- New for 2014, based on the Fiat Ducato cargo vans, sold in Europe
- RAM claims best in class fuel economy
- 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty
The new series of RAM cargo vans is a product of their relationship with Fiat and the largest, most capable in the new lineup is the 2014 RAM ProMaster 3500.
Slotted above the 1500 and 2500, the 3500 enjoys the ProMaster series advantage over the competition with its unibody platform (think crossover instead of SUV), which means that it is front-wheel drive. This gives the ProMaster, which is based on the Fiat Ducato series of cargo vans, a leg up on fuel-economy and cost of ownership.
The ProMaster 3500 is offered in 136- and 159-inch wheelbases and with a high roof only. There are two available trims, a cargo van and a window van which is designed for passengers. ProMaster models have a unique look to them, carrying over some of the Ducato’s distinctive design cues like a plastic lower front fascia that dips very low, almost where you’d expect the bumper to be. The rear doors open 260-degrees, almost folding flat to the sides of the van for easier access and loading.
There are two engine options, Chrysler’s durable and powerful Pentastar V-6 and a four-cylinder EcoDiesel for added efficiency. The 280-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 makes 260 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Also available is a 174-hp, 3.0-liter four-cylinder EcoDiesel that gets its own six-speed automated manual gearbox and offers even more fuel efficiency, along with the great torque numbers (295 pounds-feet) diesels are known for. The diesel engine also offers a longer-than normal oil-change schedule (every 18,500 miles) for an even lower cost of ownership.
Inside, the ProMaster 3500 comes with a threadbare interior but can also easily be added to, offering options like Uconnect infotainment, navigation, and heated front seats. The cargo area was designed with function in mind, offering nearly vertical walls and up to 12 tie-down rings which fold into the floor and are each rated at 1,000 pounds.