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Two small vans have hit the end of the line. The Ram ProMaster City retired in 2022, and the Ford Transit Connect will follow after this model year. However, the older van is more popular than the newer one this year so far. Here’s why.

The Ram ProMaster City is outselling the Ford Transit Connect

The Ford Transit Connect has earned praise from critics, but consumers have lost interest. Ford Authority reports that in the first quarter of 2023, the Blue Oval automaker sold 3,823 Transit Connect units. That’s a 48% drop from Q1 2022, when it sold 7,357.

In comparison, the Ram ProMaster City has seen a sales increase of over 232%. Ram sold only 1,709 units in Q1 2022 but 5,678 in Q1 2023.

Ford Authority believes the decline in sales could be because the Ford van hasn’t seen a major update since 2013, and the last refresh was in 2019. That means cheaper used models are essentially the same as a new 2023 Transit Connect. 

However, the same applies to the Ram ProMaster City, which hasn’t been updated in years. Still, one has to wonder why the ProMaster City is outperforming the Connect Transit this year. The answer isn’t apparent, but one factor is that the Ram van has more cargo space.

How do the 2 vans compare?

The ProMaster City and Transit Connect have much in common, although Ram’s van has slightly more power under the hood.

The ProMaster City packs a 2.4 four-cylinder engine making 178 hp and 174 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the Transit Connect has a 2.0 four-cylinder engine generating 162 hp and 144 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

But the Transit Connect gets slightly better gas mileage in the city. It achieves 24/28 mpg city/highway. And the ProMaster City gets 21/29 mpg city/highway.

Their price difference isn’t significant either. The ProMaster City ranges from $36,075 to $36,570, and the Transit Connect costs about $35,458 to $38,170, according to Car and Driver

However, the Ram ProMaster City boasts much more maximum cargo space of 132 cubic feet. The Ford Transit Connect provides 127 cubic feet in the cargo van and 105 cubic feet in the passenger wagon.

Where the Transit Connect outperforms the Ram ProMaster City is in bells and whistles. The ProMaster City offers Bluetooth phone connectivity, rear parking sensors, and a backup camera. But the Transit Connect offers more advanced features, such as built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross traffic alerts.

Why did Ram and Ford discontinue these 2 vans?

Despite consumers scooping up small vans as recreational vehicles during the pandemic, they aren’t big sellers in general. That’s why city vans are a dying breed in America. 

Many are built on older platforms that no longer meet new emissions and safety standards. Automakers would have to spend considerable time and money to update their vans, so many companies are cutting their losses.

Does that city vans are gone for good? Never say never, but they’re dead in the States for now. However, these two vans might be reborn as EVs. It remains to be seen if van sales will improve when the Ford E-Transit and Ram ProMaster EV hit the market.


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