vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/21/20 5:22 p.m.

Two years ago we got rid of our beloved 2005 AWD Astro Van. It was a do it all work horse, but rust was making it a loosing proposition. We replaced it with a 2017 Ram Promaster 1500 that had 17000 miles on it. To say we're unhappy might be overstating the situation but it leaves much to be desired. The throttle pedal has to travel at least an inch for anything to take place movement wise so I find myself in parking lot maneuvers struggling to move slowly and smoothly. The seat is uncomfortable and I thought I'd get used to the steering wheel angle. It has three recalls currently open. It gets about 16-17 mpg. The cooling system has a something going on as I can smell coolant after a drive. And the parking brake recently locked up after sitting for two weeks. It has about 23000 miles on it now. I looked up the values. Woah! The trade in is about $17000!  We only owe 9000 on it. Should we downsize? We had planned to outfit the PM to travel with our dogs (dog friendly hotels are tough with four dogs). But the two newest don't travel well, and with the pandemic we're not going anywhere. And we really don't need that big of a vehicle we've learned. I mean, it's nice to have the space and all, but at what cost? We use two dog crates and harness the other two, but aside from taking them to the groomer on occasion we rarely have them all in the van at the same time anymore.

A colleague has a TC. I've been in it. Pretty nice. I think JG had a PM City? I think I want to avoid any FCA vehicles based on reliability concerns. Other? We'd being getting used. 3-5 years old. 

Find another Astro AWD from the south?

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/21/20 5:43 p.m.

Transit or Transit Connect?  The full sized van with various engines or the small van with two 4 cyl options?

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/21/20 5:48 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver (Forum Supporter) :


vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/21/20 5:53 p.m.

And can anyone tell me why full size Promaster value seem so high? Pretty sure it's worth more now than when we got it.

OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
8/21/20 6:00 p.m.

If you only drive it 3,000 miler per year.. and it's worth that much by the book... 

Sell that thing to Carmax stat and get a Winnebago. 

lnlogauge HalfDork
8/21/20 6:21 p.m.

I work in the commercial vehicle industry. If that's what you're after, the transit connect is the answer. 2020+ is better interior. The order ones are pretty dated. Promasters and promaster city are equal garbage. Nissan had an option, but they are getting out of the commercial vehicles. 

newrider3 Reader
8/21/20 6:36 p.m.

I know you would prefer non-Chrysler, but I think the Grand Caravan is still a great answer for light van stuff. You don't hear about huge reliability issues with the 2011-present Grand Caravan/Town and Country like you used to in the '90s.

CyberEric Dork
8/21/20 7:27 p.m.

I'll suggest a Mazda 5 because this is GRM.

Does the Transit Connect have the problematic DCT from the Focus?

If not, I’ve seen a few of the LWB version that seem like a great size for both utility and maneuvering.

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/21/20 7:48 p.m.

In reply to CyberEric :

No, it's either a normal 6F or a newer 8F- both good autos.  

stanger_mussle (Forum Supporter)
stanger_mussle (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/21/20 7:52 p.m.

The Transit Connect has the 6F35, which is a traditional 6 speed auto with a torque converter.

I liked everything about my TC except for the transmission. They had issues where the driver's side CV axle was improperly machined and would wear down the axle seal which would cause the fluid level to get too low. Since Ford decided not to put a dipstick on the 6F35, it caused lots of transmission failures due to low fluid level. I'm pretty sure mine had a damaged transmission as the fluid temps would break 230°F driving about 20 miles at highway speed. 

Mine was a cargo version that had high miles for the year. I think you will be ok if you find a passenger model. They drive really nice for what they are. The 2.5L Duratec is a great 4 cylinder. The newer ones (2019+ I think?) have a 2.0L that make less power than the old 2.5L.

They look quite nice in blue:


BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter)
BlueInGreen - Jon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/21/20 7:56 p.m.

I share your disappointment with the Ram van. When I was doing construction stuff the bosses replaced our aging Chevy Express with a shiny new Promaster 1500. We were all excited to have a new van until we realized the Ram was less comfortable than the old worn out van and was falling apart a couple months in.

Doesn’t someone always suggest a Roadmaster wagon in threads like this? cheeky

I’d be looking at minivans. Lots of options to choose from and they’re comfy. I was looking hard at 3-5 year old Kia Sedonas until we decided to go small with a Mazda5. It definitely doesn’t have the cargo&dog capacity of a minivan or the city vans.

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/21/20 8:31 p.m.

Forgot about the M5. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
8/21/20 9:26 p.m.


I've owned two Astros over the years. Both got close to 250K. I think they're a great workhorse and there aren't any current vehicles that fit that niche as competently as the Astro/Safari twins.

dxman92 Dork
8/22/20 8:08 a.m.

Place where I work uses the TC as delivery van defacto. One of the bunch is a 13 with 150k on it. Seems to be holding up okay with daily abuse. Newer ones have nicer interior but I think the older ones drive better. YMMV.

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/25/20 9:31 p.m.

So the TV seems legit. I still don't understand why Ram Promaster a are hitting high dollars. Was the production stoppage so bad that people want these vans used?

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
8/25/20 9:55 p.m.

In reply to vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) :

I would bet the attraction to these high top vans, used, has to do with the easy of which they can be converted to a camper you can stand up in.  

steronz Reader
8/26/20 8:26 a.m.

Kia Sedona.

I looked into some of the commercial-ish van offerings when I bought my 2nd Sedona last year, I cannot for the life of me figure out why the Transit Connect costs just as much as a regular consumer-grade minivan despite being smaller, slower, getting worse gas mileage, etc.  I understand its commercial applications but the 5 seat consumer model makes no sense.

nocones GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/26/20 11:27 a.m.

I know nothing of their reliability but get a Used Mercedes Benz Metris.  Reasoning..  they are RWD and Turbo 4cyl.  I'm assuming it will be sportier the the FWD vans.  And MB claims the same dimensions with higher capacity then the competitors FWD vans.  

And did I mention RWD?


I like the styling of the Transit Connect and have wanted to build a tiny RV out of one for years.  I would probably choose that or a Metris.

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
8/26/20 11:52 a.m.

I have a 2015(i think its a 15, it has the 2.5) transit connect fleet van that i use for work when needed. Previously i had a "dodge" /mercedes diesel huge space shuttle van. Compared to the mercedes, the transit connect is a fun reliable go cart. Much better interior, faster, far more maneuverable, better in every way, other than i cant put my 12' kayak in the back if the lil ford. 

i would consider a transit connect for a personal vehicle if i needed something like that. Its has been a great appliance and fun to drive. I'd like to get it on a autocross course just for giggles. 

the newer dodge promasters just confuse me. 

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