KBB Editors' Overview
By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
- Updated Date: 7/1/2013
Ram now has a full-size commercial van every bit the equal of the forthcoming Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Nissan NV, and a fair bit more sophisticated than GM's aging vans. Based on the Fiat Ducato, the 2014 Ram ProMaster 1500, 2500 and 3500 cargo vans build on this Italian workhorse by adding a Pentastar V6 engine option, modern 6-speed transmissions and a number of customization options. Unlike other commercial vans, the ProMaster is pulled by its front wheels, freeing up space to create a more versatile cargo floor. The unit-body construction and optional 3.0-liter diesel engine (available early 2014) allow the new ProMaster to lay claim to a number of best in class accolades, such as fuel economy, cargo capacity, turning radius, payload and ceiling height.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you run a business and need a versatile, fuel-efficient cargo hauler offering lots of configuration possibilities, the 2014 Ram ProMaster is not to be overlooked.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The 2014 ProMaster is an unproven commodity in the U.S. market, so it's tough to say what long-term reliability and repair costs may be, despite its 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. To date, a passenger model is not available.
What's New for 2014
Based on the Fiat Ducato commercial van, Ram will offer the 2014 ProMaster in three wheelbases with two ceiling heights, a gasoline V6 or 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbo-4 and more configuration and equipment possibilities than you can shake a stick at. It's an upfitter's dream come true.
As full-size vans go, the 2014 Promaster is fairly pleasant to pilot, offering good outward visibility to the front and sides, a city-friendly 36-foot turning circle (tighter than a Toyota Camry), and ride quality that's firm without being harsh, even when unloaded. Although we have yet to test the new Fiat-sourced EcoDiesel 4-cylinder engine, the Promaster V6 accelerates with more authority than both the GM twins and the M-B Sprinter. The driver's seat is plenty supportive and provides enough adjustability to suit the vast majority of body types. In the steering department, however, the Ram Promaster comes up a bit short. An overabundance of on-center slack demands constant supervision from the driver at highway speeds, and the steering wheel position is nearly horizontal – similar to that of a city bus. Nevertheless, Promaster high-roof models hold an edge over the current Sprinter van when it comes to crosswind mitigation.
The ProMaster's unit-body cab and front-drive layout give it a number of advantages, including a tighter turning radius, a flat cabin floor, lighter weight, better traction in snow, and the lowest load-in height of any Class 2 van.
3.0-LITER ECODIESEL TURBOCHARGED 4-CYLINDER
The ProMaster's available 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine produces 174-horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, earns best-in-class fuel economy and can go up to 18,500 miles between oil changes.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…