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Old 10-25-2014, 10:21 PM   #1
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Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

Had a couple of hours free near a couple of dealers that had the Nissan NV & Ford Transit high-tops in stock. Did some looking and made a few photos. These are the high points:

Ford PROS:

*more headroom, about 3-4" more

*option for heavy-duty alternator & 2nd battery; compartment available for battery placement

*LED lights at front & rear of cargo area

*available in a long wheel base that adds 23 linear inches to the cargo area

*overall excellent fit/finish, lots of cup holders & storage bins in front, plus overhead storage bin

*6 speed automatic with option for switching to manual shifting

*nicely finished cargo area: heavy tough mat with cushion underneath; wiring chase with snap-over cover running from front driver's side, across the rear, and blanked off at the passenger side above rear door; side panels and wheel wells covered up to about 5' high with tough black plastic

*jack stored under passenger seat, does not take up space in cargo area

*full-size spare is underneath but has a crank-down holder---not sure how this works---there is a recessed handle inside the rear doors that the jack handle turns

*nice tall rear windows--good visibility when backing up

*good back-up camera with white lines marking your reverse path, VERY helpful if you suck at backing like I do

*excellent long-arm big side mirrors with convex lower areas, mirrors fold in, power option available.

*what appears to be good sound/heat barriers on the firewall.

*2X 12 V outlets in front

*8 D-ring tie-downs

*van is very quiet to drive and handles nicely. A substantial size vehicle for sure, but handling is surprisingly good. I did a short test drive and was pleased with acceleration/handling on the V6 Eco-boost.

FORD CONS:

*Sticker price on the 2015 regular wheel base high-roof Ford, with a few options, was about $40K.

*comes with Hankook tires; should be Michelins at this price point!

*high step-in---I'm 5'11" and would need a step or running board--running boards are not standard

*the battery is located under the driver's seat in a compartment that is not easily accessible, but visible when the driver's seat is pushed fully forward. Salesman was not sure what would be required to fully access/change the battery. This is where the second battery compartment is as well. There is a jumper point easily accessible under the hood.

*The engine compartment is relatively small, and very tight on space. The access for fluid fills/checks is good, and the main fuse box is up top. But those who do their own mechanical work might find access pretty difficult.

NISSAN NV PROS:

*about $5000 less than a comparably equipped Ford

*large locking console standard between the front seats, lots of overhead storage

*4 overhead lights in cargo bay

*built-in inverter and rear 120 V outlet

*slightly lower step-in than Ford

*engine compartment fully out front---sized & arranged like a full-size pickup

*touts the largest brake rotors available on a cargo van

*passenger seat folds down flat---it struck me that a person could fold this down and use the seat back as one end of a bed support, for a bed oriented front-back, utilizing all the cab cubbies and storage for a "night table" and about 3 linear feet of space.

*good side mirrors comparable to Ford's

*pre-tapped screw holes all along the cargo area sides about 4' high

NISSAN CONS:

significantly less headroom than the Transit

*large center console blocks easy access to the back from front seats

*no chase for wiring to the back, it just hangs out there

*only 6 D-ring tie downs

*cargo area mat did not fit well and rippled by the side door

*120 V outlet is only 400 watts, rendering it useless for anything over 3 amps

*cargo area liner is flimsy cargo---very floppy and does not fit well--only goes up about 4' on the wall

*rear windows are short, reducing visibility

I was not able to get many of my technical questions answered about the Nissan, thanks to a lazy salesman. I did not have time for a test drive, no one seemed interested in offering me one anyway.

The Nissan dealer did not offer me any literature but most of the dimensions are available online.


OVERALL: The Ford would be my choice, due to its far superior fit/finish, taller headroom, and what appears to me to be overall better engineering. The only thing that gives me pause about the Ford is the battery compartment under the seat.

The Transits have been sold and used in Europe since 1965, and are the best-selling light cargo vehicle in Europe. My understanding is that US versions have a different transmission but the same engine used in the F-150 V6 Ecoboost.

Transits are made in Kansas City, Nissans are made in Canton, MS.

I'm thinking in about 3 years there should be some reasonably priced used Transits available, which should reduce the sticker shock somewhat.
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Old 10-26-2014, 05:25 AM   #2
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Re: Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

Wow---what a fairly detailed first impression----love to see something "more" detailed CoolMom!

I'm sure inside 3-4 years Transit's will ease down into the (much) lower $30's, possibly touching high $20's from off-lease or rental fleet retirement. If it shares portions of the drive train with F-Series that too would help gauging whether upkeep will be a huge issue.

DIY mechanics tend to find work arounds on most components. Just like the switch to E-Series modular motors came with a learning curve, the Transit engine & body will too.

My only concern with Ford's version of the Sprinter is will it also have the horrible body rust issues I've seen in that brand?
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:49 AM   #3
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Re: Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

Body rust issues have to do with steel composition and coatings applications, not with body style. Fords generally do very well, I wouldn't expect that to change with this vehicle.

This is going to be a travel van for me, and I DO NOT travel where the roads are salted! When things get that bad, it's time to get out ahead of the storm!
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Old 10-27-2014, 06:01 AM   #4
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Re: Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

I agree rust can be mitigated beginning at the factory with its materials used however I have an '03 E250 that is absolutely a rust nightmare. In fact many, many '03's in my general area has similar problems and its not all due our salted road conditions. Also in my stable is an '00 E250, same streets etc etc and it exhibits none of the same rust formations.

I'd hate to shell out any money for something no better than the Sprinter et al with the very noticeable body issues. I hope Ford has this under consideration or at least addressed it with their bodies constructed here in the USA.
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Old 10-27-2014, 01:24 PM   #5
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Re: Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

The Transit shares the same plant as the F150, so I would expect they also share the same paints and application methods.

Also doesn't Ford have something like a 15 year rust warranty now?
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:00 AM   #6
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Re: Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb

Also doesn't Ford have something like a 15 year rust warranty now?
If so I wonder if its transferable to a second owner?
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:47 AM   #7
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Re: Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

Important one for me, The Ford does't have a frame. Nissan does.
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Old 10-28-2014, 09:36 AM   #8
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Re: Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA
Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb

Also doesn't Ford have something like a 15 year rust warranty now?
If so I wonder if its transferable to a second owner?
I just looked at a 2013 warranty guide. I guess it's only 5 years, but unlimited miles (and yes, it transfers). But I thought for sure I remembered 15 year coverage for something. Now it'll bug me me until I figure it out. Time to re-read the old TSBs again...
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

Just curious. Does the Sprinter have a frame? Or is it unibody?

I have heard that some larger rvs when towing actually have had the back of the rv bulge out due to the lack of a frame under the body.

And finally, does the Iveco have a frame? They have always been the most intriguing Euro van to me.
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Old 10-28-2014, 01:12 PM   #10
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Re: Ford Transit vs Nissan NV

Sprinter and Promaster are Unibody. The largest Iveco is body-on-frame. They had plans to sell it here, but I have't seen anything in a while. Maybe they're truing to work out the ProMaster teething issues first.

BTW - Our local Nissan dealer still uses a V10 E350 to haul the dealer's enclosed car trailer

Most modern RVs do full frame rail extensions. But older RVs did have problems with very sub-par frame work. Ford has a publication on proper frame extensions, and if that's followed all of the factory ratings remain intact. The Transit and Sprinter frames cannot be stretched for more wheelbase, and there's tight restrictions on extending the tail sections.
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