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2015 Ram ProMaster City

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2015 Ram ProMaster City Review

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The 2015 Ram ProMaster City expands a steadily growing influx of all-purpose metropolitan haulers, a breed of vans with a long history in Europe but new to North America. Tall and spacious with a smallish footprint, they’re ideal for urban commercial applications. An adaptation of the 3rd-generation Fiat Doblo and offered in cargo and passenger editions, the newest Ram van brings several best-in-class credentials to the division’s 2300 dealers: best power (178 horsepower from Chrysler’s 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder); best cargo capacity; best payload rating. Smooth ride quality, an exceptionally tight turning circle, and Chrysler’s excellent 9-speed automatic transmission all conspire to distinguish the ProMaster City from its competition – the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 and the City Express, a Chevrolet version of the NV200.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re in a business that involves deliveries or service activities such as plumbing, locksmithing or home improvement in a metro area, the Ram ProMaster City deserves a look. With its best-in-class cargo capacity, best-in-class payload, solid comfort quotient and respectable performance, the ProMaster City is ideal for a small business owner.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The new ProMaster City is not for you if minimum price is the top priority – usually the case for fleet buyers, for instance. The Nissan NV200 commands the low end of the purchase spectrum among vans of this type.

What's New for 2015

The Ram ProMaster City is based on Fiat’s Doblo, which has just embarked on its third generation in European markets, where it has had a long and successful run. This is its first appearance in North America.

Driving the ProMaster City
Driving Impressions

Ram Truck spokesmen describe the 2015 ProMaster City as “urban nimble,” a characterization that depends on one’s definition of nimble. With its lofty aspect ratio (width to height), there’s rock...

... and roll in rapid maneuvers, a dynamic trait common to all vans of this type. On the other hand, ride quality is smooth, the driver’s forward sightlines are very good, the turning radius is exceptionally tight (32 feet), and acceleration is reasonably brisk for this type of van (the company claims 0-to-30 mph in 3.7 seconds). There are two keys to this van’s deportment: the design and tuning of its independent rear suspension system; and the exceptionally smooth operation of the 9-speed automatic transmission, which keeps the 2.4-liter engine in the sweet spot of its powerband.

9-SPEED AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
Manufactured under license from ZF, this transmission is smooth, responsive and makes the most of the engine’s power, for acceleration and/or fuel economy. Operating in manual mode, the transmission will hold the selected gear, without upshifting on its own.

INTEGRATED DOOR LATCH AND LOCK
Built into the front-door armrests, this clever design combines the locking and door opening functions in one fixture. Push down, and the doors lock. Pull up, and they unlock. Pull all the way up, and the door opens.

2015 Ram ProMaster City Details
2015 Ram ProMaster City photo Interior

Materials inside the 2015 ProMaster City measure up well against the Ford Transit Connect, and distinctly upscale versus Nissan’s NV200. The upholstery is first-rate, and the seats are well designed for comfort as well as ingress-egress, important for delivery services. An overhead shelf at the top of the windshield is handy for stowing loose papers and small objects (Ford’s Transit Connect also has this feature), and the combination lock/latch in the front door armrests is a clever design feature. SL trims are well equipped, though rear-seat legroom is tight in Wagon models.

Exterior
2015 Ram ProMaster City photo

Aside from front fascias (which differ slightly between cargo and passenger versions) and Ram badges, the ProMaster City’s appearance is similar to its competition: tall profile (74 inches); droopy snoot, affording good forward vision; sliding rear side doors (no power option); vertical rear doors split 60/40 and are capable of opening 180 degrees; low step-in and load floor. The van rolls on 16-inch wheels, backed by disc brakes at the front, drums at the rear. Two-seat Tradesman models offer choices of no rear side or rear windows, rear windows only, or windows all around.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

While the basic ProMaster City feels a little Spartan, it is not a stripper. Standard features include halogen headlamps, air conditioning, tilt/telescope steering wheel, power door locks, keyless remote entry, cargo area tie-down loops, and a limited version of Chrysler’s Uconnect (3.0) infotainment system with 4-speaker AM/FM audio, USB port and auxiliary input. All the vans come with front airbags, a driver’s inflatable knee bolster, front side-curtain airbags, front and rear curtain airbags (Wagon), and stability control.

Optional Equipment

Like its Class 1 competition, the ProMaster City can’t be accused of hedonism, but does offer options that make the going a little easier. Tops under this heading is Uconnect 5.0, which includes a 5-inch color touch-screen media hub, TomTom navigation, USB port and auxiliary input. Opting for Uconnect 5.0 allows buyers to also add Internet connectivity and satellite radio. The Popular Equipment group includes heated front seats and six speakers (Wagon only), the rearview camera group is a must for vans lacking rear windows, and a rear wiper/washer/defroster option is a must for those that do have rear windows.

Under the Hood

The ProMaster City is propelled by Chrysler’s 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder, paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission, driving the front wheels. It’s the same combination employed in the basic Chrysler 200 sedan, with small differences in output – a little less peak horsepower. The numbers allow Ram Truck to claim best-in-class standard engine power for this class. The engines are assembled at Chrysler’s factory in Michigan, and bolted into the van’s unibody at a factory in Tofas, Turkey. Fiat offers a 2.0-liter turbodiesel in the European version of this van, but has no plans to make this engine available in North America.

2.4-liter inline-4
178 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
174 lb-ft of torque @ 3,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg

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