The trouble with selecting a work van is that they’re all made to be as close to one-size-fits-all as possible. After all, what manufacturer can afford to customize an entire line of work vans specifically for painters? or landscapers? or construction?
That’s why we have work van customization. On paper, the best thing to do is to find the one that provides the best cargo space, payload and mileage for an affordable price, then get it to a customizer before putting it to work.
Below, we’ll compare three popular options and see how they stack up.
Since good work ain’t cheap and cheap work ain’t good, it’s nice to keep the price paid for a work van as low as possible so there’s more money available for customization. The Ford Transit certainly beats the other work vans on our list when it comes to MSRP. Maybe that’s why it’s one of the best-selling work vans ever.
It’s the lightest-duty of the vans on our list, which is just fine for many businesses. There’s no reason to overpay on a work van for features you’ll never need. It’s also right in the middle when it comes to mileage, which will further help keep costs down.
Mpg: 15 city/19 hwy
Cargo (cubic feet): 78 – 123
Payload: 1,188 to 1,549 lbs
Although it gets the lowest mileage of any work van on our list, the GMC Savanna is significantly more capable than Ford’s offering. With more than 2.5x the payload capacity, the lower mileage may turn out to be quite worth it for some companies.
At just under $32,000, the Savanna is a classic “workhorse”-style vehicle. Plenty of capability and reliability, with one of the world’s most-trusted automakers behind it.
Mpg: 11 city / 16 highway
Cargo (cubic feet): 92 – 284
Payload: 2,609 to 4,334 lbs
With the best mileage, cargo space and payload of any van on our list–and with a lower price than the Savanna–the Promaster is looking like an outstanding work van option.
For about $5,000 more than the Transit, it may even present a better value than Ford’s work van. Perhaps the only reason to avoid a Promaster would be if you’re in the market for a whole fleet of work vans and know for sure that your business does not have extensive hauling needs. $5,000 adds up fast; that’s a nice little savings if you don’t need the extra capability.
Cargo (cubic feet): 259 – 463
Payload: 4,256 lbs
Customizing Your Work Van
At least out of these three popular work van options, the RAM Prostar comes in with the best value. Of course, there is nothing wrong with saving some cash where you can and opting for the Ford Transit if you simply don’t need everything the Promaster can do.
Give a call to the shop you expect to have your customization done at and see what they recommend. Just like in your field, a certain amount of experience can help answer a lot of questions before they even need to be asked.