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2019 ram ProMaster

The Ram ProMaster is a full-size van that is a direct product of the collaboration between Chrysler and Italian parent company Fiat. Based on the third-generation of the Fiat Ducato, one of Europe's most popular vans, the ProMaster offers an impressive array of configurations: Buyers can choose between three wheelbase lengths, four overall body lengths and two roof heights. In addition to these options, cargo, chassis-cab and cutaway variants are offered, and the van is available in 1500, 2500 and 3500 trim.

Recent changes

For the latest model year, Ram expanded the ProMaster line-up with three new body styles. It also increased payload across the board. 

Overview

The smallest ProMaster stretches 195 inches long and 88 inches tall while the biggest is 250 inches long and 99 inches tall. There are several variants in between the two, including 88-inch tall vans with a wheelbase of either 213 or 236 inches.

Visually, the ProMaster is nearly identical to its Fiat counterpart but it gains Ram's easily-recognizable crosshair grille. The cab-forward design features a three-piece plastic front bumper, a small hood, tall headlights and a large windshield, while range-topping 3500 models are fitted with roof lights. Out back, the van gets upright tail lamps and a large Ram emblem on the driver-side door.

For customers who are looking at the ProMaster for shuttle or RV conversions, a new chrome grille is available for a more upscale appearance.

Life aboard

The cab-forward design offers a high seating position which creates a secure driving experience even in tight areas. Two individual seats come standard, and a three-person bench is available as an option.

The cockpit boasts a clean dashboard with numerous storage bins, four cup holders and a large glovebox.

The dash also has a five-inch touch screen that allows passengers to use Chrysler's UConnect Access infotainment system.

One of the more user-friendly infotainment setups on the market, UConnect Access integrates most of the ProMaster's audio, navigation (available at an extra cost) and climate control functions into one unit. A color touch screen mounted on the dashboard is the central component of the system but buttons and knobs for climate and audio settings are also included.

UConnect Access features a voice command that allows the driver to place phone calls, use the sound system, input destination for the navigation system and more without taking his or her hands off the wheel. Other notable aspects include the ability to function as a Wi-Fi hot spot over a 3G network for an additional monthly fee and downloadable applications such as Bing search, iHeartradio and Pandora.

The ProMaster is all about business behind the passenger compartment. The numerous versions of the cargo van offer between 3922 and 4280 cubic feet of space, making it large enough to stack 4 x 8 pieces of plywood or load pallets with a fork lift. Every day jobs are made easier thanks to 17 tow hooks and side walls that stand at nearly 90 degrees.

A sliding door on the passenger side comes standard, and a second one on the driver side can be ordered as an option. The rear compartment is accessed via twin doors that open to 260 degrees.

The ProMaster 2500 with a 159-inch wheelbase is the only variant that can be fitted with rear windows.

Under the hood

The ProMaster comes standard with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that is found in many Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep products. Linked to a six-speed automatic transmission, it sends 280 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque to the front wheels. Rare in commercial vehicles, front-wheel drive eliminates the need for a rear driveshafts and a rear differential and consequently frees up extra cargo capacity by lowering the load floor.

Buyers who want better fuel mileage can order the ProMaster with 3.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine that makes 174 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque. Power is sent to the front set of wheels via a six-speed automated-manual transmission that can be shifted manually using the gear lever.

The 1500, 2500 and 3500 ProMaster models each have a different final drive ratio.

The ProMaster can tow up to 5,100 pounds. The gross vehicle weight rating is 11,500 for the Pentastar-equipped model and 12,500 for the diesel-burner.

Occupant safety

The ProMaster comes standard with six airbags, electronic stability control, trailer sway control, ParkView backup camera and ParkSense with an audible warning.

Key competitors

The ProMaster squares off against Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and the Ford Transit, two rear-wheel drive full-size vans that trace their roots back to the Old Continent.

Customers can also cross-shop the ProMaster with the Nissan NV.