2014 Dodge Ram ProMaster City Wagon new car reviews

Your can get the interior to suit your uses, but our test van had a comfortable second row of seating.

We were strangely excited when the Dodge ProMaster showed up in front of the office. Despite the horned badges, this van is actually a Fiat underneath. With that being said, this small van excels in practicality. You can even order a built-in tool chest and shelving.

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J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

When they dropped the Promaster Wagon off on a Thursday, I was immediately intrigued. Here was a useful, albeit somewhat homely, van/wagon, box on wheels that seemed perfectly comfortable sacrificing style over useful substance. But behind the wheel, the typical penalty that comes with driving a truck or van completely disappeared. This vehicle—about the same dimensions as a current “full-size” minivan, drives like a much smaller and more nimble vehicle, and all the controls seem to be in the right place at the right time.

And there’s a feeling of space inside the likes of which we haven’t felt since the 1980s. With a low floor, high ceiling and perfectly vertical sides, the ProMaster City takes the “box on wheels” concept to near comical extremes, but in doing so somehow becomes more than the sum of its parts.

By Saturday, I was in a local Ram Truck dealership scoping out local inventories. By Monday, I had signed on the dotted line for a ProMaster City of my own.

Yes, really. I fell so completely in love with the combination of utility and drivability that I bought one to replace my stylish but aging Buick Roadmaster wagon. A big thank you to Daytona Dodge for being great to deal with.

The Promaster City is actually a Fiat Doblo—frequent winner of “van of the year” awards in Europe—built in Turkey and powered by Dodges 2.4-liter “world engine” 4-cylinder. Yes, words like “Fiat” and “Turkey” should be red flags in the real world, but they didn’t keep me from exchanging vows.

With 2000 pounds of towing capacity, it’s more than enough to haul around my Formula 500, and with that big square box behind the folding rear seats, it will carry all of my gear and keep it easily accessible. Time will tell if the quality will be as good as initial impressions lead me to believe. In the meantime, there’s a long warranty period where it’s not my problem anyway.

But the real truth is, this is the type of vehicle we really should see more of on the roads. It combines compact size with extreme utility and ease of operation. It’s got a face only a mother could love, but you can’t see that face from behind the wheel, where everything is just fine.

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jm3
jm3 New Reader
8/26/15 11:24 a.m.

Dear Sir,

You have a privilege on your doorstep that very few of us (the proletariat) have had. You have a race car hauler with "That new van smell".

My advice to you, is to take a few moments to sniff the inside of the Fiat Ramvan. Do you smell that? That is fine Turkish plastic. Now go lay down under the race car?

sniff.

Do you smell that Red Line gear oil that reached 240F? Worse than a Daytona stripper pole at happy hour during "Bike Week".

Ok. Keep them separated. FOREVER. Never ever ever (ever) put disgusting car parts in the van. Keep them in the trailer, steal milk crates, buy linen bins from WalMart, but do everything in your powers, and more, so that you do not squander this beautiful opportunity that God and Credit Union gave to you.

J.M. Morris

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