RAM Trucks is a brand of pickup trucks that are designed and manufactured by Chrysler Group LLC. The Detroit auto manufacturer used to produce RAM pickup trucks under the company’s Dodge brand of vehicles. Dodge started selling pickup trucks with the Ram name in 1981, but Chrysler decided to spin off RAM into a separate brand, as part of its post-bailout corporate restructuring and Chrysler’s acquisition by the Italian auto manufacturer Fiat. And, the move freed the Dodge brand to focus on other passenger vehicles, such as cars and sport utility vehicles. For the 2014 model year, Chrysler added a lineup of cargo vans to the RAM brand. The RAM ProMaster line was initially designed for the European market, and ProMaster cargo vans are known in Europe as the Fiat Ducato lineup. The ProMaster cargo van models are a useful addition to the Chrysler lineup, after the Dodge brand lost access to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. The Mercedes Sprinter is now the RAM ProMaster’s most immediate competition, along with the Nissan NV. The RAM ProMaster van lineup, including the RAM ProMaster 2500, is assembled in Satillo, Mexico.
The RAM ProMaster cargo van lineup, including the ProMaster 2500, was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in February of 2013. The model number designations for each RAM ProMaster van are not dependent on the van’s drivetrain or engine power, since all ProMaster cargo van models in North America offer the same engine options. The base RAM ProMaster 2500 (like the ProMaster 1500 and 3500) is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 gasoline engine that yields 280 horsepower, which is paired to a six-speed automatic transition. An additional drivetrain option provides a 3-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that produces 174 horsepower, and is paired to a six-speed automatic manual transmission. The diesel engine provides better fuel economy as well as more torque for improved towing, but the gasoline engine is capable of faster acceleration.
Cargo vans of European origin feature several distinct characteristics that typically improve efficiency over their American-designed counterparts. The RAM ProMaster features a front-wheel-drive layout that does not compromise the van’s cargo space. The RAM ProMaster line also features partial unibody construction. The body is about a foot and a half taller than an American van, which allows plenty of extra interior volume and is tall enough for people to move around easily. The ProMaster 2500 was designed to slot between the smaller 1500 and the larger 3500, and is available only with the high roof body style. The van comes in two lengths, a 136-inch wheelbase version and a 159-inch wheelbase version. In addition to the capabilities of the ProMaster 1500, the ProMaster 2500 also features a heavy duty suspension and heavy duty ABS disc brakes at all four corners. The RAM ProMaster 2500 can haul up to 4,417 pounds and can tow up to 5,100 pounds, depending on the drivetrain choice as well as the van’s configuration.
The RAM ProMaster 2500 comes equipped with 16-inch steel wheels, cloth bucket seats, power accessories, keyless entry, climate control, and a four-speaker audio system with USB integration. Available options and upgrades include alloy wheels, a cargo partition, heated seats, cruise control, upgraded audio with Bluetooth wireless integration, a cargo accessory package, and an exterior appearance package. Safety features include hill start assist, stability control, traction control, and front side and side curtain airbags.