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ProMaster undercuts Sprinter (updated)

by David Zatz on

How does a company compete with a existing player who has a long head start? It helps to undercut their pricing, as Hyundai did for many years, and as the Fiat 500 more recently did versus the Mini line. The Ram ProMaster, accordingly,  undercuts Mercedes’ Sprinter. (As a side note, it’s a Mercedes Sprinter in Canada, but appears to once again be a Freightliner Sprinter in the US, after being a Mercedes and Dodge for a while.)

Canadian pricing for ProMaster Cargo Van in starts at C$31,395 (not including destination, which we believe will be at least $1,000) for the 1500 model, which carries a 118 inch wheelbase. Going to the medium wheelbase (136”) brings the price up to $32,495. That’s not quite as long as the base Sprinter (144”), nor as high capacity, but the price is a far cry from the lowest Sprinter at C$42,900.

To make the comparison more fair, we can step up to the ProMaster 2500 (C$35,495); it’s higher in capacity than Sprinter (8,900 lb GVWR) and includes 8,550) and has a high roof and heavy duty brakes, while Sprinter has a standard diesel with more power, and a five speed automatic vs ProMaster six speed.  Going to a 159 inch wheelbase adds $1,000 — now cheaper, larger, and more capable than Sprinter.

Sprinter does have some options ProMaster does not (longer bodies, higher roofs, passenger vans), along with a traditional rear wheel drive basis, but the most expensive model Ram van — the 159-inch wheelbase ProMaster 3500 cargo van with high roof — is still cheaper, at C$38,495, than the cheapest Sprinter. (The 144-inch wheelbase Sprinter 3500, incidentally, weighs in at a stunning C$49,300.)

American pricing starts at US$29,625 for the 118” low-roof and $30,515 for the 136” wheelbase. Going up to the ProMaster 2500 with 159” wheelbase and high roof sets up the ProMaster  up at $33,870 — versus $38,670 for the Sprinter 144” high roof cargo van. That’s nearly $5,000 cheaper, with a longer wheelbase and much higher payload (3,998 vs 3,362 lb).

A more direct comparison may be possible if the Ram version of the Iveco Daily it approved, as it allegedly has been.

For full American pricing, see our March 2013 story.

David Zatz founded Allpar in 1998 (based on a site he had begun in 1993-94), after years of writing reviews for retail trades. He has been quoted by the New York Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Detroit News, and USA Today. Before making Allpar a full-time career, he was a consultant in organizational psychology. You can reach him by using our contact form (much preferred) or by calling (313) 766-2304


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