The 2018 Ram ProMaster City is a true minivan based on its proportions. Available as a commercial van or passenger wagon, the ProMaster City may be the right choice for people on a budget. It delivers decent fuel economy, although we found the nine-speed automatic transmission clumsy at times.

Best Value

The 2018 Ram ProMaster City is a front-wheel-drive van that seats two. All models have a four-cylinder engine paired with an automatic transmission. It comes in Tradesman and SLT trims, and the Wagon version is available in base Wagon and SLT form. We considered van versions only, although, if you want a wagon, a second-row bench seat is added. Thus, the Promaster City becomes a direct competitor to the Ford Transit Connect Wagon. However, we think this model is best suited for commercial purposes.

Our model of choice is the SLT as it adds such things as painted bumpers, full wheel hubcaps, upgraded cloth seats, and integrated navigation. You get all this and pay just $1,695 more. You still enjoy 132 cubic feet of storage capacity and up to 2,000 pounds of towing when properly equipped. Our only upgrades include the trailer tow package and color choice – if you want something other than white you’ll pay extra.

  • Model: 2018 Ram ProMaster City SLT
  • Engine: 2.4-liter inline-four
  • Output: 178 hp / 174 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 21 City / 28 Hwy
  • Options: Trailer Tow Group ($495, Class II receiver hitch with a two-inch receiver opening and a 4/7-pin wiring harness), Black Metallic Exterior Paint ($200)
  • Base Price: $27,190 (including a $1,545 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price: $27,885

Performance

Ram ProMaster City

Under the hood sits a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission with an output of 178 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. There's no other powertrain choice for this model.

This engine offers ample pep around town, but it works at a more leisurely pace on the highway. Under full throttle, it is unusually loud. The transmission is the real disappointment here, as it can’t seem to make up its mind, especially when driving locally. At low speeds, it hesitates firing off shifts and is slow to downshift. That said, we give this Ram kudos for its direct and precise steering. The ProMaster City rides well, too, and you should find it easy to park.

Style

Just as you’re not considering this model for stellar performance, you certainly aren’t doing it for its style. If there was a van beauty contest, we’re almost certain the ProMaster City would finish last. What may surprise some people is that this Ram features an Italian design. It's a Fiat model, but the look doesn’t even resemble most Fiats. Instead, it brings a disjointed appearance to the segment with its bulging front fascia, slab sides, and an upright rear quarter.

We like the look inside, as it's more conventional. The touchscreen display sits high on the dash and you’ll find numerous storage holds throughout. The front seats are comfortable. Behind those seats is your typical open commercial layout area, ready for upfitting. We give this model high marks for ease of access and egress, especially in the cargo hold.

The Best and Worst Things

Despite its faults, the Ram ProMaster City offers value that shouldn’t easily be dismissed. We equipped ours with just a few options, otherwise, this van should offer what some commercial buyers want. Use those savings to cover your upfitting costs. That said, the powertrain can be annoying, especially as the transmission searches for gears.

Right For? Wrong For?

Ram ProMaster City

Commercial businesses with light-duty needs may find the Ram ProMaster City to their liking. This is especially true if a full-size van or pickup truck is overkill or simply too expensive. At the same time, this Ram’s small size may not meet your payload and towing needs. If not, there's always the bigger Ram ProMaster to consider.

The Bottom Line

The 2018 Ram ProMaster City offers tremendous value – the main reason it may be worth your consideration. If you can look past some of its trouble spots, the interior layout may be ideal for your needs. The sliding side doors and pivoting rear doors make it easy to put things in and take stuff out. The same can be said for two competing models: the Nissan NV200 and the Ford Transit Connect.