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Spurred by the success of Ford’s Transit Connect and the various versions of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ram tapped its Fiat partner for a couple of commercial vans of its own. Both the big ProMaster and smaller ProMaster City were already being sold overseas when they adopted Ram badges a couple of years ago. Notable is that both are front-wheel drive, both are of unibody construction, and both are also offered in chassis-cab configurations “over there”; yet only the ProMaster’s has been sent stateside … so far.
2016 Ram ProMaster City
Miles Driven: 369
Fuel Used: 14.7
Dates tested: 2/24/2015 to 3/02/2015
Miles Driven: 140
Fuel Used: 7.4 gallons
For a class that didn’t even exist six years ago, compact cargo vans have witnessed an explosion in growth of late. And that applies not only to sales, but also to the number of entries.
This is all the Ram marketing folks’ fault. At the reveal event for the ProMaster City last month, sitting there in a corner of the tent was a meticulously restored Dodge A100. Though the Ram folks made no direct comparison between the two vehicles, the seeds were planted. How do the two diminutive, scrappy vans compare?
Again tapping Fiat’s European-market product lineup, Chrysler’s Ram brand will begin selling a small front-drive van beginning late this year.
2014 Ram ProMaster Cargo “High Roof” (159-inch wheelbase)
Miles driven: 91
Fuel used: 7.4 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 12.3 mpg*
When it comes to offering a commercial cargo van for 2014, Ram is dancing a familiar step but with a new partner. The ProMaster is based on an established design from Chrysler Group’s Italian parent Fiat. It fills a void left by the erstwhile Sprinter, another high-roof walk-in van that Ram’s predecessor, Dodge Truck, had been granted back when Chrysler was under the control of a certain German manufacturer known by its three-pointed star.
After a five-year hiatus, Chrysler returns to the large-van market with the 2014 Ram ProMaster. The ProMaster is based heavily on the European-market Fiat Ducato. It is similar in size and powertrain offerings to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, which was itself available as a Dodge for the 2004-2009 model years.
A little over a year ago, my neighbors and I lamented the construction of an Amazon delivery facility not more than three blocks from our homes. To our relief, the now-operational warehouse and delivery center has not diminished our quality of life in any meaningful manner. It’s a big sucker, though, boasting nearly 200 loading docks and serving as home to maybe 200 delivery vans. About those vans…