Though you probably don’t hear much about them, Ram has a line of vans covering Class 1 (compact) and Class 2 (full-size) commercial needs. Fully customizable, you’ll notice (once you look for them) them doing everything from delivering flowers to hauling your cable repairman (and all his stuff) to your home. For 2021, Ram ProMaster gets some nice updates.
Before we get into what’s new, let me give a brief primer on the ProMaster line.
The Class 2 van is simply called ProMaster. It’s the only vehicle in this segment to come with front-wheel drive, and it comes standard with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine. It’s also available in a mind-boggling 18 different wheelbase and roof-height configurations. With all the upfit customizations available, if you don’t know where to start, Ram’s nifty configurator allows you to select your profession, and then Ram will recommend the vehicle and package options.
The Class 1 van is more compact, and thus called ProMaster City. It boasts a payload of 1,890 pounds and has a total cargo volume of 131.7 cubic feet. It’s equipped with the 2.4-liter I-4 TigerShark engine and delivers 178 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. Similar to the ProMaster, the City also offers customers the chance to upfit and create custom graphics.
The ProMaster gets the bulk of the updates for 2021, and all of them are safety related. The first change is the addition of Crosswind Assist as standard equipment. This feature will help drivers stay in their lanes when driving in windy conditions.
Safety features you see on passenger cars are making a debut for 2021 as well. This includes, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning with emergency brake assist and ambient/courtesy lights.
The final addition is something we’ve only just started to see trickle down from luxury vehicles: a digital rearview mirror. This replaces the rearview mirror with a digital display, and the image comes from a rear camera and gives a wide rear view behind the vehicle. While this is helpful in passenger cars with rear-seat passengers, it’s going to be even more important in commercial vans with no rear window or cargo stacked to the roof.
Frankly, there’s not much new here. For 2021, the ProMaster City gets fog lamps on the Tradesman and Wagon models, and it adds aluminum wheels to the Tradesman. That’s it.
For those not familiar with the cargo class of vans, there’s not much competition. You have the Ford Transit (think Amazon delivery vans), Chevy Express cargo vans, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Nissan NV200s. So, we think it’s nice that Ram is giving some love to its cargo lineup – especially in the area of safety tech.