Austin, TX – Ram?s latest addition to their commercial (or not) is the Ram ProMaster City, which will be available in four basic forms: two Cargo vans – the Tradesman and Tradesman SLT; and two passenger vans or Wagons ? the base Wagon, and an SLT trim Wagon. The basic forms are available in a variety of window and security panel configurations. Base pricing will range from $23,130. to $25,655. Add $995 for Destination and Handling for all versions.
The Ram ProMaster City joins the larger, full-size Ram ProMaster and Ram C/V as a Class 1 vehicle to compete with the growing segment of small commercial and passenger vans, which includes Ford?s Transit Connect, Nissan?s NV 200 and the Chevy City Express. The Ram ProMaster City Wagon and Cargo van are based on the two-time International Van of the Year award-winning Fiat Dobl?, which has sold over 1.3 million units.
All Ram ProMaster variants will come in a Front-Wheel Drive only configuration and will be powered by a 2.4-liter Tigershark, DOHC, 16-valve MultiAir2 inline four-cylinder engine with sequential, multiport, electronic fuel injection that produces 178 horsepower at 6,400 rpm while developing 174 pound feet of torque at 3,800 rpm. Motive force from the transversely mounted front engine will be geared to the front wheels via a nine-speed, electronically controlled automatic overdrive transmission with a torque converter clutch and clutch-to-clutch architecture featuring an integral Electro / Hydraulic Controls module.
Despite the fact that the new Ram ProMaster City is considered primarily as part of Ram?s commercial vehicle offerings, it is equally suited to non-commercial use as well. It is ideal for a wide variety of lifestyles and activities such as normal everyday family transportation and specialized endeavors like antique collecting or as an ideal dog show van. The high vertical sides and long load floor with low lift-over height provide for above average versatility and functionality. Both versions of the Ram Promaster will be available in two trim levels: Base; and SLT, with three possible window configurations.
The Cargo version ProMaster City is available with a bulkhead that separates the front driver and passenger from the load area. Doors may be ordered with windows or without for greater load content security. Even in the Wagon version ProMaster, the rear seats fold forward and up out of the way to accommodate added cargo.
Perhaps best of all, the Ram ProMaster City vans in any model configuration drive and handle much like a minivan, but without the dreaded ?Soccer Mom? image or persona. Cargo ProMasters tend to be more utilitarian and come with protective unpainted composite cladding on the front fascia, sides and rear minimizing damage from knee-level bumps and cutting repair costs and down time. Functional lighting is mounted high for the same reason.
Dual sliding side doors and 60-40 rear split doors with 180 degrees of movement are standard and allow easy payload access and passenger entry/exit. The cargo area is a carry-over from the Fiat Dobl?, but from the front door cut forward, the Ram ProMaster City is all new, encompassing the signature crosshair grille and ram?s head logo as the focal point.
The fluid bodylines of the ProMaster City display a strong, modern and professional representation. The tucked front-wheel-drive packaging is compact allowing for a short hood, and the design provides a better vantage point of the front corners, ideal for enhanced maneuverability.
The Ram ProMaster City provides a cargo area width of 60.4 inches, a cargo area height of 51.8 inches and a step-in height of 21.5 inches with a small, practical step on each side of the vehicle that helps the user to access the load area more easily. The ProMaster City Wagon features rear seats that fold up and out of the way that are also removable with tools.
The interior is executed in all-Black with Gray accents for durability and practicality. Clever storage areas abound, and the easy-to-use automatic transmission shift lever is located on the elevated center console, and as the console drops down toward the rear, a smaller console rises between the front seats containing two cup holders and two 12-volt power outlets within easy reach.
Ram ProMaster City customers benefit from Uconnect?s easy-to-learn, easy-to-use communications, entertainment and navigation features through a 5.0-inch color Touchscreen Additional convenience comes in the form of USB and auxiliary ports. A 2.5-amp USB port on the instrument panel affords
recharging capability for mobile devices, while an available second auxiliary port
accommodates additional media connectivity. Uconnect Web, powered by Autonet Mobile is available to U.S. customers.
Ram ProMaster City boasts several best-in-class features such as:payload ? 1,883 pounds; cargo capacity ? 131.7 cubic feet; horsepower ? 178 hp; torque ? 174 lb.-ft; cargo width of 60.4 inches; cargo width between wheel wells ? 48.4 inches; GVWR ? 5,395 pounds, along with standard highway fuel economy of 29 mpg, class exclusive bi-link rear suspension and nine-speed transmission, plus unsurpassed towing up to 2,000 pounds.
Ram ProMaster City vans roll on all-season, low-rolling resistance tires designed for higher inflation pressures to handle larger loads. Safety features include: Electronic Stability Control, ABS, Traction Control, Brake Assist, Engine drag Control, Trailer Sway Control, Hill Start Assist, Rollover Mitigation and Automatic brake lamp actuation.
During the National Media Launch, I was able to experience all versions of the 2015 Ram ProMaster City – Cargo van and the Ram ProMaster City Wagon, in both loaded and unladen scenarios on regular streets and roads as well as over a ?Work-Cross? course. My test ProMaster SLT Wagon wore an exterior coat of Blue Night metallic and my ProMaster Tradesman tester?s exterior was finished in Bright White. Pricing ranges from $24,130. to $27.590. My home base tester was a Promaster City with the Wagon Package 24A in SLT trim and a base sticker of $24,130 and a final price tag of $27,590 after adding the following options: Mopar? Trailer Tow Group; Rear wiper/Washert/Defroster Group; Rear Backup Camera Group; Deep Tint sunscreen glasss; Speed Control; Uconnect? 5.0 AM/FM/BT; SiriusXM satellite radio-I eyar siubscription; Balack steel wheels with full covers; and Destinaton charge.
SUMMARY: The 2015 Ram ProMaster City van lineup provides consumers a host of choices to satisfy both commercial and non-commercial uses with a highly justifiable cost of ownership. The four versions of the Ram ProMaster City are all customizable and may be configured to suit virtually any application. Ram is partnered with a number of companies that specialize in outfitting the ProMaster City to meet the special needs of consumers with disabilities or limitations. Anything from wheelchair lifts and ramps to unique hand controls.
Durability and dependability are key elements that are handily met by the Ram ProMaster City family. Performance is admirable from the 2.4-liter TigerShark four-banger. Acceleration response is instantaneous, if not blistering and the torque is more than adequate.
The ProMaster City handles more like a sedan than a van and is highly maneuverable, allowing it to operate in tighter quarters than full sized vans with ease, and the ride quality delivered is quite comfortable, with or without a load. It is as attractive as a van can be (more so than many), and it is affordable, which should elevate its appeal even more. It’s definitely a cut above the Early Dodge vans which have now become a classic.
The 2015 Ram ProMaster City will be assembled at the TOFAS plant in Bursa, Turkey.
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$27,590.|
|Engine Type and Size:||2.4-liter Tigershark, DOHC, 16-valve MultiAir2 inline four-cylinder with sequential, multiport, electronic fuel injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||178 @ 6,400 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||174 @ 3,800 rpm|
|Transmission:||Nine-speed, electronically controlled automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch and clutch-to-clutch architecture with integral Electro / Hydraulic Controls module.|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Front-Wheel Drive only.|
Front – Independent MacPherson strut with twin-tube shock absorbers and solid 26mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Independent bi-link with coil springs, telescopic twin-tube shock absorbers and solid 16mm stabilizer bar.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted front vented discs and rear drum with ABS and ESC.|
|Tires:||Continental ContiProContact 215/55 R16 97H mounted on steel wheels with a0-spoke composite covers featuring alternating large and small separating holes.|
|Length Overall:||187.5 inches|
|Curb Weight:||3,695 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||16 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||21 mpg city / 29 mpg hwy|
|Drag Coefficient:||Not listed.|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not Tested|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.