ford's Centre of Excellence for commercial vehicles in Europe; applying global product development resources. The all-new Ford Transit replaces the heavier two-tonne Transit derivatives in Europe and other worldwide markets, and will eventually replace the popular Ford E-Series range in North America. Tough, functional and professional, new Transit brings new levels of capability and versatility to the medium commercial van market. Offering a comprehensive range of body styles and derivatives, with multiple wheelbases, roof heights and new chassis cowl versions, all-new and more capable Transit is tailored to the needs of key worldwide markets. For Europe, a full range of Transit bodystyles and derivatives, offering front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, will be powered by the latest 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel. In North America, customers can choose from several engines, including the proven 3.5-litre EcoBoost or a powerful diesel option; each features rear-wheel drive and at least 25 percent better fuel economy than a comparable E-Series. Multiple roof heights and wheelbases will be available. North American Transit vans will be manufactured in Kansas City, alongside the Ford F-150. The stylish all-new Ford Transit Connect will deliver new standards for the sub-one-tonne segment for load-carrying ability, cost of ownership and dependability. Available in a choice of short and long wheelbase versions, the new Transit Connect will offer European and North American customers the most flexible and functional loadbox in the segment, with a host of innovative features to enhance everyday productivity. Transit Connect features the latest low-CO2 powertrain technologies to deliver best-in-class fuel economy in all of its target markets. In Europe, the engine line-up will include highly-efficient downsized diesel and petrol engines, while the U.S. market will benefit from a tailored range of gasoline powertrains. The new model has a stylish cockpit with car-like design and craftsmanship, and offers the latest Ford interior technologies and driver assistance features. The Ford Transit brand has established a legendary reputation for toughness and dependability, and the new global Transit products have been engineered to extend that tradition. Both the all-new Transit and all-new Transit Connect have been subjected to Ford's ultra-stringent commercial vehicle testing and durability standards, covering millions of miles of arduous testing in laboratories, at proving grounds and on customer fleets. "Our new global Ford Transit products will be totally fit for purpose," said Samardzich. "These are the strongest, most capable and most efficient commercial vans we have ever built – this is the start of a new chapter in the Transit success story." In Europe, deliveries of the all-new Transit and Transit Connect are due to start by the end of 2013. The two new global models join the Transit Custom in Ford's renewed commercial vehicle line-up for Europe. Targeting the one-tonne market, the all-new Transit Custom is now on sale across European markets. It will not be introduced in North America but will be launched in other selected other global markets later.

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