What Is It?
2014 Ram ProMaster
What's Special About It?
Chrysler Group is back in the full-size commercial van business with the 2014 Ram ProMaster. Like the Mercedes-sourced Dodge Sprinter that came before it, however, the ProMaster has its corporate overlords to thank for its existence.
It starts life as the Fiat Ducato, which is the most popular full-size van in Europe, selling 4.5 million units over the course of 30 years and three generations. For its transformation into a Ram, the ProMaster features better brakes, a more robust suspension, enhanced corrosion protection, safety structure improvements, some U.S.-specific interior elements like cupholders, and a climate control system built for North America's environmental extremes.
The ProMaster also comes standard with Chrysler's 3.6-liter "Pentastar" V6 good for 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. However, Fiat will be lending a 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-4 as a late availability option. Producing 174 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, it will be paired with an automated manual transmission. The Pentastar gets a traditional automatic.
Both engines are connected to front-wheel drive, which will make the ProMaster unique among North America's full-size commercial vans. It is also a unibody design, which benefits interior space and step-in height.
Getting into the cabin is still quite the climb, and the driving position is incredibly buslike. The wheel is nearly horizontal and sitting in your lap. The seat bottom is also a bit pinchy, which could be a problem for America's full-figured tradesmen. Should they be 6-foot-4, however, the tall roof option will allow them to walk upright in back.
In total, there are 13 different configurations, including two roof heights, three wheelbases, three payload capabilities, a chassis cab and a chassis cab cutaway.
What Edmunds Says: With the 2014 Ram ProMaster joining the Nissan NV and new Ford Transit, America's commercial van buyers suddenly have a wealth of modern choices.