By on June 27, 2018

Image: FCA

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.

Image: FCA

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]

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28 Comments on “2019 Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City: These Fiats No Longer Look Like Dodges...”


  • avatar
    NoID

    Dangit Fi(R)a(M)t, sell us the 7-seat D(Pr)o(Master City)blo already!

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    What is happening is that Ram is loosing the gun sight grill. So it only makes sense to update these two to the same. Actually, it improves the front of the Pro Master (less plastic). But the RAM words on the city seem to fill the grill too much for my tastes…

  • avatar
    Ermel

    I think it’s well-nigh incredible that you get a 3.6 petrol V6, whereas here the Ducato has to make do with a 2.3 turbodiesel inline four at most (most vehicles sold, and also the Peugeot and Citroen versions, use the 2.0).

    The sensible option would likely be something inbetween.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      You’ll find that our petrol engines get quite large. :-P

      • 0 avatar
        Ermel

        A friend of mine has the previous Ducato with a 2.8 litre turbodiesel inline 4 that’s originally from the larger Iveco Daily van. That seems to me quite a good engine for that size of van. I occasionally drove a Daily for one of my previous jobs, and that moved very well (including Autobahn speeds up to 100 mph).

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      They did offer a 3.0L diesel here for a while (with an automated manual transmission, that I’m sure was a paragon of reliability), but really, Chrysler’s sold millions of vehicles with the 3.6 here, which means it’s proven and easy to get parts for. Their next smaller engine (barring the 3.2 Pentastar) is a wheezing 2.4L I4 which is barely adequate for passenger car duty, let alone something that’s suited to carrying payloads.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    ProMaster sounds like a fishing rod.

  • avatar

    I almost want to say they used an old photo for the headline image there, and digitally swapped in the new grille and badge. The lighting on it looks wrong.

    Also here’s a Citroen one from 08, proving that this design has been around in Europe EVEN LONGER than here. How far back does it go? 2005?

    http://heavycherry.com/machineinfo/citroen/-citron_jumper_bf3_fully_equipped_support_vehicle-2008-van_or_truck_up_to_7_5t-box_type_delivery_van___long.html

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    It looks like it goes back to 2006 (Citroën Jumper II):

    https://sk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_Jumper

    You could buy one of these and stick the Jumper grille and emblems on it, if you wanted to turn heads.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    Love the form factor of the PM City.

    I test drove the Promaster City and the Transit Connect and liked the PC better. I really liked the thing. Ideally, I’d like a small cargo van with a 3rd man jump seat, but it is almost impossible to find those…I find it hard to believe that there isn’t a market for a cargo van with a rear seat to haul an extra person to a job site.

    Anyway, so there is a “people” version of the PC, assuming you can actually find one in stock, which isn’t easy. Looked into buying one, but the way FCA prices the thing and structures incentives, it makes zero sense. A modestly equipped PC wagon stickers at $30k or more, and they nickle and dime you for every tiny bit of equipment beyond a steering wheel and windshield wipers. Incentives bring this down somewhat, but only if you’re buying as a commercial business, not as an individual. Joe Homeowner gets nothing. At that point, a near $30k Promaster City is nearly impossible to justify compared to something like a Sienna or Odyssey, or even a Grand Caravan. You can get base versions of an Odyssey or GC for less than a PC. Add in that your PC is likely to depreciate like a stone, and it is tough to pull the trigger on one. An Odyssey LX might retain some shred of value down the road.

    I’d pay low $20k’s for a new PC wagon, but you get in the upper 20’s, which is what it takes to buy one as an individual, and it doesn’t pencil out. They’re priced about $5k more than what they are worth, really. Used models with the rear passenger seat are near unobtanium, although you can buy used cargoes for a song. Difficult to retrofit the rear seat, though.

    If FCA’s incentives were consistent between consumer / commercial buyer, I’d probably have bought a City by now, but $28k for a basic tin box…meh. The premium pricing might be justifiable if Toyota built the thing, but FCA reliability worries suck a few grand out of the value equation as well IMO.

    Toyota: bring something like this to the USA and I’m in line. FCA: Price this thing reasonably for individuals and I’m also in.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      You can order a chevy express van in cargo configuration with rear seats as you want.. You can also theoretically also order it with the diesel engine from the Colorado.. I’ve never seen an example of either in the real world.. But it does exist on the order sheet

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Last I looked, the Promaster City passenger wagon didn’t even have a webpage on the FCA website. Unbelievable. I saw one at the dealer and thought “that would work for the surfer dudes, videographers etc. that used to buy Scion xBs.” Not a huge market, I grant you, but it fits the bill for ferrying buddies/assistants and gear inside and on a top rack, while being easy to park and affordable to run.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I just discovered that you can get a yellow Promaster City wagon. That is amazing. The Promaster City wagon and the Transit Connect wagon seem to be the modern day version of the mid 80s Magicvans. They just need to add fake wood trim on the outside as an option.

  • avatar
    ";scarey"

    F-U-G-L-Y ! But (and I use the word lightly) the RAM emblem can be removed. Replace it with a Three-pointed Star after you get it home.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      You can still order an e-350 extended.. Or a Chevrolet express or gmc savanna if you wish.. Around here the Chevrolet express is about 25k out of the door…t

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Please show me the E-350 extended van.

        https://www.ford.com/new-commercial-trucks/?searchid=158020983|11649150783|78450723423|&s_kwcid=AL!2519!3!276217721411!b!!g!!%2Bcommercial%20truck%20model%20offer&ef_id=WL4IvAAABMvPTf-o:20180628231934:s

        The only E-Series left is the cutaway version.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      FWD only replaced the Dodge vans, the Transit is RWD, and the 1996…I mean 2018 Chevy Express is RWD. Transit isn’t BOF, but its all the better for it considering the interior room and how it drives.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    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.


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