First Look: 2012 Ram C/V Cargo Van

First Look: 2012 Ram C/V Cargo Van

Ram Trucks unveiled its new midsize cargo van, called the C/V, today at the 2011 NTEA Work Truck Show.

The 2012 Ram C/V is based on the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, but it’s been modified inside and out to handle the hard-life duty of a delivery and utility hauler. It’s also a quick way for Ram to tackle competition from the Ford Transit Connect while Chrysler works on importing the Fiat Doblo small van into North America.

The Ram C/V features dual sliding doors, rear quarter windows and backlight privacy panels in place of clear glass windows. It can also be equipped with several combinations of solid and glass panels, including a choice of solid or glass backlight.


Storage and cargo management is a priority inside the C/V. There’s 144.4 cubic feet of space and a rugged aluminum flat load floor that's 99 inches long by 49.1 inches wide between the wheel wells — enough to swallow a 4-by-8-foot sheet of plywood.

The load floor will be available as a flat surface with three covers or with optional Stow 'n Go bins to store items securely. Maximum payload inside the van is 1,800 pounds.

The C/V can also tow up to 3,600 pounds with its all-new 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 283 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque. To improve gas mileage, drivers can “select a special fuel economizer mode that changes the transaxle shift schedule with a flip of a switch to maximize their fuel economy,” according to a Ram press release.

Ram didn't announce fuel economy figures but promised the van's driving range will be almost 500 miles with a standard 20-gallon fuel tank.


Standard features include covered 16-inch steel wheels, a 160-amp alternator, all-season extra-load capacity tires, 730-amp maintenance-free battery, commercial-duty suspension, engine oil cooler, quad halogen headlamps, load leveling and height control, power rack-and-pinion steering and fold-away power exterior mirrors with heating element.

On the outside, the C/V sports a unique blacked-out grille with a new hood and quad headlamps. In back, there’s a restyled liftgate and LED taillamps.

Pricing hasn’t been announced. Ram reps say it will be competitive with similar vehicles.



You have got to be kidding...

This just seems like a half-baked Idea. I doubt it will be (much) cheaper than the Express trim Caravan. The HHR panel cost MORE than a regular HHR. The interior in this still has all the molded plastic side panels. The economy mode should definitely include a valet mode, with a 70ish speed limiter. Best would be if it were tied to the specific key. The whole thing will be redundant once the Doblo gets here. Too bad be wont get the Scudo van.


"The 2012 Ram C/V is based on the Dodge Caravan minivan..."

I don't know if they improved the Caravan, but I remember my mom's Caravan from back in the day.....was always breaking down, always in the shop.

Well at least it has sliding doors... Dammit! I was hoping for a Ram 1500 with a Cummins in it! Or a Ram 2500 LB with the Ram Box like they said was happening! But i digest, if it makes Chrysler more competitive than what the hell, its a start at least.

For those looking for some slightly more exciting Chrysler news, check this thing out!!

Mike, you're too funny! Ok, now show us the REAL van...

All I've got to say is that 283hp from a v6 is a hell of a lot of power. It must go like a bat while unloaded.

I am very happy to see Dodge has done this. Right now I have a 1998 windstar cargo van that works good for work but it is time for a new one. I don't like the transit connect, this ram van will be alot nicer to drive which is important to me becuase I put on alot of miles. Good job Dodge!

April 1st is 28 days away.
This is the big news?
Dodge has always had a cargo version of the Grand Caravan.
Now its a Ram?

This sounds like a smart response (albeit a late one) to the Transit Connect. Decent power/economy, usable space and it will probably be very profitable for RAM if priced right. I assume the interior panels would be made into something more practical eventually. I know Fiat is plucking the strings here, but why not invest some dough in putting a raised roof structure and rear side-hinged doors on this thing? It would have to be cheaper than bringing the Doblo here.

Is this an early April Fools joke?

If so, ha ha ha, ok i'm laughing.

Where is the rest of the truck?

Can only tow 3600 lbs, bizarre!

Quarter Trim panels in a CARGO van???????

I like the rear "seat" cup holders....

Talk about quick fix.

@ShopCat: "But i digest,..."

I should hope you do! Otherwise, you'd be full of crap! Sorry, couldn't help myself. But to your point, perhaps they should look into morphing their Ram trucks into cargo vans a'la the Nissan NV series we were seeing here a couple days back.

This is merely a stop-gap measure until the Iveco/Fiat vans come to America. I have a feeling they introduced this to the Ram brand just to get the Caravan C/V out of the Dodge lineup and into the "Ram" brand, which will hereafter be the repository of all things commercial or truckish.

Cup holders, wood trim in cockpit, beige cargo space... where's the leather? Damn, they must be standing under time pressure, because even in the USA a work car should be more practical than "luxury"!

I think there is a golden opportunity for Hyundai to federalize the diesel in the ILoad Van and sell it in the US.
That Chrysler concept looks like a small station wagion.

Nice Job Chrysler. How long did it take to cobble this PO$ together? Side panels and dash are from a regular Caravan. At least finish the job on the freaking conversion. This was at a car show for crying out load. This is like Ford bringing a SD work truck with made from a King Ranch with pieces of the King Ranch trim still installed. Most effort was put in the grill and the floor.

May not be big news but it is news none the less.

Good work Chrysler/Ram offering choices!

This is the big commercial vehicle announcement from Dodge??? Here I was looking forward to some Iveco medium duty or large van, and I get a re-hash of the old Caravan C/V? Not a bad reflection on you, Mike, I know you are just the reporter.

@ Big Bob - can't really blame Mike. The "big story" is probably the spin from Ram PR hacks. I was hoping for a "baby diesel" 1/2 ton or like you a new line of medium duty trucks and/or vans. This is a let down from Chrysler - a rebadged Caravan. Yawn.

Everybody needs to stop their bitching. Seriously.
Here are some specs when compared to the Transit Connect.

Engine: 3.6L V6 283hp 260lb ft. torque; 2.0L I-4 136hp 128lb. ft torque.
Fuel Economy: 17/25;21/26
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic; 4-Speed Automatic
GCWR: 8,750; 5005
Payload: 1,800; 1,600
Cargo Capacity: 144.4cu ft.; 132.1cu ft.

The Cargo Van has more than twice the horsepower, more than twice the torque, two more cylinders, almost the same fuel economy, 2 more gears in the slushbox, 3,000 lbs more GCWR, 200 pounds more payload, and 12 cu ft. more cargo room.

Besides, this is just a stop gap until the Fiat Vans arrive.


Great comparison!

Heres a better idea, buy a cheap used van and gut it. I wonder how the price of this will compare to the regular Caravan.

For the comparison to the Transit Connect, Ram did not announce fuel econ #'s. If using the Caravan's #'s, actual Caravan Cargo Van mileage is 17/24, not 17/25.

17/24 is not almost the same as 21/26. You're off by a wide margin in the city, almost 25% and 15% mixed.

Transit's cargo capacity is 135.3 cu, not 132. So there is a 9 cu difference. If a businesses needs something bigger they can go with a Ford E-series van that has more power to haul and tow, can tow up 10,000 lbs, have twice the cargo room of the Caravan, more than double the payload, 4000 lbs, etc.

@ Jon

Fuel economy numbers for the 3.6L is 17/25. Previous C/V Caravan was stuck with the 3.3 with the 4 speed automatic. So yes this one will get 17/25 because the 3.6L replaced the 3.3, 3.8 and 4.0L engines as the standard and only motor available in this van, hence the higher towing and payload ratings compared to the 2010 version.

Transit Connect has a capacity of 129.6 cubic feet, as listed on the Ford webpage. See for yourself:

Some businesses will need something larger than the connect but something less bulky than the E series this seems to fit the bill.


This is not the first time this has been done.

See here:

and here:


Yes, thanks. I grabbed the wrong numbers. Thanks!

And Autoblog seemed to have the fuel economy numbers.
It basically gets the same mileage as the regular caravan.

And for van that has twice as much horsepower, twice as much torque, then that fuel economy is impressive.

And this van is intended as a Transit Connect competitor. Not an E-Series competitor. Better try next time.

@ Rich - I'm not sure of the point you are trying to make. Dodge has been selling Caravan cargo units for years. Nothing new here.

Exactly. It's nothing new.

From your previous post, "Dodge has always had a cargo version of the Grand Caravan.
Now its a Ram?"

Notice the year and the name on the pics I provided. Ram van. They're up to their old tricks again. The name change isn't new either.


Your mom probably had a Mitshubishi powered Caravan back in the day,as a Chrysler mechanic I can say those were the biggest problems Chrysler had ,they used a ton of unreliable,problem prone Mithsubishi engines.....I have seen many Chrysler built 3.3 and 3.8 Vans with over 300,000 on the original drivetrain,engine,very,reliable vans.Those engines are based of the old reliable 318 c.i V-8 !! Undestructable !!

Also these new vans have a 3.6 engine,nothing like your moms..

The Caravan C/V has been around since the 1980's...
They now just decided to add the C/v to the RAM brand of Dodge trucks..
Now Chrysler needs its own Hemi/Cummins/RAM based full size van !

THANKS MIKE LEVINE FOR ADDING VANS,GREAT JOB BUDDY,I REALLY LIKE IT..As many business people will also like it as well.They buy trucks and vans,once again,THANKS !!

The Transit Connect can not tow anything per FORD, kudos to Chrysler for having class II towing capacity. I think the smooth floor is a great idea also.

@ Chrysler Tec - I had a Grand Pile O Crap van. There were no Mitsubishi components in it. It was in the shop for repairs a minimum of 2 times a year not including oil changes. We had several friends with the same year van - they had the exact same problems as us. We couldn't give the thing away at the end of it's life. The 3.3 indestructible? LMFAO. We needed new lifters at 56,000 miles.

It would be better if this was marketed as a DODGE Grand Caravan C/V. A minivan marketed as a RAM doesnt seem to complimentary to the brand...It's like Honda marketing the Ridgeline as a true truck.

Wow, one day I hope to own such a great looking minivan with cardboard on the side windows and a heavy-duty suspension to haul....whatever!

This van makes for a great option for someone that does not want a "Euro Look" van.

not a bad idea imo

I've been using a 2005 grand caravan for 5 years. It has been very problems at all with 105,000 miles so far. I carry up to 40 x 30lb boxes but would like to carry up to 60 boxes. I only have a few trips a year for more boxes that that...but it might for up to 500 boxes so I'd still need to rent a big hauler for that. The only downside of the Grand is it looks too much like a personal vehicle with all the windows so the C/V peaked my interest.

hey chevy dont make the astro anymore,ford transit no i dont think so . i like it with the blacked out windows .if you have a business and you need a light duty van this is perfect i think it looks cool and it would have to fly with that horsepower.only thing every time am driving down the road and i see a car blowing oil it always a chrysler 6 just saying

@Lou, Did you take care of your car? How did you drive it? If you’re driving around town like a race car every time the light changes to green, you’ll probably end up with more problems. 2 repairs is not a lot.

Did ram upgrade the rotors? Tired of changing rotors EVERYTIME we change PADs. Last new unit, we had to change both at 13,000 Mi. I've got 70 units and started buying Transits in 2010. C/Vs have 3X the maintenance costs of Transit and 2X the cost of the last generation C/Vs. If dodge/RAM is going to make a BIG announcement, tell us what your doing to cut the maintenance costs!

Looks nice to me - good job Dodge!

I want one - I need to look into it some more.

Ok, sure you could export more American capital/ jobs to some Asia company - the obscene trade "imbalance" especially with Japan & China hurts average American families.

The 3rd world exploiters can "legally" steal USA jobs thanks to short-sighted politicans & consumers - but we'll still support your job & our USA economy by buying American!!!


@Dodge Tech - 2 repairs (MINIMUM)per year not including oil changes "not a lot"??? Yeah right.
Maybe not a lot of repairs for a Caravan!
Is that from your personal experience?
Expect 2 repairs per year with a Dodge?
Our Sienna is 2 years old - guess what?
Zero repairs.
We don't drive it any different than the Caravan.
(Do you count 3 flats and oil changes as repairs????)
I do look after my stuff.
See Joe's comments as well.

Sienna was recalled for rust. THE CABLE MAY BREAK DUE TO EXCESSIVE CORROSION AND THE SPARE TIRE MAY SEPARATE FROM THE VEHICLE, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH. Yes I'd count 3 flats as repairs. Seems a bit excessive. Add in your 3 tire problems and that makes 4 repairs.

Sorr you had a problem but the old Caravan is nothing like the new ones. There was a mjor update in 2008 with the new 6 speed and in 2011 they replaced all engines with the new Pentastar V6 along with new suspension and interior and exterior.

Good luck to you.

Sienna was recalled for rust. THE CABLE MAY BREAK DUE TO EXCESSIVE CORROSION AND THE SPARE TIRE MAY SEPARATE FROM THE VEHICLE, POSSIBLY RESULTING IN A VEHICLE CRASH. Yes I'd count 3 flats as repairs. Seems a bit excessive. There’s probably something wrong with your tire, wheel or the suspension. These are the things that could be causing your recurring flats and how to fix them. Add in your 3 tire problems and that makes 4 repairs or an average of "2 per year" for the Sienna!

Sorry you had problems with your Caravan too, but the old Caravan is nothing like the new one. There was a mjaor update in 2008 with the new 6 speed transmission and in 2011 they replaced all engines with the new Pentastar V6 along with new suspension, interior and exterior.

@Dodge Man - a flat tire does not count as a repair. Maybe if you hit a curb at 30 mph, but not a nail, screw or other foreign object. (At least not in my books).
The dealer towed our van in once FOR FREE to fix one flat for my wife.
kinda nice, don't you think?
The cable you mentioned was checked on a routine oil change appointment.
No repair necessary.

What do I count as repairs?
I'll list some of our Grand Caravan repairs.

Recall and repair - power steering hose. Wasn't fixed correctly first time. At least 2 subsequent visits.

Recall and repair - shielding installed around stereo due to fires caused by shorting out of electronics from moisture from heating system.

Multiple trips to dealer for rough shifting transmission.

Several trips for throttle surging. Cable apperatus was found to be very loose on one service.

Lifters replaced at 56,000 miles.

Power window motor caput driver and passenger side.

Rear hatch power lock - replaced like clockwork every 18 months.

3 complete brake jobs front and back. (in 140,000 miles) I was told that this was great for a Grand Caravan.

Tie rod ends, sway bars bushings, and ball joints x2.
We sold it before #3, same goes for CV joints, and brakes were failing again. Not to mention body rust, and shorting out tail lights, and brake lights.

I know I've forgotten or am trying to forget a whole bunch of other things.

Since you seem to care about flats - we had several on the Caravan.

We swapped out the summer tires for winter tires (all on separate rims) every year.

All the lug nuts were worn to the point of needing replacement once we sold it.

We had several friends with the same year, make and model as ours - they had similar problems.
Funny - they traded their Caravan's on foreign stuff too.
Go figure?

If all one can come up with is a spare tire retention cable and 3 flat tires in 2 years - I'll take the Sienna every time.

It wasn't affected by any of the unintended accelleration problems, or any of the other alleged problems attributed to Toyota.

Care to make any more hilariously ridiculous comments?

It’s possible that you keep getting puncture after puncture after puncture from foreign objects poking through the tire, but that’s really unlikely.

We have gone over this before. You have no experience with the new Caravan. The problems you had with the old Caravan have nothing to do with the new Caravan.

Similary the 01-08 F-150 had lots of problems with spark plugs, brakes, crash tests, paint rust from iron contamination, breaking driveshafts, and bad injectors. That has nothing to do with the new 09-12 F-150 which have been fairly problem free.

Please be fair with the new Caravan as I am fair with the F-150.

2010 Toyota Sienna: Vehicles equipped with a 2gr-fe (v6) engine, the rubber portion of the oil supply hose for vvt-i actuator may degrade over time. This condition may cause oil to leak from the engine.

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