2019 Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City: These Fiats No Longer Look Like Dodges

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

The Ram brand isn’t shy about disclosing its identity to strangers. Many a passer-by has suffered retina damage after a shaft of sunlight caught the massive, seemingly foot-tall “RAM” lettering adorning the tailgate of the truck division’s pickup models.

The brand’s vans are another story. Perhaps feeling insecure due to their Mexican birthplace and Italian architecture, Ram’s ProMaster and ProMaster City felt it sufficient to display the horned Ram logo in the center of their Dodge-like crosshair grille. For 2019, however, the Fiat Ducato and Doblo Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City see a boost in self-esteem.

There’s no mistaking these 2019 vans as mildly refreshed versions of what bowed in 2014, but at least they’re no longer bashful about their brand identity. While the vans’ profiles remain the same, viewers will no longer wonder “Who makes that?”

Chromed “RAM” lettering appears in the center of each van’s front fascia, encircled (in the case of the larger van) in more chrome. Bumpers and side panels see their own makeover. Behind the grilles, powertrains carry over — a 3.6-liter V6 making 280 horsepower and a six-speed automatic for the ProMaster and 2.4-liter inline-four and nine-speed automatic for the ProMaster City. Payload and towing capacity improves slightly for 2019.

Configurations expand, as well. The 2500 and 3500 adopt 136-inch wheelbase, low-roof variants, and the 136-inch 3500 gains a high-roof version. Ram’s pretty pleased that the 240-pound increase to the 3500’s payload capacity (up to 4,680 lbs) earns it a best-in-class title among Class 2 vans. Lesser trims also see a payload increase. A trailer-tow group is optional, with a Class IV receiver hitch allowing the ProMaster to lug up to 6,800 lbs — up from the current van’s 5,100 lbs.

Fiat Chrysler claims interior lighting is vastly improved for 2019, while the addition of Ram Telematics allows fleet managers to track vehicles and optimize routes.

As for the smaller ProMaster City, it continues on with two variants and two trims — a cargo or passenger van available in bare-bones Tradesman and SLT guise. Base prices for both ProMaster and ProMaster City rise by $200.

Over the first five months of 2018, U.S. sales of the ProMaster and ProMaster City sunk 21 and 20 percent, respectively.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • PentastarPride PentastarPride on Jun 28, 2018

    They never did look like Dodges. The best-looking Dodge commercial vans in my opinion were the '71-78 B-series Tradesman/Sportsman vans, followed by the 2007 refresh of the Sprinter. Despite the ugliness, it's pretty impressive that the 3.6/62TE drivetrain combo on these are racking up the miles with little issue from what I've heard, considering the exact same drivetrain went into the Grand Caravan/T&C, Journey, 200 and Avenger, minus a few minor tweaks to the final drive ratio in the transaxle for ProMaster applications. I still can't wrap my head around the fact that the fullsize RWD vans of the Big Three are no longer and that FWD has replaced their role. Even 25+ years on, you'd be hard pressed to throw a rock and not hit an old Econoline, Chevy Express (or the prior "Chevy Van") or a B-series Ram van. They're still out there, a lot of them worse for the wear, but they're still running. I wonder if the FWD vans will have as much long-term durability after any vestiges of their warranties have long evaporated.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Jul 01, 2018

    I rented a full size ProMaster and really liked it. It's a shame the only review online for the thing seems to be for a shortie with the heaviest available load capacity and an automated manual and diesel -- who the hell would order one spec'd like that, other than Brinks? -- and unsurprisingly, the reviewers found it to have a terrible ride and jerky driving characteristics. Equipped the way normal people would -- normal length, normal cargo capacity, normal 3.6 and conventional auto -- it's legit kinda fun to drive, if only because sitting atop the front wheel drive powertrain puts you at Kenworth altitude. And of course the Pentastar is a great engine, delivering V8 power with V6 fuel economy. Sure, the steering is more a tiller than anything, not exactly Euro-Ford levels of precision, but it works well enough.

  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.