The small commercial van market in the U.S. doesn’t carry the same weight as most of its peers, but make no mistake, this is an important market for small businesses looking to get a decentlypriced, high-performing hauler that can also masquerade as a nice people ride.
The 2014 Ram Cargo Van gives customers all those options and a whole lot more, all for a decent price that won’t burn holes in your pockets. First launched in 2012 for small business haulers, the Cargo Van has since turned into one of the leading models in the segment, thanks to numerous class-leading capabilities, including performance and range.
Add that to the aforementioned low cost of ownership with ample amount of cargo space to boot and you’re looking at an ideally suited ride that can meet all the needs of business owners looking for a versatile commercial van with impressive power backing it up.
Click past the jump to read more about Ram Cargo Van
Not a whole lot to get excited about the Ram Cargo Van’s exterior. It does carry a similar look to the Dodge Grand Caravan, which is probably the only thing that’s keeping the C/V from looking completely irrelevant. The vertical radiator grille is there and the purposeful headlights are far more than just aesthetic add-ons. Likewise, the C/V’s hood looks distinctive, particularly the smart use of creases that converge towards the grille, leading to a more refined look that what you’ll see from competitors.
The rear side windows come with a thin sheet metal, although if you prefer glass, that option can be accommodated, too. And then there’s the dimensions, specifically the 202.8-inch length and 121.2-inch wheelbase, more than enough for the Cargo Van to fit the bill of a small commercial hauler that’s targeting small business owners.
The Ram Cargo Van is set to become available in five different paint colors: Billet Silver Metallic, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl, Bright White Clear Coat, Redline 2 Coat Pearl and True Blue Pearl.
2014 Ram Cargo Van - Standard Exterior Specifications
|Curb Weight (lbs)||4,150|
|Weight Distribution (%, front/rear)||59/41|
|Overhang — Front/Rear (in)||37.8/43.8|
|Track — Front/Rear||65.5/64.8|
|Angle of Approach/Departure||13.9/20.6|
|Minimum Running Ground Clearance||6.4|
|Fuel Tank Capacity, (gal.)||20|
|Towing Capacity, (lbs.)||3,600|
Gallery Ram Cargo Van
The biggest attraction as far as the interior of the Cargo Van is concerned is space. Nobody’s buying this to enjoy those plush leather seats, right?
So in that regard, total cargo space reaches 155.5 cubic feet, which isn’t lighting the world on fire, but is still pretty useful. The Cargo Van can accommodate 4-by-8-foot pieces of plywood with ease. The rear cargo area of the vehicle comes with an aluminum load floor that buyers can configure in two different ways, depending on their preference. Whether its a flat, high-capacity surface or a through-the-floor access setup that also comes with a handful of storage bins and floor tie-downs, the Cargo Van possesses quite a versatile cargo setup, ideal for those looking to get more function out of their vehicle.
Moving to the other interior functions, the Cargo Van does come with a simple dashboard that has all the intuitive controls the driver needs to get around. Nothing too fancy, but not bare bones either. High-quality materials are also present, as are a pair of glove compartments, and plenty more storage compartments for the passengers’ perusal.
2014 Ram Cargo Van - Standard Interior Specifications
|Head Room (in.)||39.8|
|Head Room with Sunroof (in.)||37.2|
|Shoulder Room (in.)||63.7|
|Hip Room (in.)||58.4|
|Seat Travel (in.)||8.7|
|Maximum Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)||155.5|
|Total Passenger plus Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)||195.8|
One item the Ram Cargo Van can hang its hat on is its class-leading power specs, featuring Chrysler’s 3.6-liter, Pentastar V-6 engine that delivers 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. With these power figures, the Ram Cargo Van can carry a cargo capacity of 1,800 pounds to go with a towing rating of 3,600 pounds. These top-grade capacities are made even more impressive by its ability to still return 17 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
2014 Ram Cargo Van - Standard Drivetrain Specification
|Engine||60-degree bank angle, liquid-cooled, with three-plenum intake manifold,|
electronically-controlled manifold tuning valve and short-runner valves
|Output (HP @ RPM)||283 @ 6,400|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||260 @ 4,400|
|Bore x Stroke||96 x 83|
|Valve System||DOHC, 24 valves, hydraulic, roller finger followers|
|Fuel Injection||Sequential, multi-port, electronic|
|Estimated EPA Fuel Economy mpg (city/hwy)||18/26|
The 2014 Ram Cargo Van starts out at a reasonable $21,360, and there is a smattering of options available including power windows, sunshades and other small creature comforts.
The best-looking of the three, the 2014 Ford Transit Connect is also a dramatic improvement from its predecessor. The new generation of Transit Connect also comes with significant changes on the interior and the technology side, not to mention the sporty look that belies its true nature as a commercial van.
Power still falls short compared to the C/V and the price is a little higher at $23,000. But all that can be quelled by Ford ’s new fuel economy system, which easily gives the Transit Connect as much as 30 miles to the gallon on the highway.
Gallery Ford Transit Connect Cargo
The City Express is a decent enough option, but be advised that this van doesn’t carry nearly enough the power of the C/V. Output peaks at just 131 ponies and 139 pound-feet of torque, which is a lot less than what you can get on the Ram. That underpowered engine is a serious drawback of the City Express, and while it does look decent for a small commercial van, the only way we see people going for this van is because it’s cheaper than the C/V, thanks to a base price of under $20,000.
Gallery Chevrolet City Express
Given what you’re trying to acquire with the Ram Cargo Van, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised about how the vehicle has been packaged by Ram. The body, while not exactly sexy, has a distinct style to it that should get the attention of a lot of people. There’s also a modicum amount of cargo space at the back that’s perfect for hauling big objects while the engine is top-caliber and even with all its power, it still offers a balanced ride that doesn’t feel too strained.
Fuel consumption is pretty decent at 17/25 mph and the best-in-class fuel range of 500 miles is largely attributed to the 20 gallons of fuel it can hold in one sitting.
- Engine specs are better than most
- Runs long distances efficiently
- Relatively affordable
- Other options available
- Not going to win any design awards
- Can get a little bumpy
Gallery Ram Cargo Van
The Ram Cargo Van – or Ram C/V – features solid sliding doors and rear quarter windows and backlight privacy panels in place of sunscreen 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.
The Ram Cargo Van also receives a structural flat aluminum rear load floor. Three flooring options are available, including one with a flat, uninterrupted, high-capacity surface. A second, optional deluxe load floor provides through-the-floor access to three exclusive storage bins (providing an additional 11.5 cu. ft. of cargo capacity) and load floor tie-downs. A third option is to delete the load floor to accommodate various vocational upfits.
“We spoke with commercial customers and dealers about what they needed in a small cargo van and quickly realized that Ram Truck already had a vehicle to work with,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO — Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC “The Ram C/V is a product molded from customer input on a successful and durable platform, offering best-in-class features in capability.”
With more than 25 years of minivan engineering behind it, and as the inventor of the first minivan-based cargo van, the Ram Commercial brand understands the versatility needs for both small and large businesses. Ram C/V utilizes the convenience features and city-friendly dimensions that have made Chrysler Group minivans segment leaders, while maximizing cargo, convenience and capability attributes.
Ram C/V offers small businesses many competitive advantages. Among them, Ram C/V provides a best-in-class 1,800-lb. payload and class exclusive towing capability, up to 3,600 pounds. With a 20-gallon fuel tank and 26 miles per gallon (mpg) highway, Ram C/V also delivers best-in-class driving range.
Ram Cargo Van is engineered to meet small business and commercial needs. A commercial-tuned ride and heavy-duty suspension offers maximum hauling capability. A heavy-duty radiator and heavy-duty transmission oil cooler help meet heavier powertrain demands. Ram C/V also is 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 pounds.
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.
Pentastar V-6 engine
At the heart of the 2014 Ram Cargo Van is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for the past three years) mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transaxle. The Pentastar V-6 is a high-tech, high-performing engine with variable-valve timing (VVT) that hits the sweet spot between power and efficiency. It delivers best-in-class horsepower (283 hp) and torque (260 lb.-ft.) without sacrificing fuel economy.
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 customer with impressive ergonomics and large gauges.
The 2014 Ram C/V also offers Uconnect Web allowing business owners to stay connected via the wireless Internet.
With up to 155.5 cubic feet of interior storage, Ram C/V leads the segment, and unlike other Class 1 competitors, provides ample space to haul 4x8 sheets of building materials. Cargo access is maximized via the Ram C/V’s front seats, rear liftgate and dual sliding doors.
The Ram C/V offers a side-curtain air bag delete to accommodate different interior configurations and a Mopar security grid mesh for rear windows to protect from internal glass breakage and intruders.
The 2014 Ram Cargo Van exterior includes plenty of real estate on all four sides. This space allows for businesses to post signage and graphics, making the van a rolling billboard to help promote the owners, trade or vocation.
The Ram Cargo Van is distinguished by prominent Ram badges, 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 17-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 air bags, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, 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 2014 Ram Cargo Van is available in five paint colors: Billet Silver Metallic, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl, Bright White Clear Coat, Redline 2 Coat Pearl and True Blue Pearl.
Ram Cargo Van options include an engine block heater, media center with 40 GB hard drive and 6.5-inch touchscreen display, audio jack input for mobile devices, available Garmin navigation system, ParkView backup 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, SiriusXM Radio and Uconnect handsfree voice command with Bluetooth, remote USB port, rearview auto-dim mirror, rear window defroster, rear window wiper and washer and class exclusive rear air-conditioning system for small businesses that require a temperature controlled cargo area.
The 2014 Ram Cargo Van is built at the Chrysler Group Windsor (Ontario) Assembly Plant.