Ram ProMaster City

Blank side panels on the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Cargo Van create a rolling billboard for business owners.

Ram trucks have a big name and even bigger reputation in the large truck segment.

Last year, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram truck division experienced 27-percent growth in the market and is now tapping the Class 1 small commercial van segment with the 2015 Ram ProMaster City.

The front-drive Ram ProMaster City is inspired by the compact Fiat Doblo van built for commercial customers with businesses that have day-to-day carrying needs and realistic operating budgets.

Base priced under $24,000, Ram ProMaster City becomes the latest practical solution to hauling goods or people in available 2-person cargo van and 5-passenger wagon configurations with up-level SLT trim available on both versions.

I recently had the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Tradesman Cargo for a week-long test in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, driving away impressed with its pep and hauling prowess.

Power is supplied by a spirited 2.4-liter Tigershark 4-cylinder engine that builds 178 horsepower managed by a nine-speed automatic transmission to deliver 21 miles per gallon around town and 29 mpg on the Interstate.

The Ram ProMaster City Tradesman Cargo weighs in with a maximum payload of 1,883 pounds contained within a 60.4 inch by 87.2 inch cargo box for a total volume of 131.7 cubic feet.

By comparison, last year’s Ram C/V cargo van, shelled from the Dodge minivan, carries 155.5 cu-ft of cargo and an 1800 lb. payload.

Ram C/V harbors a 3.6L V6 engine that yields 18 mpg/city and 26 mpg/hwy., with a bottom line of $22,820 including destination charge.

“The Ram ProMaster City comes with important features not easily added to the Ram C/V,” says Nick Cappa, manager, Ram product communications. “Gate-style rear doors and higher roofline are an advantage with the ProMaster City.”

According to Cappa, the Fiat Doblo has an existing assembly plant - one that is honored with a number of awards for quality and efficiency manufacturing.

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City Cargo Van is a seamless clone of the Doblo.

Ram stamps its signature cross-hair grille and adds high-mounted bumpers to keep ProMaster’s head and taillamps out of harms way while on the job.

Split 60/40 rear doors open to 90-degrees with a quick release to 180-degrees for safe unloading while parked at a curb.

Minivan-style dual side-sliding doors open 26-in. to expose over 48 inches of width between the wheel wells. Ideal for carrying plywood or other building materials.

Ram ProMaster City Wagon replaces blank upper body panels with windows on the side sliding and rear gate doors.

The sliding doors have an innovative ‘hold’ safety feature that prevents them from inadvertently gliding back to a closed position once opened

Ram ProMaster City Wagon, priced at $25,125 with destination, features a three person 60/40-split second row that folds and tumbles for a maximum 68.7 cu-ft of cargo capacity. Over 45 cu-ft of space remains with the back seat upright.

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City Tradesman Cargo Van hauls a bottom line of $24,125 with freight.