When looking for a new car, most people usually look for a family sedan, a fuel-efficient commuter, or, lately, an electric vehicle that will usher them into the future. But there is a segment of the population that is more interested in something akin to a big rectangular space on wheels, not so much more its aesthetic, but for its potential. Whether it is a plumber, delivery service, mobile dog groomer, or electrician, the van each of those professionals uses can arguably be the most valuable tool they own, which is why the 2023 Ram 1500 ProMaster cargo van was created.
With a new front bumper, front headlights, and front grille, the 2023 version of the Ram ProMaster 1500 looks far more stylish than its predecessor. There are three configurations the 1500 Cargo Van comes in. The base is the 118-inch wheelbase Low Roof model, which can be upgraded to a 136-inch wheelbase. Finally, that same 136-inch wheelbase can be had with a High Roof version. New for 2023 is an optional roll-up rear door that owners can choose instead of the traditional dual-door swing-out hinged version. A self-parking option is something that many owners will enjoy, which allows the ProMaster to be able to get into and out of perpendicular as well as parallel spots on its own.
As with most cargo/upfit vans, the ProMaster 1500 is utilitarian in its execution. A simple yet stylish dashboard keeps the driver abreast of all pertinent information. A start/stop button and dash-mounted shifter help maximize space and storage in and around the cabin. Plastic is the material of choice, but the optional and configurable 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen and wireless charging do their best to distract (in a good way) from that fact. There is also an optional 10.0-inch touchscreen, which, like the smaller screen, is powered by Ram’s Uconnect5 system that is both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.
Power comes from Chrysler’s enduring-if-not-exciting Pentastar 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V6, producing a respectable 276 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. That power is then sent through a TorqueFLite nine-speed automatic transmission onto only the front wheels. As of this writing, no optional all-wheel drive option is available for the ProMaster cargo van. Opting for the shorter wheelbase and low roof does allow for higher payload and towing capabilities in the ProMaster, which max out at 4,000 and 6,910 pounds, respectively. The PM 1500 also checks in with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 8,550 pounds and a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 12,000 pounds. While the EPA doesn’t officially test vans for fuel economy, owners that do mixed driving should expect less than 20 mpg combined city and highway.
Like most vans, many packages can be tweaked and customized to suit the owner’s needs. Many safety features are available, including Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection, Intelligent Speed Assist, a 360-degree parking camera, a front camera, parking distance sensors, and cruise control. Speed control is also a stand-alone option for those that allow employees to drive, as is remote start and a rear HVAC set up for businesses that haul more people than tools.
In its natural boxy layout, the ProMaster cargo van has a low load floor height of just 21 inches but a maximum cargo width of an impressive 75 inches and a full 56 inches of space from wheel well to wheel well in the rear of the truck. The sliding side door can open 49 inches, just enough room to accommodate a loaded pallet. Dual sliding doors are also an option.
Car and truck shopping is never easy, especially when that vehicle must carry not only you and your family but your livelihood as well. The 2023 Ram ProMaster cargo van offers an attractive combination of style, versatility, and adaptability suitable for many professionals and avocations. With a base price of just $43,640, the ProMaster 1500 also allows owners to keep plenty of money in their bank accounts to help grow their business, making this Ram a precious tool indeed.