We drive the Dodge Ram ProMaster City

by Ali Arsham

Monday, July 20, 2015

There is a new work truck in town and it is a good one.  Ram is now selling its brand new ProMaster City.  The vehicle is aimed at contractors, plumbers, delivery people and others who need to haul stuff around the city.  It is designed to be an affordable option for people who need such a vehicle and it is brilliant.

“As businesses strive for lower costs, the demand for a smaller, more efficient van has increased and Ram Commercial is answering the bell with the all-new ProMaster City,” said Bob Hegbloom, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand. “Years ago, the selection of delivery and cargo vehicles was limited and those offerings didn’t focus on cost of ownership. Today all of that has changed with the recent introduction of the full-size Ram ProMaster, and the now the Ram ProMaster City.”

Ram Truck is tapping into Fiat Professional, one of the largest producers of commercial vehicles in the entire world, backed by more than 110 years of experience. That knowledge has helped Ram Truck enter new segments and expand its product line.  Based on the successful Fiat Doblo, a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold, the Ram ProMaster City will incorporate familiar Ram Truck design elements and offer features, systems and powertrains preferred by American customers.

ProMaster City is available in four versions: Tradesman Cargo Van and Tradesman SLT Cargo Van, Wagon and Wagon SLT.  Our ProMaster City was the cargo version with two bucket seats in the front and a wall behind them to separate the passengers from the cargo.

The cargo area is huge for such a small vehicle and can easily swallow tons of cargo. There is a 48.4 inch span between the rear wheel wells.  Above the wheel wells, the ProMaster City’s nearly vertical side panels give it a best-in-class width of 60.4 inches. Combined with an interior roof height of 51.8 inches, the result is best-in-class volume of 131.7 cubic feet for the cargo van version of the ProMaster City. The vertical side panels are upfitter-friendly and simplify the attachment of shelves or storage racks for specialized commercial use.

Each side of the Ram ProMaster City is fitted with a sliding door with a 26-inch opening to access the cargo compartment. The roof of the Ram ProMaster City is prepped for load rails or roof racks with a weight capacity of 154 pounds.

The ProMaster City has a low 21 inch load floor height thanks to the compact rear suspension and the front wheel drive layout.  That makes it easier to load in cargo. You can load in over 1800 pounds of cargo into the ProMaster City or you can tow as much as 2000 pounds.  The towing limit is much lower than we had hoped especially since it feels like it can tow twice as much.

The rear of the Ram ProMaster City is fitted with 60/40 split doors. Using lessons learned from European customers, the larger door swings open toward the traffic (driver) side of the van, making it easy to quickly access larger cargo items and not block the path to the curbside of the van. Both rear doors initially swing open 90 degrees, and for dock loading can swing to 180 degrees with a simple press of a release button on the door latch.

Under the hood of the ProMaster City is a four cylinder engine so that it can save the customers money.  The 2.4 liter Tigershark engine produces 178 hp which is more than adequate for such a vehicle.  The engine is mated to a nine speed automatic transmission that helps the ProMaster City achieve good fuel economy numbers.  Those numbers are 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway which is terrific for a vehicle with this much cargo room.  Compare that with most full size pickups that many small businesses use that will not get 20 mpg on the highway.

On the road the best part of the ProMaster City is that it drives like a very good small car.  The van is very refined and feels like a modern small car.  The wall behind the passenger compartment is good for safety and security but it limits the travel of the seat.  It also ensures that the driver will not be able to get a comfortable nap since the seat will not recline.

The ProMaster comes in many configurations depending on your needs.  The cargo versions come with no windows, rear windows or rear and side windows.  The passenger versions come with all windows.  Prices are kept low so that the small business owner can afford one.

Base price for the Tradesman Cargo is only $23,120 which is an amazing deal.  The SLT Cargo package comes with more luxury features such as Bluetooth audio, 5 inch touchscreen display, steering wheel audio controls and more.

The passenger wagon version starts at $24,130 which is even more amazing when you consider that the seats, interior carpeting, windows and other things that are included have to cost more than just $1000.  The top of the line Wagon SLT costs $25,655.

The ProMaster City is the right vehicle for many people who use their vehicles to make money and it can save them a lot of money in the long run.  It is roomy, comfortable and is designed to be cheap to operate.  The base price makes it affordable for most small businesses and the fuel economy is the cherry on top.