FINALLY, MORE EUROPEAN STYLE CARGO VANS HAVE ARRIVED ON THE AMERICAN MARKET, WITH SEVERAL MODELS TO CHOOSE FROM AND WITH THE PROSPECT OF NEW BRANDS TO ENTER THE MARKET PLACE SOON.
Mercedes Benz is expanding its Sprinter market share, with a commitment of a new production facility and introduction of the first 4×4 cargo van in early 2015. Their models are sold as MB Sprinter and Freightliner and are only offered with diesel engines.
A few years ago Nissan entered the commercial van market, that is dominated by American brands. Even as they only could expect small sale numbers, Nissan has succeeded to open up the market with a successful introduction of the quirky NV series.
The BIG entry this year, is the new Ford Transit. With its long history in Europe, Ford has introduced this van with many new features and changes, in an effort to adapt it to the American market. As a replacement for the aging Econoline series, it is already grabbing the largest market share amongst its competitors.
A growing demand for trucks and vans, has led to the introduction of the Ram ProMaster in September 2013, and while it has some unique features, like FWD and lower payload floor, it still struggles in sales. Only the Chevy Express remains largely unchanged. Despite falling sales, its use as a workvan is still popular with small businesses. With use as an RV conversion, it finally may fall out of grace!
Ford Transit special features
The roof is fairly flat and will allow for easy installation of one or more exhaust fans. The wheel housings are much reduced in size and the integrated fuel tank filling opening at the driver’s side door and the integrated car jack storage on the other side are great design features.
Ram ProMaster special features
This is the only Front Wheel Drive van in this comparison, with a payload floor lowered by approx. 5 inches, which allows for ‘standing height’ in even its smallest model.
MB Sprinter special features
The 2015 model has a great new diesel engine that performs well with a greater fuel efficiency than its previous motor. It has the highest floor-to-roof distance, but has a higher entry price as it only comes with a diesel engine.
Nissan NV special features
The NV series MSRP starts at the lower end when compared the the other models, and the interior height is one of its best features, but this van is short on cargo floor length.
Chevy Express special features
The lack of innovation is its biggest drawback and may hurt it in the short term, but their outstanding towing capacities still fill a need.
After you have chosen your model, always verify the specific ratings, size and capabilities of that cargo van with its manufacturer, as the above information is for research only.
Updated as of March 7, 2015