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Dodge Ram ProMaster Passenger Vans

Based on the front-wheel-drive Fiat Ducato, the Ram ProMaster has higher capacities and components, to handle North American roads and increased gross weights. Commercial buyers almost immediately started asking for passenger van versions.

passenger van

To help upfitters create one, Ram added a window version of the 159-inch, high-roof van for the 2016 model year, along with a chrome grille option and provisions for a second battery (at the rear of the cab) with new 20-amp switches on the dashboard.

Ram officials told Allpar in January 2014 that the company was not building passenger vans, but was instead supplying “glazed vans” or “window vans” to upfitters, who were then putting in seats. Nick Cappa said,

It’s an advantage for us having a front-wheel drive system, which nobody else has... We keep the load floor low. Our actual step-in height for the Promaster, for the person that’s got to get in and out of the van 90 times a day, is the same height as the pre-step for some competitors. They have to step almost double to get into their vans.

promaster seats... We also have weight on the front end, so even when you’re running light — when you've got nothing in the back and you’re in snowy conditions — you still have weight in the front with your front-wheel drive. And it helps us package a great turning radius in the truck and best-in-class fuel economy.

passenger van interior

The 2014 Chicago Auto Show hosted a ProMaster 2500 Window Van with a Mobility Works Executive Shuttle Package, including eight leather-trimmed removable seats, with rear cabin area lighting and air conditioning. The package did not have grab handles at the side doors to assist in getting in and out, according to correspondent Jim Choate.

What did Chrysler change? An engineer told us:

We have engineers that worked with Sprinter, so we took all our lessons learned and things we wanted to change or couldn’t change. We got unlimited “whatever you want” inside. That’s why you see a lot of those changes in there, like the big cup holders, the radio in different places [than the Fiat], the knobs, everything. ... [We spent] three years working that tailbone off.

window van

ProMaster has 13 different configurations, with three wheelbases, low and high roofs, and cargo van, cutaway, and chassis cab versions, but only the glazed/window versions (159 inches long, in two capacities) and chassis cabs/cutaways are suitable for passengers.

Capacities

As with the Ram series, ProMaster is available in three capacity ranges: 1500, 2500, and 3500. The following are presented for comparison.

Launch Pricing (including destination charges) Cargo Van Chassis Cab

Cutaway

Ram 2500 159-inch wheelbase high roof $33,870   
Ram 2500 159-inch wheelbase high roof with windows $34,250   
Ram 3500 159-inch wheelbase (C/V: high roof) $36,345 $27,430$27,930
Ram 350 159-inch wb extended frame (C/V: high roof) $37,145 $27,930$28,430

The roof can carry 400 pounds, and has three roof-rail mounts on each side with tapping plates to assist mounting roof racks.

ProMaster has a step-in height of 21 inches and a non-slip rear access step. The large front doors are lightweight, and the 62”-wide rear clamshell doors open 180° or 260°. A sliding right-side door is standard, with an optional sliding left-side door; pallets can be loaded from the side or rear.

Cargo Vans
(Std Roof, Wheelbase)
2014 Ram
ProMaster
Mercedes
Sprinter
1990 Dodge
MaxiVan
Wheelbase (in.)159144 or 170 127
Length236233 or 289 223
Width82.79580
Height10165 to 84 80
Gross weight8,90011,0307,700
Max load3,9985,7704,245
Curb weight4,966-5,4005,686-6,128~ 4,830

An upfitter interface block has 15 outputs for 40 feature operations. A passive speed limiter gives an audible reminder when a set speed is surpassed; it can be set to 55, 60, 65, or 70 mph.

See: ProMaster test drive • ProMaster Main Page • B-VansProMaster City (Doblo) • Our speculative renderings

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