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  1. #1
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    Transit Connect or Promaster city wagon?

    Im seriously thinking about a small van to replace my VW wagon. I want to be be able to transport bikes inside and have space at the trail head to change and be able to sleep in the van when camping. I have looked at standard mini vans but I don't need all the seats. The promoter is a little interesting with the second row seats. If I get the transit I am thinking LWB cargo because I really don't want all the seats and windows in the wagon. I'm wondering if any of you guys have any feed back about the 2 as bike transporters and using it as a dally driver. I know I can get a used mini van for about 25k and it will have allot more features and way more power. I just don't know that I need all that space.

  2. #2
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    I have the Transit Connect LWB cargo and for me it's pretty much the ultimate bikemobile. Bikes roll in easily and are safely hidden, and no windows makes for a discrete changing room.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I have the Transit Connect LWB cargo and for me it's pretty much the ultimate bikemobile. Bikes roll in easily and are safely hidden, and no windows makes for a discrete changing room.
    How do you do in cross winds? And how is the MPG on the high way. I have any hour commute each way every day at 75mph? Im thinking the Promaster City will do better with the 9sp transmission and with the full head liner it would probably be quieter.

  4. #4
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    I get mid to upper 20's mpg about everywhere, most of my commuting is in mountainous 55mph zones but during my few freeway roadtrips I've discovered that the mileage starts to suffer a little @ 80mph. Just a little though. Crosswinds aren't bad but I'm used to driving boxes, it's actually a great driving "car" IMO. Due to lack of upholstery it is a bit noisy but I got used to that pretty quick, headphones turns any car into a Cadillac.

    The motor's good but the transmission kind of sucks, it's a bit clunky. Overall I love it though because I can store my work tools and bike in it 24/7. Not having to load and unload the bike before and after every ride is luxurious, and having the bike and gear with me all the time opens up riding opportunities that would otherwise be lost.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I get mid to upper 20's mpg about everywhere, most of my commuting is in mountainous 55mph zones but during my few freeway roadtrips I've discovered that the mileage starts to suffer a little @ 80mph. Just a little though. Crosswinds aren't bad but I'm used to driving boxes, it's actually a great driving "car" IMO. Due to lack of upholstery it is a bit noisy but I got used to that pretty quick, headphones turns any car into a Cadillac.

    The motor's good but the transmission kind of sucks, it's a bit clunky. Overall I love it though because I can store my work tools and bike in it 24/7. Not having to load and unload the bike before and after every ride is luxurious, and having the bike and gear with me all the time opens up riding opportunities that would otherwise be lost.
    Im looking at a van for the same reason you have one. I can't bring the company truck home any more so I have to transport my tools every day. I don't have the room for my tools and my bike at the same time. So I'm not riding much any more and its killing me. The riding down near work is better then up here where I live. So I want to change that and have a bike with me every day so I can just go hit the trails after work.

  6. #6
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    They're solid options. I like the cockpit of the Promaster better--the Transit Connect dash is like 3 feet deep and it has Ford's signature wraparound pod kind of layout. Also, in the cargo versions you can get more options in the Ram. Reliability is potentially a concern, tho. I almost bought a Transit Connect in 2014 but couldn't get past the plasticky interior and noisy tin can on wheels ride. Plus, I wanted AWD or 4WD. Ended up getting a 2015 GMC Canyon. With a cap on the back, it's a great bike hauler. Only hit was buying price and MPGs...worth it to me.

    My dream vehicle would be a van like these from Subaru. AWD, decent MPGs, Subaru reliability and quality. No likely I guess...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser View Post
    I can't bring the company truck home any more so I have to transport my tools every day. I don't have the room for my tools and my bike at the same time. So I'm not riding much any more and its killing me. The riding down near work is better then up here where I live. So I want to change that and have a bike with me every day so I can just go hit the trails after work.
    Exactly my situation^ Sounds dramatic but the little ford van changed my biking life.

    I agree there are a few compromises (some mentioned by SteveF above) but the ability to roll bikes in with both wheels on and full access to both sides is worth it to me. Also the low, flat and uncluttered deck is super convenient.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    They're solid options. I like the cockpit of the Promaster better--the Transit Connect dash is like 3 feet deep and it has Ford's signature wraparound pod kind of layout. Also, in the cargo versions you can get more options in the Ram. Reliability is potentially a concern, tho. I almost bought a Transit Connect in 2014 but couldn't get past the plasticky interior and noisy tin can on wheels ride. Plus, I wanted AWD or 4WD. Ended up getting a 2015 GMC Canyon. With a cap on the back, it's a great bike hauler. Only hit was buying price and MPGs...worth it to me.

    My dream vehicle would be a van like these from Subaru. AWD, decent MPGs, Subaru reliability and quality. No likely I guess...
    I looked hard at the Colorado when they first come out. Really nice truck I even drove a GMC All Terrain. But its the 7k for 4wd that put the brakes on it. I wanted it in work truck trim with the vinyl floor but there was no way to get it in 4wd for under 30k. I really don't like that they force you in to a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with 4wd. I live in the land of trucks so dealers here want MSRP and they won't deal at all really. So I just walked away and its just not good enough on gas for my commute.
    I stopped and looked at a Ram Promaster City Wagon today and I really liked it. Its just about the perfect size I think my 29r EX8 would fit perfect in the back with one seat folded up with the front wheel off and secured with a load bar with a fork tight on it. It really reminds me of the Honda Element. I want to look at a LWB ford cargo next. I have been in the standard ford wagon version and I didn't like it with all the seats. But I did like the drivers area.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Exactly my situation^ Sounds dramatic but the little ford van changed my biking life.

    I agree there are a few compromises (some mentioned by SteveF above) but the ability to roll bikes in with both wheels on and full access to both sides is worth it to me. Also the low, flat and uncluttered deck is super convenient.
    I have to do something before spring. I miss riding after work I need the stress relief. How do you have your van set up did you put a big tool box in the back or shelves on one side?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser View Post
    I have to do something before spring. I miss riding after work I need the stress relief. How do you have your van set up did you put a big tool box in the back or shelves on one side?
    Mine's very undone. I have a large truck tool box that's accessible from the drivers side sliding door and the bike is in the middle leaning on the box. Bike gear is another box and miscellaneous tools and such are strewn about in various locations. There's some pretty slick shelve & bin systems designed for it that I'll hopefully get in place soon.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  11. #11
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    I did like several things about these little vans better than the truck I ended up getting. The side doors and lower load height were definitely plusses. Also, the lower purchase price, smaller footprint (my truck barely fits in my garage) and better mpgs would've been nice. If I had gone with a van, it would've most likely been the cargo version, and I would've put a divider between the cockpit and cargo areas. That would quiet things down quite a bit I think, and make it much easier to regulate temps in the passenger area. I'm not sorry I got the Canyon, but there are definitely plusses on the van side too, and I certainly could've made it work for me.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    I did like several things about these little vans better than the truck I ended up getting. The side doors and lower load height were definitely plusses. Also, the lower purchase price, smaller footprint (my truck barely fits in my garage) and better mpgs would've been nice. If I had gone with a van, it would've most likely been the cargo version, and I would've put a divider between the cockpit and cargo areas. That would quiet things down quite a bit I think, and make it much easier to regulate temps in the passenger area. I'm not sorry I got the Canyon, but there are definitely plusses on the van side too, and I certainly could've made it work for me.
    I agree and I could see myself being happy with a small pick-up or the van. I just can't get past the price on trucks. The more I look at the Promaster City Wagon I feel like it might be the perfect size. It really is like an upsized Element with sliding side doors. I think it would even fit in my garage.

  13. #13
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    I bought a 2016 Transit Connect LWB cargo van just recently and now have 12,600 miles after just a few months time. My experiences are much like J. B's. I came from a 2008 Frontier with 4x4. Gas bill is more than half, insurance is less, tires will be less etc. It drives like a car and does better than my truck in cross winds. The worst mileage I have had so far is 22mpg and best is 30.
    I got it with an extended warranty 5yr/125k out the door for 22k.
    My only gripes are same as others, no 4x4 and ground clearance or option for manual transmission. A manual would make this van a blast to drive....
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  14. #14
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    SO while I wait for VW and stew about how much my job sux right now. They are making me work in Denver a 2 hour drive each way. I stopped to look at pickups again this time an 014 chevy Silverado double cab with the 5.5 bed and the V6. I was impressed with the performance and the sals manager told me it the trucks they get to drive. He told me he normally sees 25 to 27 on the high way with the cylinder deactivation. And they are asking 27 for it with 20k miles. So I don't know maybe I can get a truck.

  15. #15
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    You will never see that mpg in that truck.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser View Post
    I stopped and looked at a Ram Promaster City Wagon today and I really liked it. Its just about the perfect size I think my 29r EX8 would fit perfect in the back with one seat folded up with the front wheel off and secured with a load bar with a fork tight on it. It really reminds me of the Honda Element. I want to look at a LWB ford cargo next. I have been in the standard ford wagon version and I didn't like it with all the seats. But I did like the drivers area.
    Have you made any decisions? I am considering the Ram Promaster City Wagon as well. I want a folding rear (2nd row) seat, but not a 3rd row seat. I don't like how the seats fold on the Ford Connect LWB as you loose 7" of cargo height vs the Transit Connect cargo model.

    Did you test drive the Promaster City Wagon? My local dealers do not stock the Wagon model and I am curious about road noise. I would hope the wagon model has much less road noise than the cargo model.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks04 View Post
    Have you made any decisions? I am considering the Ram Promaster City Wagon as well. I want a folding rear (2nd row) seat, but not a 3rd row seat. I don't like how the seats fold on the Ford Connect LWB as you loose 7" of cargo height vs the Transit Connect cargo model.

    Did you test drive the Promaster City Wagon? My local dealers do not stock the Wagon model and I am curious about road noise. I would hope the wagon model has much less road noise than the cargo model.
    I'm leaning heavily toward the Silverado. I didn't get to test drive the Promaster but my dealer has several of them. I have decided to start to work on my own and I need something bigger then the little van. I do garage doors so I need a full-size truck or a van. I also have a commute of an hour each way from work and when its bad out its no mans land so I really want 4wd.

  18. #18
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    So I figured I would post an update. The car is going back on the 7th and I picked out a 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 V6 crew cab with the 6'6 bed. At the moment they are letting me drive the company truck home but I am paying for 2 tanks of gas a week out of my pocket and its only getting 9mpg with a 37g tank. I am hopping to get the truck set up to work out of quickly and start doing side work. And also so I can do emergency service from it with out having to drive an hour each way to do cover my town when I'm on call. I figured the crew cab would be a perfect place to keep the bike during the day at work till I can get a cap on the truck. I have driven V6 Silveradosa few times now I the 2014s are impressive they don't drive like a V6 at all. I really hope this will bridge the gap for me and make things allot better.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks04 View Post
    Have you made any decisions? I am considering the Ram Promaster City Wagon as well. I want a folding rear (2nd row) seat, but not a 3rd row seat. I don't like how the seats fold on the Ford Connect LWB as you loose 7" of cargo height vs the Transit Connect cargo model.

    Did you test drive the Promaster City Wagon? My local dealers do not stock the Wagon model and I am curious about road noise. I would hope the wagon model has much less road noise than the cargo model.
    Did you make a decision about the Ram Promaster City Wagon? I'm looking at one for the same reasons. I'm also looking at the 2013 and older Transit Connect XLT Wagon, as I like the height and 2nd row 60/40 seat option, too.

  20. #20
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    Me too..

    About to go down this road also. Currently drive a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek MT. Great car BUT ...I really would love something that I could carry our bikes inside AND upright. Yes, you can jam a bike into a lot of vehicles lying down or dismantled but then you are pretty much toast for carrying anything else. Currently I pull a small camper with the Crosstrek but bikes have to go on the roof unless I'm travelling solo. On longish road trips where I need to leave the vehicle unattended for sometime ( ie to go hiking, shopping for groceries, etc) I prefer bikes inside and out of sight. Also nice to be out of the weather, ...last time coming back from the coast we drove 14 hrs straight in pouring rain with bikes on the roof. Not a good feeling! Also we fatbike in winter so would be nice to transport the bikes around to trail heads inside and out of the salt spray and slush. Have been researching the Ram Promaster City Wagon extensively and I think this would be perfect for my situation, I'm just not into these huge trucks or BIG SUVs and not-so-mini vans . Tows 2000lb ( 500 more than Suby) 1883 lb load capacity, great fuel economy, nice quality interior and seating. Supposedly durable and reliable. Also killer roof rack and classIII hitch!! Looks-wise maybe only what a mother could love but not an issue for me, I rather like funky vehicles and currently drive a Subaru lol. Should have it by next week, will update as time goes by...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9H3xMAQr_Q

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQe4mtc4j44

    also of interest for some...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHjea5cU2j4&t=1s
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

    RSD Bikes "The Mayor"
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  21. #21
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    I still really like the Promiser city wagon. I would love to get one as a second car and make it my mountain bike and camping trip car. I just wish they would do an Outdoorsman version with a little bit nicer materials up front or even an AWD option. But that would probably make it too expensive.

  22. #22
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    I haven't seen the wagon in person, but I did drive a City Cargo with a divider, and I really liked it. It felt like it had plenty of power, it felt peppy. The Transit LWB Wagon to me was really meh. For the the Promaster city was more comfortable.

    With that said, I LOVED the bit Transit wagon. We drove one with the 3.5 Ecoboost, that thing hauled. It was also very comfortable. Sadly however, it's RWD and I really want something I can tow behind my truck and camper.

    I liked the idea of the city as a daily driver, would let me take my bike while leaving it out of sight. We're also considering a Pacifica, my wife really liked it.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    About to go down this road also. Currently drive a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek MT. Great car BUT ...I really would love something that I could carry our bikes inside AND upright. Yes, you can jam a bike into a lot of vehicles lying down or dismantled but then you are pretty much toast for carrying anything else. Currently I pull a small camper with the Crosstrek but bikes have to go on the roof unless I'm travelling solo. On longish road trips where I need to leave the vehicle unattended for sometime ( ie to go hiking, shopping for groceries, etc) I prefer bikes inside and out of sight. Also nice to be out of the weather, ...last time coming back from the coast we drove 14 hrs straight in pouring rain with bikes on the roof. Not a good feeling! Also we fatbike in winter so would be nice to transport the bikes around to trail heads inside and out of the salt spray and slush. Have been researching the Ram Promaster City Wagon extensively and I think this would be perfect for my situation, I'm just not into these huge trucks or BIG SUVs and not-so-mini vans . Tows 2000lb ( 500 more than Suby) 1883 lb load capacity, great fuel economy, nice quality interior and seating. Supposedly durable and reliable. Also killer roof rack and classIII hitch!! Looks-wise maybe only what a mother could love but not an issue for me, I rather like funky vehicles and currently drive a Subaru lol. Should have it by next week, will update as time goes by...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9H3xMAQr_Q

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQe4mtc4j44

    also of interest for some...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHjea5cU2j4&t=1s
    Unfortunately I sat on the fence for too long on this and the one I had my sights on was sold same day that I finally decided to go for it! So I think with winter coming on here I will keep the Subaru and revisit this idea in the spring
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

    RSD Bikes "The Mayor"
    Rocky Mountain Sherpa Overland

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