Something about this van makes me want to talk about it. For one, it looks like the commercial vans we saw when we studied abroad in France in 2002, so it's funny to see that here now. Also, for a commercial vehicle, it's extremely light on fuel consumption. Mainly, it just looks so silly, and I'm fond of the silliness.
Though it weighs over 5,000 pounds it gets about 27 miles per gallon. Competitors vans boast mileage in the 14-15 MPG range.
It's all due to the engine: a 5-cylinder 2.7L Mercedes-Benz CDI diesel.
It's got a tight turning radius, can go up to 660 miles on a tank of fuel, and can hold or tow nearly 5,000 pounds of cargo. You can also stand up in the thing, so it's possible to fabricate small living quarters.
I'd love to see engines like this powering light-duty trucks in the future. I mean, teh futchar. Dodge would likely be first.
Ford's European vehicles using the Duratorq TDCi diesel get great gas mileage. The Focus gets 51MPG, while a small Fiesta gets 62MPG. The Ranger is somewhere in the high 30's. We can do better here.