2012 Ram Cargo Van Review By Larry Nutson
2012 Ram Cargo Van
A City-Friendly Holiday Helper
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel
December 2011, Chicago, IL – The Ram Truck Brand Team made a Holiday Season stop in the Windy City to talk with the Midwest Automotive Media Association (M.A.M.A.) about their city-friendly Ram Cargo Van. For 2012, Ram will launch a new minivan tailored to the Class 1 commercial van market.
The Ram Truck Team is on-top of the growth opportunities in the Class 1 light commercial vehicle market. Ram Cargo Van is a great vehicle choice for small businesses and commercial fleets and an alternative to offerings from Ford and Nissan.
The Ram Cargo Van – or Ram C/V – features solid sliding door and rear quarter window and backlight privacy panels in place of clear glass windows. However, buyers have the option of equipping their Ram C/V with several combinations of solid and glass panels, including a choice of solid or glass backlight.
With more than 25 years of minivan engineering behind it, and as the inventor of the first minivan-based cargo van, the Ram Truck brand knows the versatility needs for both small and large businesses. Ram C/V utilizes the convenience features and city-friendly dimensions of the minivan, while maximizing cargo, convenience and capability attributes. Ram C/V provides a 1,800-lb. cargo payload and category-exclusive towing capability, up to 3,600 lbs. A 20-gallon fuel tank and a 25 mpg EPA highway also delivers a 500 mile fuel range. EPA City rating is 17 mpg.
Ram Cargo Van has a commercial-tuned ride and heavy-duty suspension offering maximum hauling capability. A heavy-duty radiator and heavy-duty transmission oil cooler help meet heavier powertrain demands. Ram C/V is also engineered with unique hydraulic power-assist rack-and-pinion steering, front anti-sway bar and rear twist-beam axle with coil springs. Ram C/V has a maximum Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 8,750 lbs.
With standard electronic stability control (ESC), commercial load-tuned tire-pressure monitoring (TPM), four-wheel anti-lock disc brake system (ABS) and ideal command-of-the road seating, the Ram Cargo Van offers capability, comfort and convenience with great road manners.
The 2012 Ram Cargo Van uses the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transaxle. Engine output is 283 HP with 260 lb.-ft. torque. The Ram C/V also features a new driver-selectable fuel economizer mode. Drivers can change the transaxle shift schedule with a flip of a switch to maximize their fuel economy.
In addition, a rear spoiler and reduced brake caliper and rear bearing drag all contribute to Ram Cargo Van’s class-leading aerodynamics and excellent fuel economy.
A modern, new one-piece instrument panel is more intuitive for the driver with improved ergonomics and larger, redesigned gauges. Trim rings in the console glow an ambient blue-green color, making it easier to find items at night.
The new 2012 Ram Cargo Van also benefits from the exterior redesign given to Chrysler Group’s passenger minivans. Exterior improvements include a new front fascia, new hood and quad headlamps. A new, more sculpted rear fascia and liftgate and new LED taillamps complete the look front to back.
The Ram Cargo Van is distinguished by prominent Ram badging, front and rear. The Ram Cargo Van features a monochromatic paint scheme with body-colored front and rear fascias. It also receives a special chrome C/V badge.
Standard features include covered 16-inch steel wheels, a 160-amp alternator, 20-gallon fuel tank, all-season extra-load capacity tires, 730-amp maintenance-free battery, commercial-duty suspension, engine oil cooler, quad halogen headlamps, power rack-and-pinion steering and fold-away power exterior mirrors with heating element.
Inside, Ram Cargo Van also features standard air conditioning with dual-zone temperature control, an instrument cluster with 120 mph speedometer and tachometer, outside temperature display, an overhead console, A-pillar passenger assist handle, 120-volt auxiliary power outlet, 12-volt front and rear DC power outlets, air filtering, audio jack input for mobile devices, automatic transmission with electronic range select, cloth low-back bucket seats, “Ram” interior accents, door courtesy lamps, driver and passenger-side sun visors with mirrors, dual glove boxes, front courtesy / map lamps, headlamp shut-off delay, cargo compartment observation mirror, a liftgate floodlamp, lower instrument panel storage bin, dual sliding doors with alert warning, power locks, power front windows, rear dome lamp, speed control, steering wheel mounted audio controls, tilting and telescoping steering wheel, tip start and variable intermittent windshield wipers.
Safety features include active head restraints, advanced multistage front airbags, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, LATCH-ready child seat anchor system, tire-pressure monitoring sensor, drivers side inflatable knee bolster air bag, electronic stability control, keyless entry with immobilizer and a tire pressure monitoring warning lamp.
The 2012 Ram Cargo Van is available in four paint colors: Bright Silver Metallic, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl, Stone White and True Blue Pearl. Perfect for individualized graphics.
Ram Cargo Van options include an engine block heater, media center with 30 GB hard drive and 6.5-inch touch-screen display, audio jack input for mobile devices, Garmin® navigation system, ParkView® back-up camera, a Mopar® cargo compartment floor mat, a Mopar full-width cargo divider, power eight-way driver’s seat with lumbar adjust, front and rear power windows, security alarm, Sirius Satellite Radio and Uconnect handsfree voice command with Bluetooth®, remote USB port, rearview auto-dim mirror, rear window defroster and rear window wiper and washer.
The 2012 Ram Cargo Van will be built at the Chrysler Group Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant and will go on sale third quarter 2011. The Ram Cargo Van will replace the Dodge Grand Caravan C/V in the Chrysler Group’s product lineup.
© Larry Nutson