2014 Ram ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van Handles Moving Day With Ease

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By Tim Esterdahl

Moving from one house to another is a long and tiring process. But the right tools make it easier. Enter the 2014 Ram ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van. While normally reserved for commercial uses, the ProMaster also can wear a moving van hat. During a recent move its large storage capacity and loading ease surprised everyone, including our professional movers.

I moved my family from Colorado to Nebraska in May with the aid of a 2014 ProMaster 1500 Cargo High Roof ($34,820 as tested, $31,515 base price; both prices include destination) and fellow journalist Aaron Turpen. During the process, we used the van to its full potential. In our estimation, the van is a great offering from Ram with just a few issues to work on.

Cargo Room

Naturally, the most important feature of a commercial van is cargo space. This area should be roomy, customizable and easy to enter/exit for both loading items and people. The ProMaster hits all these targets.

The folding doors make it easy to access the ProMaster's cargo area. These doors can be completely folded back to 260 degrees (there are built-in detents of 90 and 180 degrees), allowing full access to the cargo area. This makes it easy to load all manner of cargo items, including pallets of goods. There are ample cargo hooks for securing loads, and the high ceiling on our ProMaster (it comes in two lower-roof versions as well) meant tall items fit without issue.

 

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Professional movers loaded the van for us. They were surprised we had the van and then surprised by the amount of cargo it could hold. They had no problems loading all the mattresses and nearly all the furniture from a three-bedroom home. Loading and securing the mattresses, ranging from full to king, was quick and easy. The sturdy and low-loading floor meant most items had to be lowered — instead of raised — to fit into the van. This low-loading floor is definitely one of the van's strengths.

Driving Impressions

Our test model had a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain (280 horsepower, 260 pounds-feet of torque) proved ample for handling the load. While it is disappointing that the ProMaster doesn't offer the new eight-speed ZF transmission or 3.0-liter EcoDiesel as an option (that one is offered on the Ram 1500 pickup truck), the standard powertrain handled the job. We have heard there are plans to add both options to the van at a later date.

For this road test, Turpen drove the van unloaded from Wyoming to Colorado. We then rode together with the van loaded to Nebraska. Turpen, an experienced commercial semi-truck driver, said he found the unloaded van somewhat difficult to handle. He noted driver fatigue was pretty great driving the van empty. With cargo in the hold, the van drove and rode well for a commercial vehicle of its size without feeling overburdened over some challenging terrain.

The trip to Nebraska consisted of high-speed highway driving with elevation gains of around 1,000 feet to Cheyenne, Wyo. Then the elevation dropped several thousand feet heading into our final destination. During the trip we tested the van's ability to maintain speed up an incline along with highway handling with wind gusts coming from passing vehicles like semi-trucks and its turning radius. The ProMaster excelled in all areas.

Fuel economy averaged around 18 to 19 mpg.

Cab Impressions

As one would expect, the ProMaster's cabin is pretty basic and utilitarian. It is built for commercial purposes and lacks any of the refinement found in other Ram products. That said, the cabin is set up well for a commercial driver. There are plenty of storage options within reach of the driver, plus the optional navigation ($395) and Uconnect 5.0 multimedia systems ($350) with Bluetooth capability were easy to use.

 

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Our biggest complaint about the ProMaster is the seating. With its clipped front end, the van feels radically different than other vehicles since the engine and transmission are moved closer to the cab. This means the driver and passenger have higher seating positions. And even though our tester came with the optional lumbar adjustment for driver and passenger ($100), the ProMaster seats just don't adjust that well. On our test vehicle there was actually no height adjustment, which means taller drivers like Turpen (6 feet 3 inches) must drive the vehicle with the steering wheel hitting their knees. Also, in this seating position a structural pillar obscures the view through the rearview mirror. For shorter drivers and passengers like me (5 feet 7 inches), the seats were quite uncomfortable. I wanted to lower the seat to improve visibility and feel less like I was standing up behind the wheel. Much of the time I felt like I was leaning back on a severely tilted stool.

Overall, though, the ProMaster is nearly ideal for commercial users looking for a spacious cargo van that's easy to operate and load.

Cars.com photos by Tim Esterdahl

 

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Comments

Sad, ewerywhere in the world the same vehicles, cars ecc.

Well, the lack of room for tall drivers is a major design flaw, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to even drive it being 6'8".

The plastic front bumper is hideous! Surely they could have picked up a spray can at the corner auto store and made it body color before shipping it to dealers, no?

And a rear view mirror thats blocked by an interior crossmember?

MORE GUTS

MORE GLORY

MORE INNOVATION

RAM PRO MASTER

@PUTC
@toycrusher

2 words. (side mirrors). What self respecting trucker uses interior rear view mirrors to begin with?

Papa Jim, I think anybody with a back window uses the review. True truckers don't have a back window so they rely on the side mirrors.

Imagine how much more crap you could've squeezing in there if you tied your mattresses to the roof with bailing twine like everyone else does!

Put steel wheels on it, looks like a locamotive train.

That driver seat looks way to high. Knees into steering wheel. Sure is a big winshield, expensive to replace & with all that sunlight coming in gonna be tough to cool in warmer climates.

The driver looks like he could be on a child's sit in spin.

I guess the driver will be the first one on scene in a crash.

I am a little surprised at the tall seating; it doesn't seem to make any kind of sense. Sure, the engine/transaxle is closer to the seats, but with differently-designed seats he could have sat 3" lower. On the other hand, that also means the seats would need to be moved back about 3" to compensate for leg length and that would impinge into the cargo area somewhat. I guess you have to choose which compromise you want. By the way, that seating arrangement wouldn't look *quite* so stilted had he placed his feet on the pedals rather than straight up and his seat back itself was too vertical. Again, he might have needed to do that for the sake of more capacity, but then again, maybe not. Even one notch back on the seat recline could have been more comfortable for each of them.

The ProMaster can't offer the ZF 8-sped because it's a front-wheel-drive van - the 8-speed is for rear-wheel-drive (and 4x4 based on RWD) vehicles. It would have to offer the ZF 9-speed FWD transmission used in the Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200, but it likely isn't rated to handle the weight a ProMaster can carry.

Much of the time I felt like I was leaning back on a severely tilted stool.

THE GUTS

THE GLORY

THE TOMATO BOX FOR A SEAT.... THANKS TONY!

recalls brake hoses
http://www.autoblog.com/2014/03/02/ram-promaster-recall-brake-hose/

Ram Promaster Cargo Van

Chrysler is recalling 21,000 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size vans to inspect and replace various electrical components because of a possible corrosion problem. Read More

Chrysler is recalling an estimated 5,664 2014 Ram ProMaster commercial vans because the brake fluid may leak from a torn brake hose. Read More

Chrysler is recalling 9,655 Ram ProMaster full-size vans to fix a condition that may allow an accelerator pedal to stick. Read More

Ram Promaster Window Van

Chrysler is recalling 21,000 2014 Ram ProMaster full-size vans to inspect and replace various electrical components because of a possible corrosion problem. Read More

Chrysler is recalling an estimated 5,664 2014 Ram ProMaster commercial vans because the brake fluid may leak from a torn brake hose. Read More

Chrysler is recalling 9,655 Ram ProMaster full-size vans to fix a condition that may allow an accelerator pedal to stick. Read More

http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2014/ram/promaster/recalls/

Vehicles Affected: An estimated 17,700 full-size Ram ProMaster vans

The Problem: Moisture brought in from an outside source (possibly from snow or water from footwear) can seep into the in-cabin compartment that houses the battery and other electrical parts.

The Fix: Dealers will inspect and replace for free, if necessary, any corroded electrical components that control the airbags, propulsion and external lighting.

What Owners Should Do: Most of the vans are in dealerships; Chrysler will contact affected customers, who can contact Chrysler’s customer assistance center at 800-853-1403.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

I am the driver pictured here. RoadWhale, to address your points, if the seat had been tilted back any further, I wouldn't have been able to reach the wheel without leaning forward all the time. Maybe this is a design meant to help people build power abs, but I doubt it.

The seats need to be two inches lower. They slide back and forth about four inches either way and there is room for them to go back to accommodate longer legs if need be without impinging on the cargo space. The passenger area is up about three inches off the floor of the cargo space and with a cage installed (this one didn't have one), there's still space for all of this.

Basically, the seating is the primary design flaw here. Had the seats been two or three inches lower, the view impingement by the window pillar on the rearview mirror would be taken care of naturally.

FYI, I have a CDL-A and have driven 18-wheelers and box trucks both over the road and in town.

@Aaron Turpen - thanks for the feedback. It is nice to be able to interact with the testers.

I'd see a poorly laid out or uncomfortable seating area as a major design flaw for a vehicle designed first and foremost as a commercial vehicle.

I've had to contend with poorly designed driver and EMS compartments as a paramedic and the extra fatigue is a huge safety issue. I've done 500 mile shifts and it is a killer even in a good unit.

Is there ANY reason why the ProMaster doesn't get a center brake light while its European multiplets based on and including the FIAT DUCATO have one?! Doesn't this violate a US DOT law that all light trucks and passenger cars model year 1994 and up get a high-mount center brake light? Instead it has roof clearance lights.

Is there ANY reason why the ProMaster doesn't get a center brake light while its European multiplets based on and including the FIAT DUCATO have one?! Doesn't this violate a US DOT law that all light trucks and passenger cars model year 1994 and up get a high-mount center brake light? Instead it has roof clearance lights.

top center is the brake light

And another thing, anyone who's ever carried a load of household furniture or equipment would love to have a bulkhead of some kind to protect the driver and passenger from shifting loads in a hard stop.

Tim Esterdahl owns a lot of cheap ugly furniture here. It would have been cheaper to take it to the dump than to move it.

The 3.6 V6 is getting 11 MPG.
can't expect a small V6 pulling around a loaded cargo van loaded to 7000 lbs to have good gas mileage?
same thing is going to happen with the 2015 F-150 with the tiny 2.7 V6.
I bet the F-150 won't have the acceleration to run a super highway on ramp not even reaching the speed limit holding up traffic making a dangerous situation.
How many times did you follow a slow poke on a on ramp?

The Ducato has much better seating in its Motorhome configuration here. Cannot understand how the Promaster became so cramped as a commercial vehicle?

2015 Ford F 150 2.7 Eco boost 325hp 375 ft lbs TQ

2014 Ford F150 3.5 Eco boost 365hp 425 ft lbs TQ


Oh wait the new ford will be 700 lbs lighter therefore giving it basically the performance of a 2014 3.5 ECO Boost and weight saving with better mileage not to mention start /stop tech

Ford does it again!


then you consider a 2015 F150 with the 3.5 Eco Boost with 700 lbs lighter

HEMI KILLER with a six spd.... Once FORD provides a 8 or 10 spd tranny the gloves will really be off as performance and mileage will kick Sergio's yellow teeth down his throat!


Trucks are like TOOLS

Ford is Makita and Dewalt... Ram is Like Ryobi

One is for the professional like Ford the other is for the Ram which is a typical homeowner carting small items and the kids to soccer.

More contractors use FORD because it is a professional tool to get the job done.

If we substituted Fords on the Job with Ram work would come to a stand still and the country would be in dire straights!

http://www.trucktrend.com/features/consumer/1407_10_cars_that_weigh_more_than_the_2015_ford_f_150_supercrew/

New ford the lightest

Just bitch slapped ram in the NUTS.

Ford came with Eco boost how many years ago and right away Pentastar indicated a rumor they would turbo charge the v6 pentastar... stillwaiting

Ram will be bankrupt again before they even dream of a rust free light weight aluminuim truck ..hahahahaha

I was just reading on www.carcomplaints.com about the "Hide No Harm Act"
The U.S. Senate wants to send Auto Execs to prison cause of the GM ignition switch recalls.

RAMJUNK? give it a break! almost all the stories on PUTC have been about Ford's and the new F-150. Its fair and about time we get to read about the Ram's

Speaking about getting bitch slapped...

The Ram 1500 is the 2013 Rocky Mountain Truck of the Year, as chosen by the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press, for class-leading ride and handling for soccer moms, expansive interior that immediately shows wear.

Journalists found the available air suspension and eight-speed transmission particularly suited to shopping mall parking lot unique driving challenges.

"On-road and off in the service department, it's the perfect truck to drain consumers wallets West," said RMAP president Chuck Giametta.


@ TOM#3

I was just reading on www.carcomplaints.com about the "Hide No Harm Act"
The U.S. Senate wants to send Auto Execs to prison cause of the GM ignition switch recalls.

RAMJUNK? give it a break! almost all the stories on PUTC have been about Ford's and the new F-150. Its fair and about time we get to read about the Ram's

Try reading the Ram recall list that will keep you busy for weeks... then head over to the Ram forum and truly see disgruntled owners who are like deer's in headlights wondering about all the problems with their new rams


2015 Ford F 150 2.7 Eco boost 325hp 375 ft lbs TQ

2014 Ford F150 3.5 Eco boost 365hp 425 ft lbs TQ


Oh wait the new ford will be 700 lbs lighter therefore giving it basically the performance of a 2014 3.5 ECO Boost and weight saving with better mileage not to mention start /stop tech

Ford does it again!


then you consider a 2015 F150 with the 3.5 Eco Boost with 700 lbs lighter

HEMI KILLER with a six spd.... Once FORD provides a 8 or 10 spd tranny the gloves will really be off as performance and mileage will kick Sergio's yellow teeth down his throat!


Trucks are like TOOLS

Ford is Makita and Dewalt... Ram is Like Ryobi

One is for the professional like Ford the other is for the Ram which is a typical homeowner carting small items and the kids to soccer.

More contractors use FORD because it is a professional tool to get the job done.

If we substituted Fords on the Job with Ram work would come to a stand still and the country would be in dire straights!

Much of the time I felt like I was leaning back on a severely tilted stool.

WTF? most Ram owners aren't in the seat anyways ..their at the rear pushing...baaahahaha

Geez I read a poll today that says more ram owners do crack then any others truck owners.

Maybe Ram can do a option of a silver spoon ,light, bulb, steel wool and a console butane burner next

TTAC has the 2015 Ford order guide but they did not steel it. Jalopnik gave to them , they’ve had it since 7.15 am.

Since 7am? Blue Oval News had it first and then f150online got it onto google. This was last Friday the 25th. TTAC 4 days late and a dollar short again.

Note this info from the jalopnik piece: Hat tip to Rambo on F150Online via SteveVFX4 and Jason80 on Blue Oval Forums!

5.0 and 3.5 Eco boost get upgrades. more power and torque

I think it's time to call a Ram for what it is.... FIAT

Yup this is no longer a Dodge Ram.

FIAT TRUCKS

GUTS

GLORY

FIAT TRUCKS

We built the Fiat 500 so we know about trucks

the new Ram will also be shaped like a oval egg

The Super Fuel Economy package available now for only $9.99 on XL F150S order now and get another Super Fuel Economy package free LMAO!

Poor Ford wonder if they'll have to pay the poor suckers that bUy that F150 money for fake MPG claims.

http://www.autonews.com/article/20140729/RETAIL03/140729835/fords-new-f-150-takes-aim-at-rams-highway-mpg-crown

Jake D, It wasn't stolen but it was taken from Blue Oval News and F150Online who posted it 4 days ago on Friday.

TTAC "scoops" on pickups are always errors or taken from other sites or outright stolen. Give credit to the proper sources.

Actually that's 5 days ago now. I'm not knocking you, just stating the facts on who is doing the real reporting on pick-up trucks.

...Turpen, an experienced commercial semi-truck driver, said he found the unloaded van somewhat difficult to handle. He noted driver fatigue was pretty great driving the van empty.
/QUOTE

One reason I wouldn't buy it,

Second reason is
Front wheel drive svks..

Third reason
Fiat Chrysler reliablity svks even more..
Btw
I like the looks and size of it ..all it needs is Chevy drivetrain :P
******
My wheels
08 Silverado 4.8 V 8
107K
no problems whatsoever in these five years

Jake, PUTC posted their analysis and cotent of the order guide on July 28, 2014. A day before the ttac sites you mention. In case you missed it....

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2014/07/ford-releases-pricing-for-2015-f-150.html

"Over the weekend, Ford released ordering guides to dealers around the country for its totally redesigned, all-aluminum 2015 F-150 pickup truck. As expected, there's a price bump with the new pickup, but it's not necessarily due just to the copious use of the expensive lightweight metal — there's a raft of new standard content for the big pickups at every trim level, delivering a decent bump to value as well as technology. Let's go through the five trim levels to see what the new major standard features are"

PS As already mentioned, BON and F150online had the order guide first. Just saying.

No prob, Lou_BC. The seating would be a deal breaker for me here as well. The good news is that, for the driver at least, the stilts the seat sits on are about four and a half inches or so (I measured for my own review of this van). They are ABS plastic and could easily be chopped off to lower the seat.

Compared to the Ford, Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz vans of similar build, I'd say that for many, the Ram has a lot of selling points that would put it on top of the list. The low load height is one of them - lowest in the biz. OTOH, the others have their own points that would put them at the top of others' lists. It's all about what you need out of the van and is why we have a competitive market. :)

@Liam - there is a third light. It's right above the doors at center on the back. The backup camera (an option this van had) is fitted right next to it.

@papa jim - this van wasn't specifically made for hauling furniture, that's just what we used it for. There is a cage option for that bulkhead.

Fiat baut Mist.keine egineering nur Vermutungen.Italiener Anspruch auf Ruhm ist auf Trauben stapping.

Ram saugt Hahn


Eingeweide

Ruhm


kleinen Schwanz

RAMJUNK ?

all I am saying is its getting old and unfair that almost every story on PUTC says how wonderful the Ford's are and ignores the Ram Truck ( Motor Trends Truck Of The Year 2 Years In A Row)
Its just NOT FAIR when there's a story about problems with the Ram and the Chevy and NO stories about the problems with the Ford.

Its easy to find out Ford Truck problems all you have to do is visit a Ford Dealership talk to the service techs or service writers. I can list at least 10 problems with the 2011-2014 F-150.

Sure! Ram and Chevy has problems too but lets make it fair and talk about the problems the Ford's have !

@Aaron

Actually I was reminded of the time a 1000 pound spool of wire rope decided to share the driver's seat with me, because I was trying to avoid hitting a guy in front of me in traffic. The floor of the cargo area behind me was very smooth and did nothing to impede that heavy roll of rope.

Seeing the van loaded that way refreshed my memory of that day 30 years ago. I hope to never be quite that excited ever again.

All the Ford Techs at the local Ford dealer drive Rams and Chevies.

Tom#3 all I am saying is its getting old and unfair that almost every story on PUTC says how wonderful the Ford's are and ignores the Ram Truck ( Motor Trends Truck Of The Year 2 Years In A Row)
Its just NOT FAIR when there's a story about problems with the Ram and the Chevy and NO stories about the problems with the Ford.

Its easy to find out Ford Truck problems all you have to do is visit a Ford Dealership talk to the service techs or service writers. I can list at least 10 problems with the 2011-2014 F-150.

Sure! Ram and Chevy has problems too but lets make it fair and talk about the problems the Ford's have !


FORDS ARE WONDERFUL...DOES THE TRUTH HURT. WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS THE NUMBER ONE SELLING BRAND.

RAM IDIOTS WANT TO ARGUE GARBAGE... THERE IS MORE AMMUNITION AGAINST RAM THEN ANY OTHER TRUCK THE LAST 50 YEAR... YEAH BE BRIGHT AND INCLUDE DODGE

My online info is the Promaster has multiple driver seat options. Seems the vehicle tested had the very basic seats. I found the seating adjusted well to safely rest my arms on the steering wheel, probably reducing long-drive fatigue enormously. The last vehicle I had that allowed that was a 1966 VW camper bus, which I adored, but the VW (not the ProMaster) was dangerous such as the horizontal VW steering wheel would have destroyed my guts in an accident.

My wife and I dropped any desire to buy the ProMaster because it had issues getting in and out of the cab. Basically had to fall out, way to hard on hips and knees, and God forbid if there had been ice around.

Rod

Somebody made the comment it needs steel wheels ( and the sun penetration from the big windshield would be nasty), both of which I agree with whole-heartedly. But, the vehicle we seriously shopped had steel wheels (along with the high profile tires) needed to deal with real world potholes at up to 75 mph. It appears those are standard wheel covers in the photo.

The van calls for only 60 PSI or so in tires rates for something like 81, making for an overall situation to my liking.

As for getting in and out, there is a grab handle way overhead out of reach and in the wrong place to balance one's body weight. It also automatically retracks back into the overhead liner, making it time consuming to fish into any usable position, if a driver could reach it at all before climbing in.

I also feel the 1500 is artificially way too high. The suspension could easily be 6" lower in the back, 2" upfront. Seriously helps handling and center of gravity, particularly in wind, and garageability including inner city public and private considerations. I've been driving vans and pickups with serious cappers for 42 years.

Load floors are still too high. I don't have any joint or back problems yet because I take this stuff seriously. Dropped my Ford E-van just 2" but quite an improvement for many reasons, including the handling.

Rod

ram-promaster-1500-cargo multipurpose van is very nice. Its user-friendly features will attract people to purchase it. As it is a clean energy vehicle, it is the most important thing in this vehicle. To make the van more user friendly Advantage Outfitters layout, supply and install Van Ladder Racks , Van shelving, Van Interiors, Van Partitions and more and commercial van shelving is the biggest online store for van ladder racks, commercial van interiors, cargo rack, commercial van accessories and more for ram promaster cargo van



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