While the Ram ProMaster vans may be a few steps behind their rivals in terms of towing, it’s quite competitive when you stick to the more basic trims. The ProMaster shines brightest when left in its more basic configurations but gets left behind when you start cross-shopping something else and decide you’re willing to spend more money to get all-wheel drive, a larger cargo hold, or increased gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR). Despite being a great option for budget-conscious delivery firms, tradesmen, or someone looking to DIY a recreational vehicle, the Ram can’t be optioned to spread its wings quite as broadly as its competitors.
However, the manufacturer is hoping to entice customers with several new tech inclusions for the 2022 model year, including an upgraded nine-speed transmission and a new dashboard.
The ProMaster’s exterior goes unchanged but the cabin has been redesigned with a standard 7.0-inch touchscreen replacing the old 5.0-inch unit. Though shoppers may option a 10-inch screen if they wish. Regardless of the size, all come with Uconnect5 with over-the-air updates and wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot. You can also use Amazon’s Alexa if the connectivity stuff hasn’t creeped you out yet.
The center stack, which has clearly had the most work done, now features updated HVAC controls that look more modern (and less cheap) than the old knobs. While we’re hoping it works as well, it already seems more useful thanks to a sizable number of vehicle controls having been relocated there. Ram has also given the area two USB and two USB Type-C ports, with a 115-volt for good measure. Customers can likewise add wireless device charging if they’re so inclined.
Another item that’s been noticeably upgraded is the ProMaster’s steering wheel. It now features more controls and looks like something that might have been manufactured after 2005. Ditto for the gear selector (which is now substantially larger/easier to slap around) and the digitized instrument display (which can be had in either 3.5 or 7.0-inch configurations). There’s a new Crew Van package that offers a second row of seating on the Cargo variant, too.
The van still comes with three wheelbase lengths and two roof heights. But they’re not necessarily going to be available in your desired configuration. Cargo and Window (passenger) vans might not offer exactly what you need. But the Cutaway and Chassis Cab at least provide you with the option to drop whatever kind of box you want in the back. The maximum tow rating is 6,910 pounds and a max payload rating settles in at 4,680 pounds, however. That’s sufficient for many but technically less than what’s available elsewhere.
ProMasters still utilize a transverse-mounted 3.6-liter V6 making 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. But the 2022 model year mates it to a nine-speed automatic transmission Ram claims will improve fuel efficiency over the outgoing six-speed. The new system also has a higher final-drive ratio of 4.08.
While we would have liked to see the diesel option make a comeback, Ram doesn’t seem interested and it might not mesh with the clientele it’s targeting with the model. Ideal for a vehicle you’re planning to beat on for a couple of decades, diesels haven’t been gaining popularity with regulators or the industry at large.
However, electronic parking breaks and bush-button starters are on trend and the ProMaster now has both. The same goes for all of those unnecessary driver assistance features. Having already added automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring in past years, Ram is now tacking on a 360-degree camera, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, and a frontal parking sensor. The van can even be had with lane-keeping with assist now that it uses electronic steering.
Pricing is TBD. But we’re guessing a modest to minuscule pricing increase to account for some of the new hardware. The updated 2022 MY vans are supposed to begin arriving this winter, followed by an electric variant sometime in 2023.
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