2017 Ram Promaster Cargo Van Review
Pros & Cons
- Front-wheel-drive configuration offers improved low-traction performance and tight turning radius
- Wide variety of body styles to suit a range of business needs
- Available on-board internet connection
- Up to 5,160 pounds of payload capacity
- Less towing capacity than other full-size vans
- Unrefined ride quality, even for a van
- Hard to find a comfortable driving position
- Clunky automatic transmission on diesel models
Edmunds' Expert Review
It's remarkable how much more confidence you can have in piloting a large van when the hood is short and you sit high above it. That's the perspective from the 2017 Ram ProMaster cargo van's driver seat. Light steering and a relatively compact turning circle offer further encouragement, making the van feel exceptionally maneuverable, even in city traffic. Drivers still need to exercise caution when reversing, however, even with the optional rearview camera helping out.
We like both of the available engines. The standard 3.6-liter gasoline V6 comes straight from Chrysler's car lineup, so it's smooth, quiet and much more refined than you'd expect of a commercial van. The four-cylinder turbodiesel engine's forte is efficiency and low-speed pulling power. It's noisier than the gasoline engine, especially until it warms up, and the transmission it's paired with is unusually clunky through the gears.
The 2017 Ram ProMaster interior is all about function. The gauges are large and clear, with a multifunction display centered between the speedometer and tachometer. Climate control is a straightforward, three-knob layout for temperature, fan speed and directional control. Nothing fancy, all utility, and it works for the needs of its users.
Extended stints behind the wheel are eased by well-bolstered captain's chairs (you can order them with optional swivel mounts), but the lack of a tilting steering column might yield a less than optimal driving position for some drivers. Audio controls are mounted high on the dash, and the optional 5-inch Uconnect touchscreen audio system is a worthwhile upgrade for those who plan to make long trips in the van.
Cargo capacity ranges from 259 cubic feet of cargo on the 1500 low-roof model to 463 cubic feet on the extended-length 3500 van. Although that space doesn't match the Ford Transit's maximum of 487 cubic feet, the ProMaster vans still offer cavernous space to accommodate all manner of cargo or customized upfitter components. There are also plenty of well-placed cupholders, nooks, and storage areas.
As you might expect, the 2017 ProMaster can be ordered with solid walls and rear doors or with a choice of windows. Some buyers will find the optional sliding rear door on the driver side a boon for easy entry to the cargo area.