Ram ProMaster enters 2022 with tech upgrades and a new transmission

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Ram's full-size ProMaster van will enter the 2022 model year after receiving a round of much-needed tech updates. The changes include a more user-friendly infotainment system and a new transmission that improves gas mileage.

Most of the major changes are found in the cabin, where the big van gains a seven-inch touchscreen that displays the Uconnect5 infotainment system. Ram states the software is five times faster than the last version of Uconnect. Buyers who want or need a bigger screen can pay extra for a 10-inch unit; both feature split-screen capability. The list of options also grows with the addition of a wireless charging pad, a 115-volt outlet below the USB ports, and a 7.0-inch full-color information screen in the instrument cluster (a 3.5-inch driver information screen comes standard).

Switching to Uconnect5 is expected to make a significant difference. It features a customizable home screen, so users can move icons around like on a smartphone or a tablet, and it's compatible with the wireless versions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Amazon's Alexa In-Vehicle Assistant is built-in as well, meaning motorists will be able to remotely start the engine, lock or unlock the doors, check the weather, or add items to their to-do list.

If you find panel vans difficult to park, the ProMaster has you covered. It can be configured with a 360-degree surround-view camera and a digital rear-view mirror, among other electronic driving aids.

Power still comes from a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which produces 280 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, but it now shifts through a nine-speed automatic transmission; 2021 models shipped with a six-speed unit. Ram notes the three extra gears improve drivability and efficiency, though fuel economy figures haven't been released. Front-wheel-drive continues to come standard; it's an unusual configuration in a segment dominated by rear-wheel-drive.

Properly equipped, the ProMaster can tow 6,910 pounds, according to Ram. Its payload checks in at 4,680 pounds. Electric power steering and a push-button electronic parking brake further improve drivability in urban environments.

While there are no major visual changes, the 2022 range includes a Crew Van configuration designed for users who need to carry people and gear. It features a three-person rear bench seat, fixed side windows, and a partition.

Ram dealers across the nation will begin receiving the 2022 ProMaster in the fourth quarter of 2021. It will be offered in 18 configurations, including two roof heights, three wheelbases, and four lengths. Pricing information hasn't been released. Looking ahead, the range will grow with the addition of an electric model in 2023.

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