New 2017 Ram ProMaster Window Van Van/Minivan
Ram ProMaster Window Van Van/Minivan
The 2017 Ram ProMaster takes on the big vans from Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Ford plus adds a few features none of them can match.
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Borrowing the European Fiat Ducato as its starting point, Ram’s full-size ProMaster van for 2017 adds an American V6 engine and numerous features to make it a tempting alternative to rivals from Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Nissan. Available in 1500, 2500 and 3500 platforms, the ProMaster offers numerous customization options to suit just about any business need. The optional 4-cylinder turbodiesel can help keep fleet fuel costs down and contributes to the ProMaster’s best-in-class fuel economy, cargo and payload ratings. The 2017 Ram ProMaster’s front-drive layout results in top marks for lowest load floor, highest ceiling and easiest step-in height. These attributes permit the ProMaster’s cargo configuration to serve as everything from a massive package-hauling machine to mobile workshop.
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Ram’s ProMaster van for 2017 is the ultimate work truck, offering a cavernous interior, an available diesel engine and nearly infinite configuration possibilities. Whether used for deliveries, as a mobile business or the ultimate RV conversion, starting with the ProMaster as your base is an excellent idea.
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The 2017 Ram ProMaster van is a relatively new commodity, so reliability ratings are hard to gauge. If you’re looking for a passenger van, you’ll have to look to the Ford Transit or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, with the latter also offering the option of all-wheel drive.
What's New for 2017
Changes to Ram’s 2017 ProMaster cargo van include the availability of Uconnect 3.0, a wider rear axle on chassis-cab models, standard upfit interface connectors and rear wiring and an electronic parking brake on diesel models. The diesel engine is no longer offered with the 118-inch wheelbase.
Zero-to-60 times and a run through the slalom course are irrelevant when rating the 2017 Ram ProMaster van. What’s important here is how controlled is its ride, how stable is it when fully loaded and how easy is it to steer and maneuver in tight spots. In these areas, the ProMaster scores high marks. Visibility is aided by large side windows and a massive windshield, while the available rear camera and parking sensors help mitigate rear blind spots caused by the cargo van’s solid metal doors. Ram’s 2017 ProMaster van has an exceptionally tight turning radius, measuring just 36 feet, which is tighter than with most family sedans and three feet tighter than the Ford Transit. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is surprisingly capable of moving this big van, while the front-drive layout helps mitigate crosswind drift, although some of our editors did find the steering to be a bit vague.
They say it’s better to be pulled around a corner than pushed. In the 2017 Ram ProMaster full-size van, the front-drive layout not only improves handling, it improves the turning diameter and allows for a lower load floor by eliminating the driveshaft. The layout also improves traction in rain and snow.
While most commercial vans are good at hauling stuff, the advantage of having the lowest step-in height, highest ceiling height and lowest load floor is easy to see. Customization of a mobile shop or even an RV is greatly improved when you can stand up and move around with ease.
A big commercial van is for work boots and old gloves, but the 2017 Ram ProMaster still delivers on comfort and convenience. An available suspension-enhanced driver’s seat provides long-haul comfort, and available swiveling seats ease access to the rear. There are three wheelbase lengths, two choices of ceiling height, four choices of body length, up to 17 tie-downs. Add in what’s available from the near-limitless upfitter industry, with racks, shelves and workbenches, and the ProMaster can be turned into just about anything for any purpose. The low load floor and high ceiling might be justification enough to choose the ProMaster.
The counterculture of the 1960s would have loved the ProMaster’s high-funk exterior but, functionally, it all works. There are three models, 1500, 2500 and 3500, in what can be thought of as duty ratings; available wheelbase lengths are 118, 136 and 159 inches; there’s a choice of a low or high roof; the 159-inch wheelbase is available with an extended body; and there are Chassis Cab Cutaway versions. It’s also available with a single cargo door on the passenger’s side or an additional sliding door on the driver’s side; in all cases, the doors will accept a standard-size pallet.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2017 Ram ProMaster van, like all big commercial vans, is essentially a blank slate. Standard equipment includes Brembo brakes, a telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry, power windows and a 4-speaker radio with USB and auxiliary inputs. Safety-wise, there are electronic traction and stability control, Trailer Sway Control, six airbags and Hill Start Assist to prevent rolling backward on steep inclines. Also a 220-amp alternator, auxiliary oil coolers for the engine and transmission, and air conditioning that can be delete-optioned. As with other commercial vans, most of the rest is up to the owner’s choices and the extensive upfitter industry.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the 2017 ProMaster include swiveling front seats, heated seats, a pneumatic-suspension driver's seat and 3-across seating with vinyl upholstery for carrying the whole crew. Other options are Uconnect touch-screen navigation, Bluetooth, a rearview camera and backup sensors, cruise control, an overhead shelf and a driver-side sliding door. Available in-vehicle Internet access via Uconnect Web can help the business side. Typical for the industry, many of these vans end up being fitted with all manner of accessories from the upfitter market, and that can usually be arranged right at the dealership and included in the entire deal.
Under the Hood
Standard in the 2017 ProMaster is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 we've liked in other Chrysler products. In the ProMaster it delivers 280 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque and commendable performance and power. The available 3.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged EcoDiesel makes 174 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque at only 1,400 rpm. It promises low-end power and, according to Ram, class-leading fuel economy. Both engines are matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission; the EcoDiesel is also available with an exclusive 6-speed automated manual transmission that allows the driver to choose gears, or can be left on its own and driven like an automatic. If it were our money we’d go with the standard 3.6-liter V6; it’s smooth and powerful and will cost less than the diesel.
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
280-horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,175 rpm
EPA estimated fuel economy: NA
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The standard low-roof, short-wheelbase 2017 Ram ProMaster 1500 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $30,000; the 136-inch wheelbase adds roughly $1,000 and the tall roof adds another $1,000 onto that. The ProMaster 2500 starts at about $32,000, with the longer version adding $1,500. The window model comes in around $35,000. The maximum-duty 3500 starts north of $35,000; add a few grand more for the extra-length version. That's competitive with the Nissan NV and new Ford Transit van, and considerably less than the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which begins around $37,000. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for a 2017 Ram ProMaster. Work vans generally don't retain high residual values, and seeing as the ProMaster is still relatively new, we’ll have to give it some time to establish its resale value.
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2017 Ram ProMaster Window Van Specs
2017 Ram ProMaster Window Van Safety Ratings
How does it compare?
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