The Ram ProMaster City Wagon is the smallest van offered by the company and it needs to pack a lot into its minor-league-sized frame. It manages to include the bare minimum in many aspects but does exceedingly well at being a frugal fuel-sipper. Not only does it save you money on gas, but it also keeps a couple of thousand dollars in your pocket compared to competition like the Ford Transit Connect and the Mercedes-Benz Metris. It does well for its asking price, even if it’s a little bare-bones in terms of convenience and tech. The wagon offers an admirable amount of space, but its pragmatic nature results in a functional, yet vapid experience that’s further emphasized by its lackluster 2.4-liter engine, providing just enough power to get the job done, but not enough to excite. Our Ram ProMaster City Wagon review aims to uncover whether these flaws are outweighed by the vehicle’s merits.
2021 Ram ProMaster City Wagon Changes: What’s the difference vs 2020 ProMaster City Wagon?
For 2021, the only change is that fog lamps have now become available as an option. Other than that, the van remains unchanged.
2021 Ram ProMaster City Wagon Exterior
We wouldn’t call this passenger van attractive, but it’s not terrible, either. It’s as interesting as an affordable passenger van can possibly manage, and halogen headlights flank the Ram grille and ensure that the lunch tin is visible from a distance. Daytime running lights are optional on both trims, and SLT models get color-coded bumpers. The rear features 180-degree opening doors and the van sits on a standard set of 16-inch steel wheels. 16-inch alloy wheels are available.
The Ram is significantly shorter in length than the Mercedes-Benz Metris but is closer in size to the long-wheelbase version of the Ford Transit Connect. Total length comes in at 187.1 inches and the wheelbase is 122.4 inches; this lineup doesn’t offer any extended wheelbase options. The van stands 74.2 inches tall and an overall body width of 84.6 inches including the mirrors means it’s rather slim for the segment. Both trim levels share a curb weight of 3,682 pounds.
Max Width72.1 in
Front Width60.0 in
Rear Width60.9 in
Curb Weight3,635.0 lbs
A total of seven exterior paint options are available for the Ram, and two of these are standard. While the other five are nice enough, we don’t see the average shopper splashing out the extra $200 for them given that this vehicle is of a utilitarian nature. The two no-cost options include Bright White and Bright Red and our personal favorite would be the last one, but most hauler-focused shoppers will end up choosing Bright White. The five metallic hues include Deep Red, Blue Night, Silver, Quartz Gray, and Black.
2021 ProMaster City Wagon Performance
The capable 178-horsepower 2.4-liter engine found in the Ram provides enough steady power to haul its occupants around without running out of breath. The ProMaster can’t lay claim to real athleticism, which is to be expected from an entry-level van, and it becomes slightly sluggish when passengers bring their luggage along for the ride. Only one drivetrain is available, and both trim levels drive power to the front wheels. A maximum towing capacity of 1,867 pounds is offered by the ProMaster City Wagon, and the wagon manages a payload capacity of 1,713 pounds. You can expect to get to 60 mph in around ten seconds according to independent testing, which is adequate for an affordable carryall. You could fling a small toaster across the kitchen much faster, but it can’t carry five human beings the way this big one can, so it’s about picking your battles. The turbocharged Mercedes-Benz Metris outshines the Ram in terms of power, but also comes with a debt-inducing price tag. The ProMaster City manages to best the Ford Transit’s power offering, even if only by a small margin.
Engine and Transmission
The beast of burden is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that manages power outputs of 178 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, Ram also has enough confidence in the engine to call it a “Tigershark”, but the engine is as threatening as a ladybug. It falls behind the Mercedes-Benz Metris’ 208 hp and 258 lb-ft, but manages to be ahead of the Ford Transit Connect’s 162 hp and 144 lb-ft in base form. The Ford does have a 2.5-liter unit available that develops 169 hp and 171 lb-ft, though. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard for the Ram, though only eight of those gears are truly used thanks to its schmaltzy attitude. Navigating gears smoothly is a challenge for the ZF-sourced transmission, and though it wouldn’t be the bane of one’s existence, it’s subpar at best. Low-end acceleration is good enough for trips around town, and merging on the highway is a relatively easy task. Attempting to overtake another vehicle on the highway with five occupants inside is slightly more difficult at higher speeds, but the van will manage.