By: Sean M. Lyden - Staff Writer
Posted: Nov 18th 2019 11:39AM

If you?re an expedite owner-operator or fleet owner who runs euro-style high-roof cargo vans for your business, you might be looking into purchasing new vehicles this next year.

So, what?s new in cargo vans for 2020? What should you look for in terms of new engine options, driver safety systems, and van configurations that could impact your upfront costs, operational expenses, and productivity?

Here are the latest updates on Ford Transit, RAM Promaster, and Mercedes-Benz/ Freightliner Sprinter to give you an idea of what to expect for 2020.

Ford Transit
The 2020 Ford Transit cargo van now comes standard with an all-new 3.5L PFDi V6 gasoline engine (replacing the 3.7L gas). You can also choose from the available 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine (which now includes Auto Start-Stop Technology) or all-new 2.0-liter EcoBlue? bi-turbo diesel (replacing the 3.2L Power Stroke diesel).

Other new features include an available all-wheel drive for improved traction, new 10-speed automatic transmission (replacing the 6-speed automatic) to increase fuel efficiency, and power-sliding doors for greater convenience.

In terms of safety, the 2020 Transit offers these new driver-assist systems as standard on every cargo van: Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking and Pedestrian Detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, Lane-Keeping System and auto high-beam headlamps.

There's also an available enhanced active park assist for maneuvering the van into parallel or reverse perpendicular parking spots. With the touch of a button, it provides prompts to the driver to manage gear selection, accelerator, and braking, while the van automatically steers itself into place?to make parking in tight areas safer and less stressful.

For more information:

RAM Promaster
The 2020 RAM Promaster comes standard with the 3.6L Pentastar V-6 engine (no diesel engine available), paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. New features for 2020 include:

  • A factory-installed trailer hitch with maximum towing of 6,800 pounds
  • A 136-inch wheelbase option for the 2500 standard roof, 3500 standard roof, and 3500 high roof cargo van configurations.

For more information:

Mercedes-Benz/ Freightliner Sprinter
There?s little official information from Mercedes on the 2020 Sprinter, so we?ll update you on what?s new in the 2019 model.

For 2019, Sprinter introduced a new gasoline engine option?a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo with a 9-speed transmission, along with the 3.0L V6 turbo diesel engine that?s paired with a 7-speed transmission.

Although the gas engine offers a lower price tag (by about $6,000), it's only available in the 1500 and 2500 standard-wheelbase (standard and high-roof) configurations and the 2500 long (170-inch.) wheelbase. So, if you operate a 2500 or 3500 extended wheelbase van, the diesel is still your only engine option.

Also new for 2019, as available options, are these safety systems:

Active Brake Assist: This system senses the likelihood of a collision with a vehicle ahead, sends both a visual and audible warning, and then initiates automatic braking.

Attention Assist: This system helps prevent drowsy driving by monitoring your driving patterns and providing an early warning in case the system detects that you?re fatigued.

360-Degree Camera: When you shift the van in reverse, this system uses four digital cameras to generate various views of the vehicle?s surroundings and show them in real-time on the multimedia display to give you maximum visibility.

Active Distance Assist Distronic: This is an intelligent cruise control system that senses traffic conditions and actively controls your speed to keep you at a safe distance.

Traffic Sign Assist: This is a camera-based system to give drivers additional help with identifying speed restriction signs, No Passing Zones, and No Entry signs.

Sprinter also enhanced these existing safety features for 2019:

Blind Spot Assist: This now offers Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA), which employs automatic braking to avoid a collision with traffic crossing the vehicle?s path (such as vehicles or pedestrians) when reversing.

Active Lane Keeping Assist: This system can sense if your van leaves its lane unintentionally, alerts you with visual and audible warnings, and then automatically applies brake pressure to help you get the vehicle back in the lane.

For more information:,

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