If it seems like you’ve seen the all-new 2014 Ram ProMaster somewhere before, that’s because you probably have. Ram is the latest automaker to enter the full-sized diesel commercial van market, and the ProMaster is based on the internationally-popular and thirty-year old Fiat Ducato. But with an updated design and class-leading features, Ram hopes their new hauler can make a splash in the U.S.
The Ram ProMaster may be new, but there’s a lot of familiar equipment inside, starting with the powerplant. The ever-versatile 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine makes an appearance here, with 280 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft of torque. Also available is a 3.0L inline-4 EcoDiesel engine that is a little lower on power, but better on fuel economy and long-term maintenance.
Both engines are available with an upgraded 62TE automatic transmission, designed to handle full loads and improve fuel efficiency while doing it. The ProMater EcoDiesel offers the choice of an innovative six-speed M40 manual transmission, as well, which takes some of the pressure off the driver with gearbox software and electro-hydraulic shifting. MPG figures haven’t yet been released, but Chrysler estimates class-leading economy to beat established competitors like the Ford E-Series and GMC Savana.
Part of that efficiency has to do with the engines, but the aerodynamic design of the 2014 ProMaster also plays a big part. The sloping windshield and protruding front bumper create an exterior design that can slice through the air, and also enhances visibility. The front bumper is a three-piece unit to cut down on repair cost and time.
Inside, the flat floor is rated at 1,000 lbs. and offers 17 tie-down rings, plus dual sliding doors for easy access. Available in either 90-inch or 101-inch roof heights, the Ram ProMaster leads the class in cargo capacity. The ProMaster also comes with UConnect interface and Electronic Stability Control as standard.