Since Dodge introduced it at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, the Ram Pro-Master has generated a lot of buzz and excitement. Based on the Fiat Ducato, the Pro-Master is much more than just a delivery van and worth every bit of the hype. The van starts at $26,030.
Although suited for commercial use, the Pro-Master doesn't have the bare-bones cabin and cargo area one would expect and would be likely to find on a traditional panel van. Seating accommodates up to three up front, and swivel bucket seating is available to maximize access to the cargo area. The crew-cab configuration adds a four-seat bench at the expense of cargo space.
Consumers have the option of three wheelbases, which measure 118, 137 and 159 inches. There is also the option of full van or chassis-cab formats, which have interior roof heights of 60 and 76 inches, respectively. The rear cargo doors open 260 degrees, and it allows ample room for a forklift pallet. The exterior isn't sleek, but it does have a refined aesthetic that sets it apart from other utility vans.
The default model is a four-wheel drive van with a six-speed automatic transmission and a 118-inch wheelbase. The transmission is up-gradable to a six-speed automated manual. The base diesel motor is a 3.0L that provides 174 hp and 295 lb-ft, and the upgrade option is a 3.6L 24-valve engine that generates 280 hp and 258 lb-ft.
With the standard package, function trumps form, and it includes bumper steps, a robust well-configured dashboard and a Uconnect radio with navigation. A five-inch touch screen is an optional upgrade. Well-placed rub strips protect the entire body, and the plastic front bumper is made up of many separate, replaceable pieces.
Standard safety features include front-impact airbags, side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, anti-lock brakes, seat-belt pre-tensioners and a low tire pressure warning system. The Pro-Master also comes with a security system that prevents the engine from starting if a replica key is used. A content theft-deterrent alarm system is an optional upgrade.
The sophistication of European utility vans has finally made its way to North America, and the Ram Pro-Master
is an impressive achievement that sets a high bar in the segment.
City Auto's 2014 Ram PROMASTER Resources