Ram Promaster City is small, ready to haul

Minivans are back and getting down to business.

Ram today unveiled its upcoming Promaster City compact van, which will be offered in cargo and passenger versions.

The Fiat-based vehicle will be made in Turkey and compete against the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200 and Chevrolet City Express in the quickly growing segment.

Unlike “minivans” such as the Honda Accord and Toyota Sienna, this new breed of urban transport combines truly small size -- its shorter in length than the original Dodge Caravan -- with lots of cargo carrying capability.

In the case of the Promaster City, that means 131.7 cubic feet of space doled out in a box big enough to swallow a standard size shipping pallet, or a payload weighing up to 1,883 pounds.

Power will come from the same 178 hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine offered in the Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Dart, connected to the segment’s only 9-speed automatic transmission.

Chrysler’s wireless web-enabled UConnect infotainment system with Wi-Fi will be available, and a backup camera is standard. If the googly-eyed headlights look a little odd, they’re positioned high on the front to better protect them from worksite collisions.

Pricing and fuel economy will be announced closer to the Promaster City’s on sale date this fall.