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2016 Ram ProMaster 1500: Moving Buddy

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Ram’s ProMaster model goes head-to-head with competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit and Nissan NV. These vehicles are primarily used by contractors, utility companies or pretty much anyone needing extra storage space, but not enough to warrant a cube truck.

In a striking coincidence, I had to move two friends on the same week that the ProMaster was booked and I was excited to put it to work. Reminiscent of the old 1990s-era minivans, this ProMaster only has a sliding door on the passenger side, though this is common among cargo vans. Since I wasn’t transporting people, it didn’t end up being a big deal at all. There was more than enough access with the one side door and dual-opening rear doors that conveniently open all the way around the body. However, in certain versions of the ProMaster a driver-side sliding door is optional.

With a definitely Euro-inspired design, the exterior is among the most stylish utility vans—though to be fair, looks are probably the last thing considered when buying this type of vehicle.

As you can see from the photos, I was able to fit a fridge, a stove and a whole lot more inside the cavernous interior. Fitted with the high roof configuration, cargo capacity can be as much as 13,108 litres and the interior boasts best-in-class interior ceiling height. Total payload capacity can reach 8550 pounds.

Hauling ability comes from the very capable 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, making 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. If the V6 isn’t to your liking, you can opt for the 3.0-litre EcoDiesel inline four-cylinder engine for an extra $6,000, which makes 174 hp and 295 lb.-ft.

The ProMaster is the only one in its class to come in a front-wheel-drive configuration. This offers more stability, a smaller turning radius and generally gives the driver a better feeling of control.

The 2016 Ram ProMaster drove much better than I expected for a moving truck. I did a fair amount of highway driving, and I have to say the comfort level is extremely high. It helps that there also was satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity, giving me ample music sources to choose from.

Ram offers the ProMaster in fifteen different configurations including Cargo Van, Window Van, Chassis Cab and Cutaway models, two roof heights and three wheelbase lengths to adapt to practically any commercial application. Ram Truck’s website has a great breakdown of all the specifications. The ProMaster 1500’s starting price is $33,995 before freight and delivery charges.

All in all, I had a great experience using the 2016 Ram ProMaster.

Evaluation

Test model 2016 RAM ProMaster City
Trim level Cargo Van SLT
Price range $28,995 - $30,995
Price as tested $29,995
Warranty (basic) 3 years / 60,000 km
Warranty (powertrain) 5 years / 100,000 km
Fuel economy (city/highway/observed) 11.2 / 8.1 / 11.2 l/100km
Options N/A
Competitive models Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit, Nissan NV
Strong points
  • Euro look
  • Front-wheel drive agility
  • Comfortable seats
Weak points
  • FWD could bother some people
  • Not the fastest in its class

Editor's rating

Fuel Consumption 3.5/5 What I expected
Comfort 4.0/5 Cruising in the ProMaster was great
Performance 3.5/5 Not the fastest among full-size cargo vans
Infotainment System 3.0/5 Rudimentary, but gets job done
Driving Experience 4.0/5 Fun to drive, thanks to its front-drive layout
Overall 4.0/5 Very good product
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