2015 Ram ProMaster City: Grace Under Pressure

2015 ram promaster city mpg run highway
2015 Ram ProMaster City

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is the only small working van, or any van for that matter, that TFLtruck has taken on our grueling Ike Gauntlet towing, payload, power and braking test. The overall results will be published at about the same time the video airs. As such, I cannot go into full detail about the results, but I can say this: it was not what we expected – in a good way.

Ford, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Chevrolet have yet to provide any of their vans for review or our Ike Gauntlet.

We had to cancel our first attempt at the Ike Gauntlet with the 2015 Ram ProMaster City as the trailer lights would not work properly. No lights, no go. That was several weeks ago and Ram had a dealership mend the problem, so the test was a “go.” You can click on the Ram ProMaster City’s brake-lighting misadventure (here).

Leading up to the test, we had time to live with the 2015 Ram ProMaster City on a day-to-day basis.

Living with the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon (it’s passenger variant) was, for the most part, great. This is a great van for small business types who need best-in-class payload while still being able to haul five passengers comfortably. It can haul up to 1,700 lbs and tow up to 1,800 lbs. Despite its obvious mission to be a work-van, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon was an excellent commuter.

ram promaster city mirror
These mirrors are excellent. Just the right size for daily driving and good for towing too. The lower parking mirror isn’t as useful.

 

Sight-lines, comfort, ride, handling and surprisingly good power made the daily commute a snap. Despite being a hallow vehicle with minimal sound deadening material, it was fairly quiet too. The load-in/step-in heights of 21.5 inches at the rear and 18.8 inches on the sides is low enough for a preschool-aged child to scramble in, not to mention an easy height for loading.

The side-door openings on the Ram ProMaster City Wagon are, a very narrow, 24-inches. That’s smaller than many minivans. If you opt for the cargo version, the side-door opening extends an additional two-inches to 26-inches wide. It’s difficult to figure out the Cargo to Wagon side-door disparity.

ram promaster city cargo
This load constitutes about 1,000 lbs of materials. This and the driver make for over 1,250 lbs and the Ram ProMaster City could easily handle more.

When towing over 1,200 lbs and when hauling nearly 1,200 lbs, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon showed no signs of stress or power-loss. Like many pickup trucks, it actually rides better with a couple hundred pounds in the back. The bi-link, coil rear suspension shows very little sag, even under full loads. Despite this, the rear end is never bouncy or harsh with no load.

The 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine makes 178 horsepower and 174 lb-feet of torque. It’s hooked up to a nine-speed automatic transmission feeding power to the front wheels. This is the only engine/transmission option available in the United States.

The transmission is a bit jerky and inconsistent in city traffic option different shift-points on the same stretch of road. It sometimes has a small delay getting into the right gear too. Still, on the highway, the nine-speed managed to be very smooth and aided in producing excellent gas mileage. According to Ram, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City can get 21 mpg city and 29 mpg highway and it can hold up to 16 gallons of regular unleaded.

For the most part, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City is quite good. Still, there are a few problems:

  • The TomTom based navigation system is counter-intuitive to use and counterproductive for those who need quick directions to pretty much anywhere. It’s slow in every measurable way. The graphics are poor too.
  • Seating is very comfortable, but the adjustment nob/dial for the seat-back is slow and, when multiple drivers use the same vehicle, it’s a pain in the neck.
  • Despite having excellent side mirrors, it would be great if the lower parking assisting mirrors were adjustable too.
ram promaster city drums
Behind the rear seat, an entire 5-piece drum set can sit nearly fully assembled.

All in all, at a base price of $24,130 for the base model, 2015 Ram ProMaster Wagon, it’s a bargain. The surprising amount of capacity, economy, utility and comfort cannot be denied. No matter how much we challenged the 2015 Ram ProMaster City’s capabilities, it responded gracefully.

Here’s our MPG run in the 2015 Ram ProMaster City Wagon video!

Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed  worldwide.
Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed
worldwide.

Here are a few additional specifications:

  • Cargo Capacity – Behind First-Row Seat 144.4 ft3
  • Head Room – Front 46″
  • Hip Room – Front 54.1″
  • Leg Room – Front 40.8″
  • Passenger Interior Volume 191 ft3
  • Seating Capacity – Maximum Seating 5
  • Shoulder Room – Front 59.3″
Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.