2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van Review

2014 RAM Promaster van now this is Chrysler’s first entry back into the commercial 2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van Review van segment since the RAM van left a while ago the RAM Promaster is heavily based on the Fiat Ducato van but think of the RAM Promaster as the next generation of fiat ducato with engineering by ram 2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van Review

rather than just a duke otto with a ram badge on the front because chrysler went back to the drawing board and significantly revised the platform of the de kado in order to create this pro master we have new drivetrain options new suspension tuning new brake tuning new interior options and most importantly a gasoline engine for the American market if you want to know

what the diesel engine will be like in the Promaster  2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van Review

in December of 2013 or January of 2014 then go ahead and click on over to that link down below of our video review on the fiat ducato because that engine is not available at launch of the

Promaster and it’s not available at this event that we’re attending right now the RAM Promaster looks very unlike other commercial vehicles on the market we have a very short hood that’s

because the Promaster is a front-wheel drive vehicle so you don’t need a whole lot of hood in order to access that engine being front-wheel drive the engine is under the hood not under the

RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van

dashboard like you’d find in a current generation Ford or General Motors van this has been target designed for the commercial vehicle market rather than the passenger car market and there

are a few compromises well I don’t find the nose quite that attractive there’s some very practical reasons for this large plastic nose regardless of how you have your van painted these three

bumper parts are the same in every Promaster and that means if you get into an accident you can replace these pieces independently of one another so if you just scuffed up this What is the best used cargo van to buy?

side right here you can just replace this one large panel right there all by itself if you’ve hit hit a pole in a parking lot for instance then you can just replace this Center section if you’ve just

smashed your grill in you can replace that separately as well and of course this right side over here can also be replaced independently of the other sides that makes it a lot less expensive to

repair your Promaster if you’ve been in an accident or more importantly if your commercial owner and your employees have been in an accident this design also keeps the headlamps up

high where they’re less likely to get damaged in an accident the pro master is a dedicated cargo carrying vehicle and it was designed with that in mind we have very vertical and tall rear doors

very vertical sides which help in cargo carrying efficiency these doors are the full height in our high roof version that is an important thing to keep in mind because if you go for a high roof

conversion of a General Motors or a Ford van then oftentimes they don’t extend the doors speaking of those doors these do fold almost completely flat with the side of the van allowing you

to park on a hill where the van will retain them slightly it doesn’t have a magnetic latch like you’d find in certain other vans but it will hold them against a hill like that once they’re open you’ll

notice that this load floor is several inches lower than the closest competition for American vans that makes loading an awful lot easier that’s again thanks to that front-wheel drive design one

thing that’s not related to the front-wheel drive design however but it’s just a good design point is this rear bumper it’s very short it’s only about five inches deep

right here and it’s just about level with the side of the van that means when you’re putting a forklift up to the van to try and load a pallet of anything in the vehicle you can get that pallet

further in the van because this bumper is a little bit shallow we do have parking sensors available in American market pro masters as well this is the short wheelbase short body short roof

version so you can see the roof is still somewhat tall just a hair taller than a standard American cargo van but that floor is lower than a standard American cargo van we need get a decent

amount more interior room it’s also to my eyes just a little bit more square than that high roof version you can tell that Chrysler and Which is better RAM ProMaster or Ford Transit?

Ram are really pushing the high roof version because the 1500 is the only series of the Promaster that’s available in this low roof configuration all models of Promaster comes standard with

this 3.6 liter v6 Pentastar engine this is the same engine that you find under the hood of the Ram 1500 pickup trucks as well as Chrysler minivans in a number of other Chrysler Dodge and

Ram products this produces 280 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque that power is set to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission that is very closely related

to what you’ll find in Chrysler’s minivan products it has been altered for the Promaster duty most notably it has a much lower gear ratio thanks to a lower final drive ratio you can also get a 3

liter four-cylinder diesel that is a Fiat commercial engine for America and that is mated to a 6-speed robotic manual transmission that produces 180 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque

which is fairly stout for an engine of that size this should not be confused with the three liter v6 diesel that’s used in the RAM 1500 or the Grand Cherokee products a word about that robotic

manual transmission if you’re worried about dealing with a clutch pedal or a six-speed shifter that’s not what happens here this

transmission has Drive Park neutral and reverse just like you’re used to in most transmissions but the computer is doing the shifting for you so underneath the skin this is actually a manual

transmission with a clutch plate rather than a torque converter that means higher efficiency but a few trade-offs in terms of drivability so that is something to keep in mind but we’ll go over

that later let’s take a look under the hood to see how easy this engine looks to maintain because that is an important component in any commercial vehicle so you can see that’s the firewall

back there so it is fairly close to the hood opening meaning that this engine really is under the hood rather than under the body of

the vehicle that makes it a little bit easier to maintain in certain ways but by all appearances just a little bit harder in others it looks like the spark plugs are fairly difficult to get to they take a

little bit more effort than you’d find in some commercial vehicles that’s the oil filter right back there very easy to get on the top although you may dribble some oil everywhere if the oil filler

right here and the engine oil dipstick right there as well taking a look at the right side of the engine bay you can see the top of the transmission housing right there next to the engine it’s a

decent amount of room in the engine compartment for a van like this there’s no transmission fluid dipstick you do have to check it with the fill and drain holes all-pro masters come standard

with a passenger side sliding door a driver’s side sliding door What is the best used cargo van to buy?

is available and you can also get both of those doors with glass the doors lock in position so that you don’t slice your head off if you’re parking on a hill and once you open them you’ll notice a

few things first off this load floor is only 21 inches off the ground so it’s a lot easier to put large items into the van as well as step up into the van this door opening is also very wide so you can

fit a standard American sized pallet in the side door and in the driver’s side sliding door as well this means that it’s a lot easier to load two pallets in the Promaster then it’s something like a

chevy express van because you can very easily fit one large pallet in right here and then another one in the back also this door is quite tall so if your palate has tall items on it you can get you

know almost six foot tall pallets into the side of the van the rear door opens just a hair taller but not much it’s notably taller than some of the other vans especially high-top van conversions

where they don’t get as tall once you’re inside and we’re in the high roof version then you’ll notice the ceiling is about six feet four off the load floor very easy to stand up in if you get the low

roof fan you can see where that low roof would end it’s right about here in the van so you can still stand up a little bit more straight than you would be able to in a standard American van all

that you’d still have to hunched over there are three different load floors you can get in the Promaster van you can get the standard base steel floor which is suitable for most owners or you

can get a laminate floor or you can get a soft touch rubberized floor if you’re going to be standing in your Promaster quite

frequently you can also get the pro master in a chassis cab variety and you can see that the platform was designed for that right away because the chassis cab would end pretty much right

here right behind this driver seat right in line with this floor bump up this is what I mean about the load floor and the drivers area passenger area of the vehicle this passenger area is a little

bit higher because everything that is the RAM Promaster is under there so the fuel tank is under there the fuel sending unit is under there the batteries under there etc there’s really nothing

under the load floor of the Promaster and that’s what helps get that load floor so close to the ground and also it helps make that chassis cab possible without many structural modifications

right from the factory one nice touch that I’ll point out and this may sound a What is difference between RAM ProMaster 2500 and 3500?

little bit peculiar but if you’ve done any maintenance on fleet GM vehicles then you’ll know what I’m talking about the fuel sending unit in the fuel pump are a frequent failure point in that

particular vehicle so if you’re looking for ease of replacement in the Promaster it’s quite easy it’s right under this little hatch right here so you don’t have to drop the tank you don’t have to

drain the tank just pop that hatch open replace the fuel sending unit pop the hatch back on and perhaps deal with a little bit of spilled fuel on the inside but for Fleet customers that’s an awful

lot easier and faster than dropping the tank the pro masters dashboard is based heavily off the Duke auto and there are a decent

number of shared parts that’s a good thing for commercial customers because it means that the interior parts are likely to be cheaper since it’s not unique over here we have a different shifter

because for the American market gasoline engine we do get a standard automatic transmission so this is just a reggae automatic transmission shifter up here we have a Chrysler UConnect

five inch system that’s been adapted to fit in the Fiat dashboard we have AM and FM and satellite radio iPod and USB interface navigation Bluetooth phone interface etc below that we have a

Chrysler standard climate control system this is borrowed out of several regular chrysler products and it is easier to use and more What’s the most reliable van to buy?

attractive than the one that’s standard in the fiat ducato below that we have a button bank which includes our power door lock button stability control off and our hazard lights over here we

have a 12 volt power outlet and Craster’s we placed one of the outlets with a standard USB charger this is the only cup holder that’s available in the European market Ducato and it’s really

quite small so if the American market Chrysler’s put three large cup holders lower in the dashboard they’re large and easy to use over here is where Chrysler places the USB input and the

auxilary input for the radio so this USB port just charges your phone where this one over here integrates with the UConnect system Chrysler’s also added some extra buttons to the steering

wheel for voice command phone interface volume up and down and mute because of American How many miles will a cargo van last?

 

crash regulations we have an airbag in the dashboard standard meaning our storage cubbies up front are a little bit reduced we have one small cubby right under here and we have a very small glovebox lower in the dashboard the Promaster also gets more attractive front seats than the Dakota we get regular fabric covered headrests rather than hard plastic headrests as in the

Ducato you can adjust these front seat arm rests with this little knob for height and the seat is adjustable for height tilting forward backward via a series of somewhat unusual levers on the

side of the seat the seat is fully adjustable as you can see you can put it in quite a different number of angles but it is a manual adjustment

mechanism it also slides forward and backward in its track one little oddity is that the telescoping steering wheel in the Ducato and the Promaster is just a telescoping wheel it doesn’t tilt up

and down it just goes in and out on its track a very unique option for the pro master is a third seat option for 2014 instead of the single passenger seat that’s right here you’d get a double seat

module it extends almost over to the driver’s seat so it’s not a three-person bench seat the driver still gets their own independent seat and instead there is a double seat positioned right next

to it it’s quite unique because there aren’t very many cargo vans available the world even and none that I can think of in the American market other than the Promaster that offer three across

seating up front pricing for the Promaster starts just over 26 thousand

dollars and that diesel engine will cost you an extra four thousand dollars MSRP keep in mind that those aren’t MSRP numbers and commercial buyers will get additional discounts especially

if they purchase in volume so be sure and check with Chrysler or your dealer before you try comparing this pricing directly to what you’re getting right now with jono Motors or Ford because

there are still those same volume discounts from Chrysler we’re told we don’t have exact numbers on those but we may have another video for you when Chrysler comes out with specifically

what their fleet discount program is the first thing you’ll notice about the Promaster out on the road especially when it’s empty is how peppy

it is and that’s thanks to that 280 horsepower Pentastar v-6 v6 is a lot faster empty than that diesel engine the diesel engine does offer a decent amount more torque and it’s a lot better at the

low range also gets better fuel economy but I suspect that for most drivers the v6 gasoline engine will be sufficient it’s also about four thousand dollars cheaper so that is something to keep in

mind Chrysler is not kidding when they say they’ve modified the transmission for Promaster duty versus the minivan transmission which is many of the same internals they’ve added much

heavier duty cooling they’ve also lowered the final drive ratio which means that this feels an awful lot quicker off the line than

any other Chrysler vehicle with this transmission in it much lower first gear second gear third gear fourth gear fifth gear etc then those other transmissions because instead of changing actual

gear ratios they just swap the final drive ratio and the transmission which has the effect of shifting all those gear ratios down a bit for heavier duty heavier load use in terms of handling the

pro master comes up just a little bit short of its American competition and that’s thanks to narrower rubber than its competition it feels very confident out on the road thanks to its

front-wheel drive platform it’s fairly well tuned but when it comes to actual handling abilities it really does pale in terms of the Chevy Express and the ford e-series vans but that’s primarily

due to the narrower rubber the odd thing is it doesn’t roll as much or dive as much as those other trucks because the vehicle is lower to the ground it has a much lower center of gravity also

has slightly stiffer springs just a very different suspension set up so you don’t get the same sort of leaning in corners that you do in those other full-size bands on the whole

it feels like a very confident you know more mainstream midsize sedan with a really big back-end on it that midsize sedan comparison also comes into effect when you take a look at the

turning radius on the Promaster it’s 12 feet smaller than a GM express van of a similar size that is a significant difference that’s the difference from being able to make a u-turn on a four-lane

road or a six-lane Road being required in order to make a u-turn so this thing if you’re in the left lane on a standard sized American Road you can you turn into the second far right lane in a

two-lane road on you know two lanes on the other side coming at you can’t do that in a chevy express van that kind of intersection would require a three or four point turn really makes the

Promaster much more maneuverable in parking lot maneuvers as well just be careful you don’t

get too overconfident I have seen someone in a Promaster van get just a little bit too overconfident and hit a bush something that I don’t think they would have done if they thought they were

piloting a you know a massive vehicle you know that’s a good thing however in my book because the Promaster does tend to drive like a smaller vehicle it’s just something you need to watch

out for because you may get a little bit overconfident as a result Chrysler has programmed the brakes and the accelerator pedal just a little bit unusually if your van is unloaded or

very lightly loaded then you may find the brakes to be just a little bit grabby when we have 3,000 pounds in the back of the Promaster it felt a lot more normal than it did when it’s empty

similarly the accelerator pedals logic is just a little bit hyper I mean you touch the accelerate an awful lot of acceleration at the initial tip and but again that’s something that’s more muted the

more weight you put in the back as I suspect that a lot of people will be running around with at least a thousand pounds or so in their van it’s probably a lot less of a problem

the average van user is not like the average truck user where the average pickup truck user really runs around a lot with an empty bed the average commercial van user tends to be much more

like a generic commercial user in which the van is more completely loaded all the time so it will result in a slightly different Chrysler is telling us that the Promaster will be the most fuel-

efficient van in its class they haven’t really defined that class that is an important thing to keep in mind so they haven’t said whether they’re just comparing this to other 2500 3500
series vans or whether they’re only comparing this to the competition’s v6 fans that’s an important distinction because John Motors v6 fan doesn’t get fuel economy that’s all that great

probably the sweet spot in the GM van lineup is the 4.8 liter v8 with the 6-speed automatic transmission gets relatively decent fuel economy and has fairly good payload capacity numbers on

2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van Review
2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van Review

the flip side when you take a look at this

Braham Promaster van this v6 engine has very similar power numbers to that General Motors 4.8 liter v8 that’s a very good thing for Chrysler about two hundred and sixty pound feet of

torque is not too far off that 4.8 liter v8 it is lower that’s something to keep in mind but the gearing is just a little bit lower in this fan to help compensate for that power is just about the same

but fuel economy is better in this Promaster than the v8 van we’ve been averaging about 17 miles per gallon in very mixed driving in the Promaster decent amount of a 55 mile an

hour country road so keep that in mind we haven’t had the Promaster fully loaded the whole time although we have had some weight in it over our time with the Promaster Chrysler expects

to release some general numbers for fuel economy in the Promaster they won’t go into huge specifics and they’re not required to EPA test the Promaster because of this vehicles weight so it’s

also important to keep in mind when you’re taking a look advanced overall the v6 van in terms of performance out on the road as well as under load is very comparable in the Promaster

versus the competition there’s really very little that this Promaster gives up for being front-wheel drive and having a v6 only engine I would definitely 2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van Review

recommend this to you if you’re taking a look at full-size vans you don’t need to tow and you’re looking for fuel economy that lack of towing ability is important to keep in mind because

Chrysler has said that the Promaster will only tell you know a little under 5,000 pounds or so depending on how you have it equipped if you need to tow a lot then you need to look at a full

size american van from General Motors or from Ford because those are designed on pickup trucks Assis more or less and they do have towing in mind Chrysler has equipped all Promaster

vans with Brembo brakes and very large rotors so I do expect breaking fade-resistance to be very good in the Pro Master however overall braking

2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van Review

distance is a problem in the Promaster vs. some of the competition mostly because of the tires they’re not as wide in the Pro Master ask some of the other American competitors and so that

will limit emergency braking maneuvers fade-resistance however appears to be in the pro masters favor because of these large diameter rotors visibility is important in the commercial

vehicles let’s take a look around with that in mind we have these large sideview mirrors with a dedicated blind spot mirror in the Pro Master these power sideview mirrors are also power

2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van
2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van

folding

optionally if we zoom out you can see how low to the ground these side windows are there’s this fixed window up here and this power window portion of the window visibility downward to

the side is fairly easy and fairly good out the front you have a decent amount of visibility to the seating position is very high in the Pro Master’s you can see you can’t see the front bumper in

the pro masters that is the only real blind spot going on there we do have a rear glass option in our pro master as you can see back there you can get solid rear doors as well there’s

something to keep in mind we do have a backup camera to help out with that if we move over to the right side you can see what our visibility there is like we don’t have the side door glass in

our Pro Master that is optional as well as well as the rear quarter-panel glass that does help improve visibility also the overall design has grown on me since we first borrowed the Fiat Ducato

a few months ago the American market Ram 1500 still gets these clearance lights up on top of the van if you can handle a front-wheel drive drivetrain in your commercial cargo

vehicle and it’s definitely worth giving the pro master a try it has the best fuel economy in the segment it also has the cheapest diesel option in the segment and we have the fiat ducato turbo

diesel van we were getting about 28 miles per gallon on the highway which is significantly better than you can get in anything from General Motors or from Ford we haven’t been able to drive

an American market diesel Promaster because What is the best used cargo van?

2014 RAM ProMaster Commercial Cargo Van

they don’t exist yet we expect them in December or in January of 2014 so that is something to keep in mind if you recall our review of the Ducato there were a few drivability concerns for

American market buyers I think they’re more a hangups than they are real concerns however is something to keep in mind Chrysler has remedied some of them they’ve added Hill Start Assist

to all American market models of the Promaster Which is better RAM ProMaster or Ford Transit?

meaning you don’t roll back on the hill like you would in a ducat Oh with that robotized manual that robotized manual is important to keep in

mind because it is a manual it feels like it feels like someone is driving you around in a manual don’t have the clutch pedal or the shifter to worry about but it still has that feel you still have

the worry of also going up a hill and having the transmission not be able to shift quickly enough to get you from one gear to the other uphill just check out our D kata video for more

information about that one Chrysler has What is difference between RAM ProMaster 2500 and 3500?

also said that they’ve remedied that problem by employing faster shifts better turbocharging tuning and some slightly different transmission electronics and engine electronics in the

American market Promaster allowing that to be just a little bit better on steep slopes in America again we haven’t tested that so be sure that you do before you sign on the dotted line thanks

for watching again I’m Alex dykes and this has been our look at the 2014 RAM Are Ford Transit vans any good?

Leave a Reply 0

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *