New Car Review

2015 Ram ProMaster 2500: New Car Review

RELATED READING
See all RAM ProMaster articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader January 2015

The 2015 Ram ProMaster 2500 is the middle child of Ram's all-new lineup of ProMaster cargo vans. While most drivers will choose the base-level ProMaster 1500, van shoppers interested in additional payload and towing capacities might want to go with a more capable 2500 or 3500 model.

So what's the ProMaster all about? For one thing, it's not really a Chrysler; it's a re-badged version of the FIAT Ducato, a popular cargo van sold in foreign markets. FIAT, Chrysler's parent company, brings the ProMaster to the U.S. and sells it as a Ram to improve its name recognition with commercial drivers and truck shoppers. But it's hard to hide the van's foreign roots, from its unusual styling and car-based design (and resulting low load floor) to its fuel-efficient diesel engine option instead of an available heavy-duty V8.

We like it quite a bit, as cargo vans go. Sure, it's slow, not terribly attractive and has mediocre handling, but this van is all about transporting cargo, not turning heads or carving corners. In that sense, the ProMaster delivers exactly as expected.

What's New for 2015?

After debuting for the 2014 model year, the ProMaster lineup is mostly unchanged for 2015, save for the arrival of a smaller van dubbed the ProMaster City, which we're covering in a separate review.

What We Like

Huge interior; lots of available features; fuel-efficient diesel engine; excellent capabilities

What We Don't

No tilt steering wheel; 1500 model lacks 159-inch wheelbase; blind spot monitor would help

How Much?

$32,500-$34,000

Fuel Economy

Like the base-level 1500 model, the ProMaster 2500 offers two engines. Standard is Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which makes 280 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. For an extra $4,000 you can opt for a fuel-saving 3.0-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder powerplant, which makes just 174 hp but a muscular 295 lb-ft of torque. Though the ProMaster 2500 is exempt from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings due to its size, we'd count on about 15 miles per gallon with the gas-powered V6 and 18 mpg with the diesel.

Standard Features & Options

The ProMaster 2500 doesn't offer trim levels like most traditional models. Instead, it comes in two available wheelbases, 136 inches and 159 inches, both of which feature a high-roof body style for extra storage.

Priced from $32,500 with shipping, each ProMaster 2500 starts off about the same. Standard features include 16-in steel wheels, air conditioning, keyless entry, a USB and auxiliary port for music, power windows, power locks and a sliding door on the passenger side.

The ProMaster is also offered with a wide range of options. They include rear parking sensors, a navigation system, a backup camera, heated seats, a sliding door on the driver's side, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and alloy wheels.

Safety

Like most cargo vans, the ProMaster 2500 has not been crash-tested by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nor has it been rated by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

However, the ProMaster 2500 offers a wide variety of safety features, from standard items such as front and side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction control to options such as a backup camera and rear parking sensors. We'd love to see a few more safety features available on the ProMaster, including a blind spot monitor, which would be a huge help on windowless cargo vans.

Behind the Wheel

The 2015 Ram ProMaster 2500 drives exactly how it looks: like a huge van. That means vague steering, lots of body roll and an overall size that sometimes makes you question whether you're driving a privately owned vehicle or a full-size bus. The 2500 model's high-roof design makes things even more challenging, since you have to keep in mind that you can't enter any parking garages or duck under low bridges. Don't take these comments too harshly, though, as they could be applied to just about any full-size cargo van on the market.

Where the ProMaster stands out is its driving position. Thanks to a cab-forward design with the seat almost over the front axle, the ProMaster gives you a sweeping view of the road and an easy view of the van's corners, which comes in handy when you're parking. This compensates somewhat for the van's otherwise huge width and length.

When it comes to engine performance, we suspect most shoppers will prefer the V6. It's a more traditional engine with a more traditional transmission, and capabilities are about the same as the diesel. That said, the diesel might offer enough of a fuel economy benefit to justify its additional cost. In terms of capabilities, the ProMaster both impresses and disappoints us. We like the low, flat load floor, which is excellent for loading cargo. But we think the van's maneuverability could be a little better, as it seems more unwieldy than some rivals.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Ford Transit -- The all-new Ford Transit is built in the U.S. and replaces the dated Ford E-Series. It offers a very similar experience to the ProMaster, right down to the strong visibility and flat, low load floor.

2015 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter -- Few vans offer the all-out capabilities of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, but it's an expensive buy.

2015 Nissan NV -- Nissan's full-size NV van offers high- and low-roof configurations and a capable, truck-based chassis. But it's a lot less fuel-efficient than the ProMaster and its steering is especially vague, even for a cargo van.

AutoTrader's Advice

Although we generally love diesel engines, we don't think the ProMaster's diesel powerplant is worth the money. Instead, we'd get a ProMaster 2500 with a few options and the Pentastar V6. And we'd order the long wheelbase to maximize our cargo van capabilities.

Find a Ram ProMaster for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Ram ProMaster 2500: New Car Review - Autotrader