Ram's Fiat Ducato-based Promaster returns to the Chrysler truck brand lineup for 2017, sporting some minor updates to its list of standard and optional features.
Al models can now be optioned with Chrysler's Uconnect 3.0 infotainment system; diesel models get a standard electric parking brake; and more serious commercial buyers will appreciate a wider rear axle for chassis cab and cutaway models and standard upfit interface connectors and rear speaker wiring in all trims.
Ram brought this rebadged Fiat workhorse to North America to fill a gap left by more traditional truck-based vans -- like the still-surviving Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana -- that no longer cut it in terms of fuel economy. The Promaster is a fine example of the kind of European van that offers full-size interior capacity while casting a shadow not that much larger than a minivan's.
The Promaster's closest competitors are the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and these three vans share a distinct European flavour. What set Promaster apart is its front-drive layout, and its more compact drivetrain allows a lower load floor unencumbered by a drive shaft and rear axle like those in the RWD Transit and Sprinter.
Promaster comes with a choice of two engines: there's a 3.6L Pentastar V6 known for its use in everything from minivans to SUVs and sedans and making 280 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The option is a 3.0L four-cylinder turbodiesel whose 174 hp seems a bit weak until your eyes scan the 295 lb-ft figure in the torque column.
Both engines come with six-speed automatic transmissions, the diesel's being an unconventional automated manual. The Promaster being a commercial vehicle, Natural Resources Canada doesn't publish fuel consumption figures for it.
Standard features at the Promaster's $31,945 starting price include air conditioning, cargo area lighting, four-speaker radio with media hub, 16-inch steel wheels, trip computer, four-way front seats, power door locks with keyless entry and power windows, tire pressure monitoring and front and rear clearance lights.
The long list of options include aluminum wheels, wheel covers for the steel wheels, cruise control, air conditioning delete, driver's suspension seat, heated seats, navigation, backup camera, an interior convenience group that brings a locking glove box, headliner shelf, underseat storage and a document holder, leather-trimmed steering wheel and Chrysler Uconnect infotainment with either 3.0- or 5.0-inch screens.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed