First 2012 Ram Cargo Van Rolls Off Assembly Line

First 2012 Ram Cargo Van Rolls Off Assembly Line
By Dave Lee

Ram Truck brand announced today that the first 2012 Ram Cargo Van, or Ram C/V, has left Chrysler's Windsor Assembly Plant.

We had a first look at the Ram C/V at the 2011 NTEA Work Truck Show in March. The C/V is based on the Dodge Grand Caravan, with a maximum payload of 1,800 pounds and a tow rating of up to 3,600 pounds. A 283-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 in the C/V makes 260 pounds-feet of torque. Chrysler says the C/V will have the best fuel range in its class with its 20-gallon fuel tank and 25 mpg rating on the highway.

The CV features a commercial-tuned ride and a heavy-duty suspension as well as a heavy-duty radiator and transmission oil cooler to meet powertrain and hauling demands. The gross combined weight rating is 8,750 pounds.


Just a reminder that we're covering commercial work vans on PUTC, as we did for the introduction of the Nissan NV vans.

Chrysler made this unit before in the past with the Caravan. I'm supprised they stopped. Seems like a no-brainer for most needs.

It looks way better than that goofy looking Ford van .

Damn, they failed bad by basing this on the mini-van. The mini-van's car sized tires will greatly reduce its capacity.

Also, it needs a 4cyl diesel option.

I hope they "upgraded" the transmission too?

Hay, look a new van for them 'American Pickers. Did you see the extra cup holders in the back for the guys? Sorry, no room for Danielle in the back.

Makes sense to offer it since little needs done to build/engineer it, but wasn't Fiat going to be bringing something to compete with Transit connect? For the commercial buyer I think cost would be king and the extra 4 mpg (EPA combined ratings) of the Transit (although the C/V has 200 lbs more payload) would be a big deal unless the purchase price of the C/V were much lower than Tranist Connect.

Looks like a mini van with painted windows. Might make a good mortuary vehicle.

I can't see this thing being an easy sell because of the past. Grand Caravan's have never had a great reputation for quality, reliability, or durability. Those are 3 items commercial guys want out of a van.
This is probably a stop gap measure while Fiat figures out how to import their vans without getting hit by the chicken tax.

Probably good for Postal Service duty

They should of made doors in the back as oppose to liftgate.

@Lou Agree.Fiat has a lot of options as regards Vans.
Here, Hyundai is selling up a storm with its midsize Iload Van. A little bigger than the Dodge Caravan, but can tow 5000lbs and has a payload of 2300lbs. It has sliding and optional swing doors for the back

@ Ryan,

It has 16" wheels,remember just a few years ago heavy duty full size trucks used 16" wheels,your point is invalid !

@Lou, CreigMac ,

You are thinking of the unreliable Caravans with the base model Mitshubishi engines,those were problematic,in the past several years the Caravan's transmissions are reliable,since they no longer offer Mitshubishi engines !

The higher mileage,Chrysler powered minivans with transmission failures were proven to have the wrong transmission fluid in them,never go to wal-mart /and quick lube place for a tranny flush/change they put generic fluid and wrong weight of oil ! Furthermore,never get a engine or tranny flush,those destroy your engine and tranny !!!!

Toyota and especially Honda minivans have extrememly bad transmissions far worse than Chrysler ever had ! Honda from 12 miles they shutter and need a constant rebuild !!! Plus Honda's have very bad timingbelts and waterpumps that fail evry 30,000 or less miles !! Thats about the distance you need for a tranny rebuild on a Honda,it is wrapped up as general maint. by Honda,so people think its normal and reliable !!

Chrysler's reputation for bad quality is a falsehood,even magazine's who have year long Chrysler's as testers say they had none of the so-called Chrysler problems,as it is a perception fuelled by jealous Chrysler bashers.Sure you will have issues if you abuse them,overloaded,floored all the time,fly over bumps,roll backwards then slap it in drive without stopping,never change the oil ect..

The Ford Windstar,those were the second worst right behind Honda,thats why they stopped production on the Ford !!

These little vans are rockets, 7 sec 0-60 in a minivan lol !!!!

Anybody remember the '40s and '50s "Panel Wagons"? That's all this is, a kind of wagon-based cargo and utility vehicle that really is a significant improvement over a conversion of the Durango SUV or the prior cargo van using a bigger truck engine.

Ford has taken advantage of its Transit cargo truck that really works; it's a downsized Hi-Cube on a 4-cylinder pickup chassis. The thing's been in production in the UK and Europe for years; I'm sure Chrysler has access to a Fiat equivalent. However, until then why not use the Caravan as a real utility vehicle?

Have an'03 Honda Odyssey closing in on 100k, no major problems. Maybe I'm lucky.

This is what Honda should do with the Odyssey. A bare bones van that the customizers can bling up with crazy interiors and paint jobs.

They gotta do something about those painted windows however.

my company is in the market for a ~$20k cargo van that can accept a pallet. the standard minivan rear door doesn't allow a forklift to load one, so even though it can carry the weight, there is no way to get it in or out using a forklift. so off the list this van goes. the only other option is a transit.

@Transmission/Driveline guy -

Ford stoppped making mini-vans because everyone was buying CUV's and small SUV's. Same goes for GMC.
GM and Ford had roughly 17% of the minivan market. Toyota, Honda, and Dodge had the rest.

JD Power must be staffed by "jealous Chrysler bashers".

Mini-van rankings

Nameplate rankings

I can back my comments with 3rd party "neutral" evidence.

Can you?

I love how Ram guys say the Ram tranny issue is a thing of the past, but then say the only thing holding back Ram is the tranny. Which is it? Thing of the past? Holding back?

I hope this isnt the final product because im not in favor of vans where you cant see whats going on in the back.

Considering they took a vehicle and modified the best they could to do something it really wasn't made for, i'd say the Transit Connect is better. The CV van may have more power and may be bigger, but overall the Transit was designed from the start as a small work van, so it has the better features with the door designs, the floor in the back and the amount of options it gives you when installing racks and cabinets in the back.
I only think this is a temporary vehicle for Ram until they can get their hands on Fiat's vans.

@ 5.3 lol Don't you use your truck to haul big items? Every time I pull my holiday trailer or hual my side by side I can't see out the back. Heck with 6 passengers in my wife's Durango I can't see out the back.

I guess this will be popular with flower delivery shops...

Transmission/driveline guy - I thnk the car tire post was in regards to the tire specs, not the rim diameter. The Caravan runs passeneger car tires. They do not handle large loads well.

have you ever seen extra load tires?
I am sure this van will have them.

JK - If they are P rated it doesn't matter. The sidewalls will roll like crazy. The P rated tires on my truck were rated for the payload it has but were horrid. I put on LT tires and it was night and day.

not sure why you would put a p rated tire on a truck....the P stands for pasanger car.
LT stands for light truck.

JK - Go look at the OEM tires that are put on 150/1500 series pick ups. Unless it is a heavy duty payload model I will all more guarantee they are P metrics. Same goes with SUV's. The load rating is there but the stability is not. Likely a way to make them ride nicer. P rateds should be banned in truck applications.

They just put them on the ram site,

you can build and check the specs out on them now

Thanks for the link. I'm going to build one right now. They really need to bring out a van the size of the Sprinter, Ford too.

This van is certainly better than the future offerings from Fiat.

Just saw the headline on Fox News. Dodge to kill the Caravan.

Will be replaced with a crossover.


have owned a 2 Dodge CV vans over the years, always liked them. Here's my question; why is a vehicle made in Windsor Ontario based $6,000 more than the states. Our dollar is almost at is this justifiable?

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