The cargo van arena isn't one we usually cover here at Autobytel. This is mostly due to the fact that the cargo van market has been somewhat dormant for a number of years. Recently, however, the cargo van has seen a revitalization with automakers introducing new models. Case in point: the 2015 RAM ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van.
Much like the Dodge Sprinter van from the mid to late 2000's (which also happened to be a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter), the Ram ProMaster is a rebadged version of the Fiat Ducato van sold in Europe. What makes the ProMaster unique is its front-wheel drivetrain, a break from the standard rear-wheel drive configuration found on most cargo vans. That may seem a bit odd, but there's a reason for going front-wheel drive - namely, more area for cargo. The ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van can carry 259 cubic feet of cargo in the short wheelbase model, and 353 cubic feet for the long-wheelbase, high-roof model. Impressive numbers, to say the least.
But don't think Ram has forgotten the most important piece of the cargo van: the driver. Visibility is excellent all around with large windows and the availability of a backup camera. Comfort is also addressed with a number of adjustments for the seat and steering wheel designed to make the driver feel right at home.
Power comes from two different engines. Standard is a 3.6L V6 with 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet, paired with a six-speed automatic. Optional is a 3.0L EcoDiesel four-cylinder with 174 horsepower and 295 pound-feet, paired with a six-speed automated manual.
The 2015 ProMaster 1500 starts off at $28,800 for the low-roof 118-inch wheelbase model, and climbs to $30,520 for the high-roof 136-inch wheelbase model. Competitors include the Ford Transit, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and Nissan NV1500.