Ram ProMaster City — Durable and functional

By David Finkelstein

Personally, I think a number of my friends and associates are beginning to think odd thoughts of me for being completely "blown away" over the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Van. But quite honestly, this fairly small commercial type front-wheel-drive business  vehicle  is amazing on many fronts.

 To further help define ProMaster City, it clearly is a robust, durable, functional and  quite comfortable means of transportation. Of course, Ford offers their Transit Connect with a starting price of $22,330. Chevrolet has their City Express Van with a price point of $21,955 and Nissan sells their NV200 commercial van with an MSRP of $20,720. All of these similar vehicles compete in the class of the ProMaster City with a price point is $24,130 from Chrysler's Ram division. 

Regardless if you are focused on the job sight, delivering packages or cargo or perhaps organizing and hauling items such as tools and service equipment, the all-new Ram  ProMaster City van is designed and engineered to tackle various demands.

Additionally, it has best-in-class cargo capacity which equals some 131.7 cubic feet, coupled with a notable payload capacity  of 1,883 pounds and a roof height of just under 52 inches. All of this is nicely wrapped up in an attractive modern looking vehicle while delivering versatile functionality, durability  and superior “car-like” ride and handling and visibility.

Furthermore, it achieves close to 30-miles per gallon on the highway with regular grade pump gasoline and 21-mpg with city driving.  According to the EPA, the combined numbers reflect an average of 24-mpg. The 2015 Ram ProMaster  City shares its basic design footprint and company DNA with the two-time  International “Van of the Year” Fiat Doblò, which is sold across the globe and is now offered in its third generation to consumers.

The  base model itself is offered in a two-seat Tradesman Cargo style. They also build it in a five-seat passenger Wagon configurations with many user friendly amenities.

“For  both small and large businesses, the vehicle fleet is a linchpin  of their operations,” said Mike Cairns, director of Ram Truck  Engineering. “The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is designed to be the  most capable small commercial van, but also fuel efficient and fun  to drive. It’s bound to become any workman’s favorite tool.”

The underside foundation of this Ram based truck is a steel unibody design  whereas its  fully boxed  frame rails and other lower assembles are precision welded together, forming an integrated unit. The result is a high degree of structural rigidity.   This foundation helps to minimizes noise, vibration  and harshness (NVH) and enables the suspension to be fine-tuned for North America roads, resulting in a pleasant ride. 

Its powered by a 2.4-liter Tigershark four-cylinder  engine and exclusive nine-speed computer controlled automatic transmission.  As expected, the City Van is fitted with a pair of side sliding doors but the neat trick is associated with the two rear cargo access doors and their seamless yet remarkable hinge assembly. They're designed to swing fully open with a simple press of a release button  on the door latch unit. The latch automatically re-engages when the door  is closed.

The passenger version of the Ram ProMaster  City is equipped with a three-passenger second row seating configuration.  The second-row  seating is engineered to split 60/40, with each section capable of folding and  tumbling forward to expand the interior cargo room. 

All versions are equipped  with 16-inch wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires. Lots of factory included safety enhancements are also standard. The vehicles brakes are solid and translate to a positive stopping feel. The instrument panel, gauges and controls are easy to operate plus there is a large/welcomed overhead mounted storage shelf. 

Standard, its outfitted with electronic stability control, A/C, heavy-duty suspension, tilt/telescope steering column, large outside door mirrors, an audio media hub which includes a USB and AUX jacks plus their low tire pressure monitoring system with dash warning light.

The ProMaster City is assembled and imported from their state-of-the-art plant located in  Bursa, Turkey.

Regardless of the trim level, all versions are covered by the factories base warranty of 3-years/36,000 miles plus their 100,000 mile/60-month powertrain warranty as well. The road test vehicle with a number of factory included accessories came in at $28,820. That includes the shipping and destination charges of $995.