In Japan, there's a race series pitting modified 1990s-era Ram cargo vans against each other (google it). After sampling the ProMaster, we don't see these racers picking up well-used examples for track duty.
This isn't to say that the standard-issue 3.6-liter V6 isn't a good engine – it is. With 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, it runs smooth and has decent acceleration. It's hooked up to a traditional six-speed automatic, which is also a competent performer that won't make itself known as it goes about its duty. In an era where eight cylinders in a work van is becoming ancient history, this powertrain combo should be more than enough to get the job done with limited fuss. Only those Japanese racers will be missing the availability of a V8.
It's another story with the 3.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder that's optional across the ProMaster lineup. It makes 174 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and does so with all the refinement of the grizzled loggers and ranchers Ram loves to use in their marketing materials. Coupled to this uncomfortably gruff engine is a six-speed automated-manual that's equally cantankerous. While fuel economy is probably better with this combo than the V6 – the EPA doesn't rate the ProMaster, so we can't say for certain – we'd stick with the gas-burner.
Being front-wheel drive, the 118-inch wheelbase ProMaster boasts a 36.3-foot turning radius; the largest 159-inch model does the deed in only 46.8 feet. For what's essentially a rolling billboard that can measure up to 21 feet in length, this is darn impressive.
Not so impressive is the overall ride. Let's not mince words here: even though there's three available suspensions, all ride harsh and are especially terrible when unladen. We get that this is a work van and not a limousine, but it's still a disappointment, especially considering how well Ram's own pickups cruise while unburdened.