2015 Ram ProMaster City Lineup May Expand | Edmunds

2015 Ram ProMaster City Lineup May Expand

AUSTIN, Texas — The 2015 ProMaster City is Ram's new compact van, a vehicle aimed at a segment that didn't exist here five years ago. And this may just be the beginning, Edmunds has learned.

The ProMaster City is on sale now at Ram dealerships. All Ram dealers are expected to have vehicles by mid to late February.

The ProMaster City is based on the popular front-wheel-drive Doblo that Fiat sells in Europe and other regions of the world. While Fiat offers a wide range of Doblo derivatives in those markets, Ram is limiting the U.S. model line to two configurations: a two-passenger commercial panel van and a five-passenger version with window glass in the sliding doors. But that could change.

"When we learn more about our customer needs here, then we can go to that portfolio and bring in what we need, which includes the diesel engine, a short wheelbase, maybe a seven-passenger version," Joe Benson, who heads Ram commercial truck operations, told Edmunds. "We have that flexibility in the future."

Other possibilities include a panel van that is about 12 inches taller and a pickup version with drop-down sides for entry into the cargo box.

The ProMaster City replaces the Ram C/V Tradesman panel van, which is based on the Dodge Grand Caravan. C/V Tradesman production ends in 2015, Benson said.

The ProMaster City is assembled in Turkey. However, the 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine is produced in Michigan and the nine-speed automatic transmission, which is standard, is assembled in Indiana. Both are shipped to Turkey for final vehicle assembly. The engine produces 178 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque.

The base panel van is priced at $24,125 including $995 shipping.

Ford created the commercial compact van segment here when it started importing the similar-sized Transit Connect in 2009. That van was redesigned for the 2015 model year.

Nissan is targeting the same market with the 2015 NV200 that went on sale in 2013.

Chevrolet entered the segment last month with the 2015 City Express, which is assembled by Nissan and is essentially a rebadged version of the NV200. Ford also offers a seven-passenger model here; however, Nissan and Chevrolet limit their model line to a panel version.

Compact vans are aimed at buyers who want better fuel efficiency and do not need or want a full-size van.

Benson expects combined U.S. sales for the compact van segment to reach 100,000 in 2016, up from an estimated 50,000 this year. A substantial number of sales are expected to come as owners of the Chevrolet Astro and GMC Safari look to replace their minivans. General Motors ended production in 2005. Owners of small pickups and cars are expected to comprise the bulk of other buyers.

Edmunds says: The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is an exciting new member of the Ram family. Car shoppers in the future can expect even more choices.

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