Designed with commercial buyers in mind, the Ram Cargo Van provides a healthy amount of stowage space within its stripped-out interior along with a capable powertrain and respectable fuel economy. It is underpinned by Chrysler's proven minivan platform.
Although based on a family-friendly model, the Ram C/V was thoroughly overhauled to perform daily commercial duties, with Chrysler reinforcing the suspension and also adding a heavy-duty engine/oil cooler. The C/V's rear glass was replaced with solid panels, although buyers can opt for a several panel/glass configurations.
The rear cargo area of the Cargo Van features an aluminum load floor that can be ordered in two configurations - a completely flat, high capacity surface or a through-the-floor access setup that includes three storage bins and load floor tie-downs. Total cargo capacity is a useful 144.4 cubic feet, and the Cargo Van can accommodate 4x8 pieces of plywood with ease.
Powered by Chrysler 's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, the Cargo Van delivers a class-leading 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Those power ratings give the Ram Cargo Van a cargo capacity of 1,800 pounds and a towing rating of 3,600 pounds, but the hauler is still rather fuel efficient: the EPA rates gas mileage at 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Chrysler says that total range is a bladder-bursting 500 miles. Shifting duties are handled by a smooth six-speed automatic.
Aside from the reconfigured cargo area, the interior of the Cargo Van is largely the same as that of the Dodge Grand Caravan upon which it is based. This means a dashboard with intuitive controls and a fair amount of soft-touch materials along with two glove compartments and a plethora of other storage compartments.
Standard and Optional Features
The Cargo Van comes standard with cloth seats, a vinyl front floor covering, a leather-wrapped steering wheel mounted on a tilt/telescope column, quad halogen headlamps, heated side mirrors, 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps and a CD/FM/AM stereo with two speakers.
Optional features include the choice of two different media centers. The first includes touch-screen Garmin navigation system with 28 GB of storage space and a USB port for audio devices, six speakers, a ParkView rear back up camera and SiriusXM satellite radio and TravelLink. To those features, the second setup adds SiriusXM Traffic, Bluetooth streaming audio and a Bluetooth voice command system for compatible smartphones.
The Cargo Van comes standard with dual front, side and side curtain airbags as well as traction and stability control systems and a tire-pressure-monitoring system.
The only similarly-sized rival to the Cargo Van that was designed with the commercial market in mind is the Ford Transit Connect. Those willing to consider a larger and less efficient van should look at the Ford E-Series, the Chevrolet Express and the Nissan NV.