The last major ProMaster upgrades involved a new front grille and some hefty durability-and-reliability upgrades. The next upgrades are aimed at catching up to the state of the art in safety, comfort, and convenience; and increasing efficiency with the old six-speed minivan automatic replaced by a TorqueFlite nine-speed automatic. There is also a new two-row cab option, and a battery-electric version is planned; fleet buyers might, emphasis on “might” (as in “not stated by Ram”), see some autonomous-driving features coming.
The ProMaster was not an especially gadget-laden vehicle when it was first launched; indeed, from some perspectives, it was fairly bare-bones, with cruise control an unusual option and a fairly small-screened Fiat telematics setup. The 2022 ProMaster, though, will have full-speed forward collision warning; post-collision braking; drowsiness detection; traffic-sign recognition; a keyless pushbutton starter; and an electric parking brake. These features should save time for drivers on delivery routes and save money for the companies that own the vans.
Options now include 360° cameras, front parking sensors, auto high beams, cornering fog lamps, adaptive cruise with stop and go ability, intelligent speed assistance, lane keeper, and active driving assistance.
The old Fiat telematics are gone, replaced by UConnect 5—five times faster than the prior setup, and including Alexa, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and simultaneous connection to two phones. The screens come in 7 or 10 inch sizes, with a 3.5 inch driver’s screen (a 7 inch driver’s screen is optional). An optional digital rearview mirror helps those who load up their vans, have windowless doors, or buy the cargo-area barrier. It is available on all ProMaster models.
The old hydraulic power steering was replaced by an electric setup, designed for a natural steering feel and variable assist.
The Crew Van configuration can carry three passengers in the second row, giving it room for five.
The Pentastar V6 continues, boosted to 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet; the nine-speed should increase its effective power, with a lower launch gear and higher top gear, as well as faster shifts and more efficiency throughout. The van front wheel drive for winter and wet-weather traction; it has best in class load floor height, cargo width, standard cargo height, and turning radius. Towing capacity runs up to 6,910 pounds, and payload goes up to a best-in-class 4,680 pounds.
Those who own their own will be happy with the new comfort features, including a leather-wrapped steering wheel, revised air vents, and redundant HVAC controls. The second row configuration is new, and includes fixed polycarbonate windows, a built-in safety partition, and an elevated second-row bench seat.
A push-button electronic parking brake is to the right of the driver on the center console, eliminating virtually all related parking brake cables; it is released by pressing the brake pedal and pushing on the parking brake switch at the same time. The electronic parking brake automatically releases if the driver seat belt is buckled and the operator accelerates the vehicle. ProMaster now uses a motor-on-caliper at each rear wheel and an electronic control module, replacing the “drum in hat” configuration.
Wait, what is that Active Drive Assist and Ram Assist?
Active Drive Assist is level 2 automated driving, which provides lane centering and active cruise control using both radar and cameras. Ram Assist includes telematics to enable vehicle tracking and driver behavioral data, as well as real-time diagnostics and performance data. The new, standard Telematics Module enables nearly fifty service functions, including firmware over the air.
Two driver screens are available in the gauge cluster. The driver can customize the 3.5- touchscreen using the steering-wheel controls; they provide a speedometer, vehicle information, fuel economy, trip information, audio, stored messages, and turn-by-turn navigation, if the vehicle is equipped with navigation.
The optional 7-inch, full-color display enables the driver to personalize information inside the instrument cluster.