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2020 Ram Promaster City Review

Built in Turkey and based on the Italian-market Fiat Doblo, the 2020 Ram ProMaster City is a compact cargo van competing with the likes of the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 and Mercedes-Benz Metris. Given their smaller size, compact cargo vans like the ProMaster City are generally a more affordable, more maneuverable alternative to bigger vans, such as the Ford Transit, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ram‘s own ProMaster, and they’re ideally suited to light-duty applications in urban environments.

While it’s got air conditioning and power windows, the ProMaster City is more about cargo space and efficiency than features and technology, and it should offer an overall no-nonsense ownership experience, making it great for repairmen, bakers and courier services alike.

What’s New for 2020?

After a few changes for 2019, such as the availability of a Fleet Telematics system and the addition of a new RAM corporate grille, the ProMaster City receives no changes for 2020.  See the 2020 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
  • Good fuel economy for a van

What We Don’t

  • Few features or amenities
  • Passenger model has little reason for existing
  • There just isn’t much to get excited about

How Much?

$25,975-$33,000

Fuel Economy

The ProMaster City uses a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with 178 horsepower and 174 lb-ft of torque. It’s only offered with front-wheel drive 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, which isn’t bad for a simple work vehicle.

Standard Features & Options

The ProMaster City is available in two different variations. The cargo van version, officially dubbed the ProMaster City Tradesman, features only two front seats and no rear side windows. The passenger model, which Ram refers to as the ProMaster City Wagon, offers a second-row bench seat and second-row rear side windows, and it costs about $1,300 more than its Tradesman counterpart.

Both the Wagon and the Tradesman offer two trim levels — a base model and a relatively upscale SLT trim — which share roughly the same equipment. All prices listed in this article 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, including keyless entry, power windows, air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth, a backup camera, Chrysler‘s Uconnect 3 with a 5-in touchscreen, a 4-speaker stereo, and USB and iPod connectivity, among a few other frills. It also includes the new Fleet Telematics feature.

Stepping up to the ProMaster City SLT ($27,640 for the Tradesman, $29,390 for the Wagon) nets you a few additional features, including body-color bumpers and power/heated mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control and a navigation system — though it’s delivered through that same tiny 5-in screen.

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 are rear parking sensors, remote start, satellite radio capability, a Wi-Fi hot spot 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 2020 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

The ProMaster City reminds you of a typical compact American pickup truck, except it has an enclosed box instead of a bed. When outfitted as a cargo van, the cargo hold measures 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 than the Nissan NV200 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 to maneuver than bigger cargo vans. This makes it great for applications that require frequent stopping for pickups or deliveries. You might even draw some comparisons between the ProMaster City and a compact SUV. 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 compete on price more than anything. 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

2020 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, as the Ford offers a lot of the features found in passenger vehicles, such as automatic emergency braking and a 6.5-in touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

2020 Nissan NV200 — Built on the same platform as the Nissan Sentra compact sedan, the NV200 is another major competitor to the ProMaster City. Pricing is lower, but the NV200 is also smaller than both the ProMaster City and 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 and offers more power, more room and more capability overall compared with the ProMaster City.

Autotrader’s Advice

While the 2020 Ram ProMaster City has its merits as a cargo van, buyers looking for a passenger van should look elsewhere, namely to the Ford Transit Connect, which is a much more well-rounded offering. As far as the cargo van goes, we’d spend the extra $1,300 for the SLT trim, as features such as power mirrors and cruise control will certainly be appreciated during long days on the job. Altogether, the ProMaster City’s strongest selling points are its fuel efficient engine and spacious cargo area — just make sure you check out the other vehicles we mentioned above before deciding whether or not it’s the right van for your specific needs. Find a Ram ProMaster City for sale

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