By Cars.com EditorsFebruary 12, 2013
About the video
From the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, PickupTrucks.com's Mark Williams takes a look at the 2014 Ram Promaster.
I'm Mark Williams for PickupTrucks.com and we're here at the 2013 Chicago auto show where Ram truck, in fact, Ram commercial just made the world premier of the 2014 Ram ProMaster van.
This is going to compete directly head to head with the new Ford transit. And it should be a very interesting matchup. Let's take a closer look. The first thing we have to talk about is design. This platform is based off the European Fiat Ducato and it has a very Euro van look to it. Whether or not that resonates with American buyers we'll have to wait and see. But for right now unibody chassis, very configurable, very versatile. And that's exactly what the commercial market wants. This is the very definition of versatility. Two different roof heights three different wheel bases four different body configurations, and two engines. This is where it gets pretty interesting. The two engines. One is going to be the familiar Pentastar V6 3.6 liter, 280 horsepower, 260 foot pounds of torque. But the other engine is going to be a brand new four cylinder, eco diesel. That's what Pro Masters calling it, their eco diesel. It's a three liter diesel with 174 horsepower and 295 foot pounds of torque but it's made into a brand new what's called an automated manual transmission. It works just like a manual transmission but it's controlled the clutch is controlled electronically. So when you drive it it feels like it makes those shifts and those pauses in between gears but you don't have to push in any clutch. It's all done for you. Interior is pretty cool. You get your choice. You can get a front bench seat or you can get a fully suspended bucket seat. You can get a full connectivity with a U connect system that Ram has across the board. And there is more storage spaces in the doors in the dash and up above you than we've seen in just about any other vehicle. Some very cool details to this Pro Master are at the back of the van. Huge, wide open, wide mouth opening. Tons of room to stuff cargo inside. Dual doors that can be shut independently. You don't have to do one, then the other. Also, a maximum payload of 5,000 pounds on the one ton version. Maximum towing, another 5,000 pounds. And one of the coolest features to these rear doors that open a full 260 degrees the dual pivot hinges. Very cool technology. And I'm sure truck guys would love to see this on their dining room table just sitting there independently. It's probably worth noting that the eco diesel engine that's going to be in the Pro Master is not the same three liter diesel that's going to be in the Grand Cherokee. Grand Cherokee will get a V6 diesel sourced from VM Motori. Pro Master will get a straight four cylinder engine three liter, but sourced from Fiat. Also, Pro Masters are bragging about the fact that they have a best in class maximum cargo volume. Apparently there's some discrepancy on how they're calculating that volume. At least that's what we hear from the Ford transit guys but we'll have to wait until these vehicles come out in 2014 to get a good comparison, to get them head to head. We'll have more at pickuptrucks.com.