2019 Ram ProMaster Cargo Van vs. 2019 Nissan NV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the ProMaster Cargo Van uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The NV uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the ProMaster Cargo Van and the NV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Ram dealers as there are Nissan dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the ProMaster Cargo Van’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the ProMaster Cargo Van has a standard 180-amp alternator (220-amp - ProMaster Cargo Van optional). The NV’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the ProMaster Cargo Van has a standard 800-amp battery. The NV’s 650-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the ProMaster Cargo Van is under the floor, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the ProMaster Cargo Van’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The NV’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ram vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ram 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

Engine

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 19 more horsepower (280 vs. 261) than the NV’s standard 4.0 DOHC V6.

Suspension and Handling

For much better steering response and tighter handling the ProMaster Cargo Van has rack and pinion steering, like Formula race cars, instead of the recirculating-ball type steering of the NV.

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The NV doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the ProMaster Cargo Van is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the NV.

For better maneuverability, the ProMaster Cargo Van 1500 SWB’s turning circle is 8.9 feet tighter than the NV’s (36.3 feet vs. 45.2 feet).

Chassis

The Ram ProMaster Cargo Van may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1250 to 1350 pounds less than the Nissan NV.

The ProMaster Cargo Van 1500 MWB is 2 feet, 3.4 inches shorter than the NV, making the ProMaster Cargo Van easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction makes the ProMaster Cargo Van’s chassis much stiffer, which contributes to better handling, and enables softer springs to be used for a better ride. Unibody construction’s stiffness also contributes to better durability and less body squeaks and rattles. The NV doesn’t use unibody construction, but a body-on-frame design.

Passenger Space

The ProMaster Cargo Van offers optional seating for 3 passengers; the NV can only carry 2.

Cargo Capacity

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s cargo area is larger than the NV’s in almost every dimension:

 

ProMaster Cargo Van

1500 SWB

ProMaster Cargo Van

3500 Ext. LWB

NV

Length

105”

160”

120”

Max Width

82.7”

82.7”

70.2”

Min Width

56”

56”

54.3”

Payload

The ProMaster Cargo Van has a much higher standard payload capacity than the NV:

 

ProMaster Cargo Van

NV

1500 Van

4000 lbs.

2730 lbs.

2500 Van

4010 lbs.

3280 lbs.

3500 Van

4680 lbs.

3860 lbs.

The ProMaster Cargo Van 2500 MWB has a much higher optional payload capacity than the NV2500 (4260 vs. 3280 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

The ProMaster Cargo Van has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The NV doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The ProMaster Cargo Van (except Diesel) offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The NV doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the ProMaster Cargo Van has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The NV doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s front power windows lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The NV’s passenger windows don’t open automatically.

In addition to the standard right side sliding door, the Ram ProMaster Cargo Van offers an optional driver’s side rear sliding door. This door simplifies loading and unloading passengers and it allows parents to easily secure two children into child seats. The NV doesn’t offer a driver’s side rear door.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the ProMaster Cargo Van offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The NV doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The ProMaster Cargo Van’s optional power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The NV’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

The ProMaster Cargo Van offers optional heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the NV.

Recommendations

The Ram ProMaster outsold the Nissan NV by over two to one during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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