Van Fans Shed a Tear: City Vans Are Now Dead in the U.S.

Goodbye, Ram ProMaster City. See ya’ round, Ford Transit Connect. We will miss your cargo-carrying ability, your small footprints, your efficiency, and your do-anything attitude. That’s right, both of these city vans are disappearing, along with every other city van, leaving a giant hole in the delivery van market that, presumably, will be filled by new full-sized EV vans and SUVs, in the near future.

What makes a city van?

Ford Transit Connect
Second-gen Ford Transit Connect van | Ford

It’s ironic during the era of home delivery and the #vanlife lovers on Instagram who live in vans that there will be no city vans available after 2023. First, the Chevrolet City Express disappeared with the Nissan NV200. But these vans never found their niche in the U.S., despite being able to seat up to eight, or carry 1,500 pounds of cargo, or get turned into #vanlife go-anywhere vehicles, with doors that either slid or open like clamshells that made reaching cargo easy.

However, according to Ford’s latest sales news release, it sold about 12,000 Transit Connect vans, compared to 34,000 Transit full-sized vans. So, we can see by the numbers it may not make sense to keep trying to sell them. Also, most of these city vans are on older platforms, the Ram’s is 22 years old, and putting the effort in to meet new emissions and safety standards may not be worth it.

The Transit Connect is dead after 2023

The Ford Transit Connect is the last city van you can buy in 2023.
The Ford Transit Connect | Ford

The Ford Transit Connect offers great practicality for delivery drivers who want more cargo capability than, say, an SUV, but don’t want to drive a giant delivery van. The Transit Connect has filled a great niche for Ford since 2010 in cargo or passenger versions, as well as two wheelbase choices. It’s never been a high-performance van, with either the 162-horsepower or 169-horsepower engines, but with either a 72-inch or 86-inch long load floor, it’s super practical.

Delivery drivers have loved its low 23-inch load floor and its 1,510-pound payload capacity. Shuttle drivers have also loved its three-row capacity, with plenty of space for luggage. However, according to The Fast Lane Truck, 2023 should be its last year on the market.

The Ram ProMaster City also disappears

Sure, the ProMaster City looks a bit funky, but that’s always been a part of this van’s charm. Its practicality always won it fans, especially pet lovers.

Like the Ford, it’s not known to be fast, with just 178 horsepower on tap, but it can hold up to 1,890 pounds of cargo in its spacious 131..7-cubic-foot hold. Unfortunately, Ram unceremoniously dropped it from the 2023 Ram catalog. It was based on the successful Fiat Doblo panel van that came about after the merger of the two companies and replaced the cargo version of the Dodge Caravan.

You can order the last of the ProMaster City vans through the beginning of 2023.

#VanLife drivers will have to look at bigger vans

The Nissan NV200 and its Chevrolet variant were discontinued in 2021.
Nissan NV200 SV | Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz, Getty Images

As we see Amazon and GrubHub delivery drivers on every street, its hard to believe that these vans couldn’t find buyers. But, Nissan and Chevy, too ditched their city vans. There was talk of a Nissan Townstar coming to the U.S., but that never happened. Nissan’s NV200 holds 122.7 cubic feet of cargo behind its clamshell doors. It was canceled after 2021. Chevy rebranded it the City Express and simply tacked on a Chevy grille.

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