The Promaster seeks to compete against Ford’s Transit series, Nissan’s growing line of commercial vans, and its old friend Sprinter, now from Mercedes) in the expanding segment.


Fiat-Chrysler’s hardest-working brand brings a number of changes to the various trucks under the Ram umbrella for 2017.

Driveway was on the scene earlier this summer for an all-models showing at the company’s Chelsea proving grounds, and here is a rundown of the new model year.

The ProMaster commercial van changes little, basically getting improved interior lighting and additional rear door reflectors; the company boasts that it is now also the best-in-class performer in fuel economy.

The Promaster seeks to compete against Ford’s Transit series, Nissan’s growing line of commercial vans, and its old friend Sprinter, now from Mercedes) in the expanding segment.

2017 Ram 1500 Rebel
2017 Ram 1500 Rebel Crew Cab 4×4 interior
2017 Ram ProMaster City Wagon SLT
2017 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack (Left) and Challenger 392 HEMI® Scat Pack Shaker (Right).
2017 Dodge Challenger SRT 392

The big van offers two engine choices (a gasoline 3.6L V6 or 3.0L diesel) on its highly customizable platform.  On the pickup front, the ever popular 1500 leads the group with its – gosh, what is it, ten available trim and package levels in Canada? And three cab styles. I won’t go through it all, but a couple of notable changes include:

The Rebel model gains a backup camera and rear park assist, anti-spin differential and a jazzier gauge cluster; along with FCA’s latest Uconnect 8.4 display and media hub on the center stack.

(Incidentally, if you a re shopping any of these vehicles, ask for a demonstration of the new-generation Uconnect system. There isn’t space to go into it here, but I found the interface handy and easy, and FCA claims enhanced friendliness with both Apple and Android devices).

The 1500 Sport gets a new remote start and security alarm. The Laramie Longhorn adopts a number of features from the Limited trim to better flesh out its equipment level, LED bed lighting, keyless start and rain sensing wipers are now standard. All the ram trucks also get an upgraded, five-micron cabin air filter.

The real work trucks of the Ram family, the 2500/3500 series, expand their lineup with a new-for-2017 4×4 offroad package for the 2500 (it gets hill-descent control, skid plate, LSD and Bilstein shocks), and a new Power Wagon trim. Power Wagon features a standard 6.4 litre Hemi engine in addition to its unique cabin, grille and graphics package.

Heavy duty Rams offer the same extensive array of configurations as the 1500, with three cabs, three engine choices (still including of course the 6.7L Cummins diesel), and a suite of available options and add-ons.

News from the Dodge arm: the company continues to thrill the enthusiastic core with updates to the Challenger lineup – including the introduction of two new choices for 2017.

Challenger T/A and Challenger T/A 392 borrow some styling and performance cues from the Hellcat model – mostly airflow management (the Hellcat-derived ‘air catcher’ headlamps) and the availability of the extra-bolstered sport seats and performance steering wheel with paddle shifts.

Outfitted with either engine (eight cylinder HEMIs, of course, in 5.7 or 6.2 litre displacements) the new models bring the performance you expect, and the stopping power you’ll want – the high performance Brembo system on 392 models is especially effective – while maintaining the menacing curbside stance that is so important to the Challenger mystique.

Offering more practicality is the Charger sedan group, which also gets a couple of all-new trims in the form of the Daytona and Daytona 392. Same engine choices as the Challenger, but with four doors.

Probing the law-enforcement market is the Charger Pursuit. Designed to accept the equipment and tactical tech demands of the profession (it has a twelve-inch display screen for the Uconnect system, which Dodge states will integrate easily with law enforcement technology, and allows for upfitting as new tools and applications are introduced).

The Pursuit may just also lead the way in intimidating paint-job names; for example your police force can choose from a palette that includes Destroyer Gray, White Knuckle clear coat and Contusion Blue.

Whether you work with them or play with them, 2017’s updated fleets from Dodge and Ram are at, or arriving at, dealers as we ‘speak’.

wade [dot] ozeroff [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

 

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