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2019 Ram ProMaster 2500 Review

The 2019 Ram ProMaster 2500 fills the space between the ProMaster 1500 and the ProMaster 3500, reviewed separately. Moving up through the three models adds payload capability with each increase in model number. Not really engineered to move people, the 2500 is all about commercial uses, like deliveries or moving tradesmen and their materials from job to job. Yes, there a few creature comforts, such as air conditioning, power windows and locks, and audio systems, but the ProMaster 2500 is all about the work.

With its low step-in and loading floor, it stands apart from many of its competitors. Front-wheel drive is responsible for the low loading floor and makes this van a bit more maneuverable than others in the segment. Providing a tight turning radius, it can go places larger, rear-wheel-drive vans can’t. All in all, this Ram is a user-friendly workhorse.

What’s New for 2019?

All 2500s offer 30% more towing capability, available fleet telematics with driver tracking/behavior and vehicle diagnostics, available interior LED lighting and available rear side windows. Ram also promises a low-roof version of the 136-in wheelbase 2500, but as of this writing, none of these new features is available nor priced. See the 2019 Ram ProMaster models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Huge space-efficient cargo area
  • High-roof body style
  • Lots of available features
  • Excellent capabilities

What We Don’t

  • Odd driving position with no tilt steering wheel
  • Only one engine

How Much?

$36,040-$37,840

Fuel Economy

Ram offers the ProMaster 2500 with just Chrysler’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which makes 280 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission and, uniquely for a commercial van, FWD. This should be appealing in poor-weather areas, where RWD vans can be a handful. Because of its size, the Promaster 2500’s fuel economy isn’t monitored by the government.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 Ram ProMaster 2500 doesn’t offer trim levels, as most traditional models do. Instead, it comes in two available wheelbases — 136 inches and 159 inches — both of which feature a high-roof body style for extra storage. Ram promises a low-roof version for the 136-in wheelbase later this year. Prices include the $1,695 factory destination charge.

Whether it’s the 136-inch wheelbase ($36,040) or the 159-inch wheelbase ($37,840), each ProMaster 2500 starts off equipped about the same. Standard features include 16-in steel wheels, hill-start assist, air conditioning, keyless entry, power windows and locks, a backup camera and Uconnect 3 with a 5-in display, a USB port, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The ProMaster is also offered with a wide range of options that include rear parking sensors, a navigation system with Uconnect 5.0, heated seats, side sliding doors, cruise control and alloy wheels.

Safety

Like most cargo vans, the ProMaster 2500 isn’t crash-tested by the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s not rated by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, either.

It does offer a wide variety of safety features, from standard items such as front and side-curtain airbags, a backup camera, anti-lock brakes and traction control to options including rear parking sensors. With that said, we’d like to see a few more safety features available on the ProMaster, including a blind spot monitoring system, which can be a huge help on windowless cargo vans.

Behind the Wheel

The 2019 Ram ProMaster 2500 drives exactly as it looks: like a huge van. That means somewhat vague steering, lots of body roll and an overall size that sometimes makes you question whether you’re driving a bus. Don’t take these comments too harshly, though, they could be applied to almost every other commercial van. We say "almost every," because you’re likely to find the ProMaster far more maneuverable than the truck-based GM and Nissan vans.

The 2500 model’s high-roof design can make things even more challenging, because you have to keep in mind that you can’t enter every parking garage. On the other hand, it also allows for considerably more cargo space than those same truck-based vans, along with the ability to walk around upright inside. We also like the low, flat load floor, which is excellent for loading cargo.

For good and bad, the ProMaster’s driving position stands out. 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 the van’s corners. Unfortunately, the driving position itself makes you channel your inner bus driver, with you perched awkwardly above its stationary steering wheel.

When it comes to engine performance, we find the V6 and automatic transmission to be well suited for the job of hauling around the 2500.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Ford Transit — The Ford Transit 250 is built in the United States and replaces the ancient Ford E-Series. It offers a very similar experience to the ProMaster — right down to the strong visibility and flat, low load floor.

2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter — Few vans offer the all-out capabilities of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, but it’s an expensive van to buy. As such, you may want to consider a used model. And if the Mercedes-Benz name seems too ritzy for your business, remember that it’s also sold as a Freightliner.

2019 Nissan NVNissan’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 it is cumbersome to maneuver.

Autotrader’s Advice

We would go with the 2019 Ram ProMaster with an option or two like the sliding doors and cruise control. We’d opt for the high-roof configuration, but stick with the 136-in wheelbase unless we really needed the maximum cargo space. Find a Ram ProMaster for sale

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