2014 ProMaster 2500 New Car Test Drive
The Ram ProMaster marks Chrysler's first full-size van since the Dodge B-van that carted so many people to airports and religious retreats. Although ProMaster is new to the American market there are millions of them on the roads of Europe wearing Fiat Ducato badges.
ProMaster is offered in conventional cargo van layout, a cargo van with windows (which can be made into a passenger van at a facility adjacent the factory), a chassis cab more like a flat-bed, and a cutaway van suitable for adding your own box van and likely to be popular with Class C motorhome builders. From three weight classes, four body styles, three wheelbases and two roof heights offer 14 configurations.
A 280-hp 3.6-liter gasoline V6 and 6-speed automatic derived from those in Ram's cargo van and Chrysler vans is standard on all. The alternative for every ProMaster is a 174-hp 3-liter four-cylinder diesel coupled to a 6-speed automated manual transmission.
Ram ProMaster is a front-wheel-drive van. In addition to any traction benefit in inclement weather and less hardware running front to back, that means a low load floor and big doors that will clear a standard pallet; a sliding driver's-side door and various window options for working out of it are available.
Top load and tow ratings clear 5000 pounds, though not coincidentally. Interior cargo volume ranges from 283 cubic feet to 530 cubic feet. Up to 17 cargo securement points are included.
The driving position is upright with an excellent view forward and good mirrors. Two seats are standard, a double passenger seat offered, and the passenger version is expected to carry 12 individuals. Controls are simple, the floor is unobstructed and navigation and Bluetooth are offered.
Maximum space efficiency means a box shape, so consider ProMaster's slab sides a blank canvas to improve its looks with your graphics. The big front bumper/grille assembly is three parts to lower replacement/repair costs of fender benders, and the mirrors and paint are the only things you can easily scrape off it.
ProMaster competes against Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford's outgoing E-van and upcoming Transit, Nissan NV, Chevrolet Express, and GMC Savana.
Ram offers 14 ProMaster configurations. All of them come with a 280-hp gasoline V6, 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. A 174-hp four-cylinder turbodiesel and 6-speed automated manual transmission are available on any ProMaster.
Cargo van choices include a short-wheelbase (118-inch) low-roof 1500, low- and high-roof medium-wheelbase (136-inch) 1500, medium- and long- (159-inch) wheelbase high-roof 2500, and long-wheelbase high-roof 3500 in standard or extended body (14 inches longer).
Chassis cabs and Cutaway are 3500 136 or 159-inch wheelbase low roof with cab-to-axle of 81 or 104 inches. All have wider mirror mounts for 8-foot wide bodies.
The Window van is a 159-inch wheelbase, high roof 2500. Window vans use tinted glass for rear windows, and touring rear suspension.
All ProMasters come with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, six-way manual front seats, telescoping steering wheel, power locks/one-touch windows, remote entry, 16-inch steel wheels, full-size spare tire and USB charge port.
Options include: heated front seats, swiveling front seats, engine block heater, aluminum wheels, wood floor cargo area, various floor mats, dual passenger seat with fold-down console, leather wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth hands-free, UConnect 5.0 stereo, SiriusXM satellite radio, navigation, smokers pack, bright grille and fog lamps, and a forward convenience package (overhead tray, locking glovebox, windshield document clip). Cargo vans may be ordered with a driver's side sliding door with or without window.
Safety features include front, front side impact and side-curtain airbags, tire pressure monitors and electronic stability control with trailer sway control.
Optional on cargo and passenger vans are a backup camera and rear park assist.
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