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If you’re looking for work vans, Ford and Ram offer several great options. In fact, they’re consistently the top sellers of work vans in the U.S. So far, both automakers are on pace to have a banner year, with Ford and Ram work van sales up significantly in the first quarter of 2023.

A lineup of Ford E-Transit work vans.
Ford work vans | Ford Media

A spike in work van popularity

With the global pandemic in the rearview, many companies are resuming normal operations. And with funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act fueling spring and summer construction, it’s little wonder that automakers are seeing increasing demand for work vans.

According to a Stellantis press release, Ram’s ProMaster work van has seen a big bump in popularity. Compared to the first quarter of 2022, ProMaster sales during the first three months of this year were up by 90%. That increase marks the best first quarter the ProMaster has ever had. Additionally, the ProMaster City had the best-ever first quarter with a whopping 232% increase over the previous year.

Ford also has had an excellent year so far. Not only is it America’s best-selling brand so far regarding trucks, but it’s also seeing a nearly 20% increase in sales across the company. Part of the increase can be attributed to the Ford Pro Transit van, whose numbers have increased by 86%.

A closer look at Ford’s work vans

Based on Ram’s percentage increase, you might believe that the ProMaster and ProMaster City van series are the more desirable vans. However, Ford has sold more in absolute numbers. GoodCarBadCar noted that Transit’s sales are 41,421, while 17,694 ProMasters have been sold. 

Ford’s higher numbers might be due to the automaker offering a larger set of work van options for passengers and cargo. There’s a compact and fuel-efficient work van called the Transit Connect, which is ideal if you’re likely to navigate tight urban areas. There’s also a larger version called the Ford Transit, perfect for ferrying larger tools and equipment back and forth from headquarters to field sites.

Both the Transit and Transit Connect are available with two different ICE powertrain options and multiple trim levels. Ford also offers the E-Series, which, from inception, included cargo and passenger van configurations. Currently, the E-Series is only available in stripped chassis and cutaway configurations, with Ford leveraging the Transit model for those looking for passenger or cargo models.

And, in keeping with the times, Ford now also offers an E-Transit van that is all electric. It’s available as a cargo van, cutaway, or chassis cab. The E-Transit is good for up to 126 miles of range and has several configuration options.

For example, you can purchase an E-Transit with a standard or a high roof or a normal or extended wheelbase. Notably, the E-Transit is the only all-electric work van on the market right now. However, a ProMaster EV will be available in the second half of 2023.

How do Ford’s and Ram’s work vans differ?

Despite the range of Ford’s product selections, Ram’s ProMaster vans don’t differ significantly when it comes to the fundamentals. The ProMaster also comes with multiple configurations for both cargo and passenger van options. The EPA doesn’t test full-size vans for fuel economy, but Car and Driver noted that both the Transit and ProMaster have a fuel economy of approximately 14 mpg.

Like most new vehicles manufactured these days, the ProMaster is wired for device connectivity and sports infotainment displays. It also sports advanced safety systems, with standard features like automatic emergency braking and optional ones like adaptive cruise control. Comparable features can also be found in the Transit series, making both vehicles safe and comfortable for drivers and passengers alike.

And while Ford is outpacing Ram in total work van sales figures, there is not a wide gulf between the two sets of offerings. Whether you need a passenger van, cargo van, or cutaway, you’d likely be well-served by either a Transit or a ProMaster.


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