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2015 Ram ProMaster Cargo Van

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2015 Ram ProMaster Cargo Van Review

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The 2015 Ram ProMaster is designed to be the equal of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Nissan NV, and forthcoming Ford Transit, plus a fair bit more sophisticated than GM's aging vans. The 2015 Ram ProMaster 1500, 2500 and 3500 cargo vans build on the European Fiat Ducato by adding a Pentastar V6 engine option, modern 6-speed transmissions and a number of customization options. A 4-cylinder diesel is also available. Unique to the segment, the ProMaster is front-wheel drive, freeing up the cargo area for a more versatile floor. The unit-body construction combined with the optional 3.0-liter diesel engine 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...

The 2015 Ram ProMaster is strictly business, made for fuel efficient hauling of huge loads. Configurable about a zillion different ways, it's a good pick for just about any business where ample cargo space is vital.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your business includes hauling people to and from the airport or hotel, you'll have to look elsewhere, as there's no passenger model available for the 2015 Ram ProMaster. The ProMaster is still an unproven commodity in the U.S., although the 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is reassuring.

What's New for 2015

The 2015 Ram ProMaster is essentially identical to last year's model, with no significant changes.

Driving the ProMaster Cargo Van
Driving Impressions

Full-size vans are rarely held up as shining examples of driving fun. The same is true for the 2015 Ram ProMaster – driving this big beast isn't a burden, however....

... It offers good front and side visibility, and it's surprisingly maneuverable thanks to its 36-foot turning circle – that's tighter than a Toyota Camry – and ride quality that's firm without being harsh, even when unloaded. While we haven't tested the new Fiat-sourced EcoDiesel 4-cylinder engine, the V6 accelerates with surprising authority, besting GM's full-size vans and the Mercedes Sprinter. The ProMaster fares better than the Sprinter in crosswinds, too. The supportive driver's seat is adjustable enough to suit most body types. However, the steering feel leaves something to be desired. There's way too much slack on-center, requiring constant supervision from the driver at highway speeds. Plus, the steering wheel is nearly horizontal, like a city bus.

FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE
While we're used to rear-wheel-drive full-size vans, the Ram ProMaster's unit-body cab and front-drive layout give it several advantages. There's that tight turning circle and a flat cabin floor that's the lowest in its class. Additionally, the Ram weighs less and has better traction in snow.

3.0-LITER ECODIESEL TURBOCHARGED 4-CYLINDER
Diesel is undoubtedly the engine of choice for workhorse vehicles like the Ram ProMaster. The available 3.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder engine produces 174-horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It also earns best-in-class fuel economy and can go up to 18,500 miles between oil changes.

2015 Ram ProMaster Cargo Van Details
Interior

While the 2015 Ram ProMaster van is definitely a work vehicle, the modern cabin puts an emphasis on driver comfort and convenience. There's an available suspension-enhanced driver seat to make long drives less painful, and the available swiveling driver and passenger seats enhance ease of access inside the cab. The ProMaster's cargo area offers up 17 tie-downs and two ceiling-height options, plus there are a number of accessories to help businesses, such as rack-and-shelf systems for tool storage and more. Note that there is currently no passenger version of the ProMaster available.

Exterior

The 2015 Ram ProMaster is one funky-looking van, and not in a 1970s airbrushed-mural kind of way, either. Its European aesthetic is balanced with American needs, though. Buyers can choose from three different distances between the front and rear wheels (wheelbase), measuring 118, 136 or 159 inches. There are also open bed (chassis cab) or boxed cargo bay (cargo van), plus single or dual sliding side doors that are wide enough to accommodate a standard size forklift-loadable pallet. The front-wheel-drive design also makes upfitting the ProMaster easier.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2015 Ram ProMaster van, like most vehicles in its class, is essentially a blank slate. It comes standard with Brembo brakes, a telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, power windows, and a 4-speaker radio with USB and auxiliary inputs. Safety-wise, there's electronic traction and stability control, Trailer Sway Control, six airbags, and Hill Start Assist to prevent rolling backwards on steep inclines. There's a 220-amp alternator, auxiliary oil coolers for the engine and transmission, and air conditioning that can be delete-optioned.

Optional Equipment

Upfitting your Ram ProMaster van starts at the dealership with add-ons like swiveling front seats, a pneumatic-suspension driver's seat, Uconnect touch-screen navigation, and Bluetooth. A rear backup camera and backup sensors make maneuvering the ProMaster in tight quarters easier, and heated seats, 3-across seating and vinyl upholstery help comfort and utility. There's also cruise control, an overhead shelf, and a driver-side sliding door. In-vehicle Internet access via Uconnect Web is available for every ProMaster configuration.

Under the Hood

Ram offers two engine choices for the 2015 ProMaster van. Standard is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine we've come to love in other Chrysler and Dodge products. If you're looking for more torque or better fuel economy, there's an available 3.0-liter EcoDiesel turbocharged 4-cylinder good for 174 horsepower and an impressive 295 lb-ft of torque. Like other diesel engines, it promises power, reliability, longevity and, according to Ram, class-leading fuel economy. Both engines can be teamed to a 6-speed automatic transmission designed to deal with the added weight and stress a fully loaded ProMaster will likely endure. The EcoDiesel is available with an exclusive 6-speed automated transmission that allows the driver to choose gears, or can be left on its own for optimal efficiency.

3.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
174 horsepower @ 3,600 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400 rpm
EPA estimated fuel economy: NA

3.6-liter V6
280-horsepower @6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,175 rpm
EPA estimated fuel economy: NA

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