2017 ProMaster City New Car Test Drive
Ram ProMaster City is a transit van that competes with the Ford Transit Connect, Chevy City Express, and Nissan NV200.
Transit vans are becoming popular because they are practical, versatile, affordable, and better than ever. Chrysler, Chevrolet, Ford and Nissan all make good and similar ones. They started out being commercial vans for plumbers, florists, and other tradesmen. And they still are. But they work as private vehicles too, for the same reasons they work for carpenters.
They're maneuverable, get good fuel mileage, and they are all about carrying cargo. That includes people as cargo.
For that matter, we could say these vans are all about living. You want to live in your car? If your lifestyle is traveling, nothing could beat a transit van, for living in RV parks or national parks. So easy to install a bunk and solar power. Your kayak, mountain bike, or kiteboard go on the roof, and you're done. We don't need no stinkin' mortgage. Don't forget your dog.
The bedrock strength of one of these is maneuverability, because of the compact size, the small footprint. It works in small places, including the city. You can travel to a city and sleep in it.
Ram ProMaster is based on the Fiat Doblo passenger van that has been sold for many years around the world. It's built in Turkey and imported by Fiat-Chrysler to Baltimore, where modifications are made.
The Ram ProMaster City comes as the Tradesman or Wagon. The Tradesman is a cargo van with no rear side windows (but they are optional) or seats, while the Wagon has seats and windows. One work van, one people-hauler. They're perfect for small shuttles.
The front-wheel-drive van is powered by Chrysler's 2.4-liter engine making 178 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, mated to their nine-speed automatic transmission. It's EPA-rated at 21 miles per gallon city, 29 highway, and 24 combined.
It hasn't been crash-tested. Standard safety features include stability control, front and curtain airbags, driver's knee airbag. A rearview camera system is optional, but a must. Parking sensors too. Automatic emergency braking isn't available.
The 2017 model has no significant changes, just some interior lighting.
The Tradesman and Wagon both come as base or SLT, with upgraded upholstery and wheels, plus a 5.0-inch touchscreen and some cosmetic things. Most of the options are meant for tradesmen: roof racks, cargo partitions, towing bits, graphics, navigation.