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2019 Ram ProMaster City Review

Although it’s available in a passenger configuration, the 2019 Ram ProMaster City is really all about work. Ideally suited for hauling a tradesman and tools from job to job, or taking that package the last mile for delivery, the ProMaster City is an urban warrior for businesses. It’s maneuverable on crowded city streets and easier to park than a full-size van.

Ram did give it a few convenience features like air conditioning and power windows, but the ProMaster City is all about the work.

What’s New for 2019?

Not much. Ram makes available its Fleet Telematics system, including vehicle diagnostics and usage tracking and driver behavior features. ProMaster City now sports the new RAM grille. See the 2019 Ram ProMaster City models for sale near you

What We Like

  • More compact and maneuverable than full-size vans
  • More cargo space than other compact vans
  • Surprisingly pleasant driving dynamics
  • Excellent fuel economy for a van

What We Don’t

  • Passenger model makes no sense
  • Few amenities
  • Feels like the utilitarian commercial vehicle pressed into passenger service

How Much?

$25,540-$28,490

Fuel Economy

The ProMaster City uses just one engine: A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes 178 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. It’s only offered with front-wheel drive (FWD) and a 9-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is rated at 21 miles per gallon in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg in combined driving.

Standard Features & Options

The ProMaster City is available in two versions. The cargo van, dubbed the ProMaster City Tradesman, features only two front seats and no rear side windows. The passenger model, named the ProMaster City Wagon, offers a second-row bench seat and second-row rear side windows. The ProMaster City Wagon is about $1,300 more expensive than its Tradesman counterpart. Both the Wagon and the Tradesman offer two trim levels — a base model and an upscale SLT trim — which share roughly the same equipment. Prices include the $1,595 factory delivery charge.

Base-level ProMaster City models ($25,890 for the Tradesman, $27,740 for the Wagon) include only basic convenience features — keyless entry, power windows, air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth, a backup camera and Chrysler’s Uconnect 3 with a 5-in touchscreen, a 4-speaker stereo, USB and iPod connectivity, among a few other frills. It also includes the new Fleet Telematics feature.

Drivers who step up to the ProMaster City SLT ($27,640 for the Tradesman, $29,390 for the Wagon) get a few more features, such as body-color bumpers and power/heated mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control and Uconnect with navigation.

The SLT offers one major options package: the Lights and Wheels Group, which adds 16-in alloy wheels and fog lights. Available on all trims: Rear parking sensors, remote start, satellite radio capability, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a full-size spare tire. Other options include a rear wiper, various roof rack and rail configurations and partitions that separate the front seats from the cargo area.

Safety

The 2019 Ram ProMaster City comes standard with front-side airbags, side-curtain airbags, a backup camera and anti-lock brakes. Rear parking sensors are available on the options list. There are no accident-avoidance tech features available.

The ProMaster City has not been crash tested by a third party.

Behind the Wheel

Here’s what we think of the ProMaster City: It’s just like a typical compact American pickup truck, except with an enclosed box instead of a bed — and what a useful box it is. When outfitted as a cargo van, the box is 87.2 inches long, 61.8 inches wide and 51.8 inches tall, adding up to a total of 131.7 cu ft. of cargo space. That’s 9 cu ft. more cargo space than the Nissan NV200 (and its Chevrolet City Express doppelganger) and 3.1 cu ft. more than the long wheelbase version of the Ford Transit Connect.

On the road, the ProMaster City is more agile and far easier than bigger cargo vans to drive and park in the city, where buyers are likely to use it to make pickups or deliveries. Better yet, the overall feel isn’t like that of a typical van. It’s more akin to a small crossover: it’s smooth and controlled. We also like the ProMaster City’s engine, which feels stronger than the power plants in rival models. That’s relative, though, as it still reaches 60 mph from standstill in a mediocre 10 seconds.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that the ProMaster City is a commercial vehicle that’s built to a price. It lacks sufficient sound-deadening materials, so it tends to creak and rattle on the road, though the same can be said for most small vans. It also lacks amenities, and the quality of materials is cut rate. The dash is almost entirely made of hard plastic, and it’s hard to find anything close to a soft-touch surface.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Ford Transit Connect — The Transit Connect is the ProMaster City’s chief rival. It offers similar pricing, fuel economy, engine power and sizing. You’ll want to drive the Ford before you sign the papers on a Ram.

2019 Nissan NV200 — Also sold as the Chevrolet City Express, the NV200 is another major competitor to the ProMaster City. Pricing is lower, but the NV200 is also smaller than the Transit Connect.

Used Ram ProMaster 1500 — If you need something a little bigger than the ProMaster City, consider a used ProMaster 1500. It’s a larger FWD van. It has more power and more room than the ProMaster City.

Autotrader’s Advice

Although we like the cargo van a lot, we’d steer clear of the passenger wagon. There are many other better passenger-van choices out there. For the extra $1,300, we’d opt for the 2018 Ram ProMaster City SLT with its power mirrors, cruise control and available option packages. Yes, it’s a work van, but there’s nothing wrong with a creature comfort or two. Find a Ram ProMaster City for sale

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