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These Are The Best Cars From Brands You Hate

My RAM Promaster. I can’t stand FCA, now Stellantis, because of their blatantly shitty quality, their dealer network’s horrible (and well earned) reputation, and of course their insistence on catering to the worst of people with their rather obnoxious marketing and their screw-the-earth Hellcat all the things product strategy. But the Promaster is a proven platform, with real advantages over other full-sized cargo vans mostly stemming from the pragmatic decision to make it FWD and boxy.

Lower cargo floor (so more interior height without making it ridiculously tall), the ability for a 6’1″ person to sleep sideways in a camper conversion without having to spend thousands on bump-outs, easier upfitting (for commercial purposes) or buildout (for conversions) due to the relatively plum walls (there’s that boxy thing again). Pricing a few thousand less than gas transits, and of course lots more less than diesel Sprinters, with a reasonably ubiquitous minivan drivetrain (so repairs are easily done anywhere, and parts are cheap), and no hassle with ever-finicky diesel emissions systems.

Mine was the most reasonable way to get myself the adventure van I wanted to build, in a reasonable footprint (the long wheel base but not extended version is just under 20′ long – so no insane surcharges on the Washington and BC ferries), with better gas mileage than a Tacoma. With good tires, it even has reasonable traction on dirt roads and in snow (unless you go nuts on the buildout and move the weight bias too far aft).

Oh, and insanely comfortable seats if you get the factory swivels (which are German commercial van seats designed for drivers in an environment where they take occupational safety and ergonomics very seriously).

I really don’t like FCA/Stellantis, but this one they got right.

Bonus points for actually owning the exception to your Stellantis-hating rule. The company built a car you like, and you put your money where you mouth is on it.


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