We know there is a pickup truck war going on in North America, and now there is also a commercial van war. Ram is stepping onto the battlefield with the 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size van lineup. Ford, GM, and Nissan are also in the fight, so it’s not going to be easy. Nissan has the NV, GM still has the Express and Savana, and Ford is preparing the full-size Transit to replace the venerable E-Series.
The ProMaster builds on the expertise and reputation of the Fiat Ducato van, which is major player in Europe. This van is build on a front wheel drive architecture, which brings many benefits, according to Ram. It saves weight, allows for lower loading height, improves payload capacity, and much more. And the flat structural frame provides a convenient foundation for aftermarket companies that deal with chassis cabs, such as RV or shuttle manufacturers.
In United States, the ProMaster has two engine options: a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar that is good for 280 hp and 260 lb-ft. There is a unique commercial diesel. A big 3.0-liter four cylinder motor with laser focus on demanding commercial work. It puts out 174 hp and big 294 lb-ft of twist at low 1,400 rpm. This big straight four does not rev high, and it doesn’t need to. It does all of its work under 2,000 rpm.
The ProMaster has a mind boggling number of configurations. There are four vehicle lengths, three wheel bases, and two roof heights. It can be had in four body types: cargo, glazed, chassis cab, and cut-away. And there are 1500, 2500, and 3500 class designations. Of course, there are also two engine options. If you need a full-size van, and you cannot find the right configuration with the ProMaster, then it probably does not exist. Ram looks to have all its bases covered with this lineup.
2014 Ram ProMaster starts at $28,630. The diesel option adds $4,000 to the bottom line and comes with a 6-speed manual transmission. This is a higher initial investment, but the diesel has a long-term cost of ownership in mind with 18,500 mile oil change interval and high durability.
This van has a maximum payload capacity of 4,400 lbs or it can tow up to 5,100 lbs.
Take a look at this fun TFLtruck video as Roman and Nathan take the 2014 ProMaster for a spin and a 0-60 MPH run:
Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply ‘going for a drive’.