Bridging the gap between passenger minivans and full-size commercial vans, the Ram (http://www.edmunds.com/ram/) C/V is essentially a stripped-out Dodge Grand Caravan that foregoes rear passenger seating for a utilitarian flat cargo floor. Meant for commercial use, the C/V is easily distinguished by the solid sliding door panels and rear liftgate, whereas the passenger vans have windows.
Though the Ram C/V is overshadowed by more popular full-size vans, it could still be a good choice for small and mobile businesses that only need a vehicle with light-duty capabilities. Dual side doors, minivan maneuverability and the capable Pentastar V6 engine provide a convenience and economy advantage over traditional commercial vans.
Current Ram C/V
The Ram C/V builds upon the capable Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan platforms. There was, in fact, a Dodge Grand Caravan C/V, but Chrysler's decision to separate trucks and heavy-duty vehicles from the conventional passenger cars has it now flying the Ram banner instead of Dodge.
Compared to the Chrysler and Dodge vans, the suspension has been tuned to meet more commercial applications, which means it's been beefed up to maximize payload and towing capacity. Under the hood, the radiator, transmission oil cooler and steering have also been given the heavy-duty treatment to cope with more demanding conditions.
The Ram C/V features manual sliding doors on both sides of the van and a liftgate-style rear hatch. Standard feature highlights include air-conditioning, remote keyless entry, power front windows, cloth seats, a flat load floor and a two-speaker CD player/radio. Options include glass door panels, a deluxe load floor with storage bins underneath, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a power driver seat and an upgraded stereo with navigation.
The Ram C/V's power is supplied by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the sole transmission offered. Maximum payload capacity is 1,800 pounds, and towing capacity is 3,600 pounds. Interior cargo volume, at 144 cubic feet, isn't nearly as much as a full-size van's, but it should still be enough for many users.
Used Ram C/V Models
The new Ram C/V name came into being for 2012. In reality, though, it's just the next model year of what was formerly the Dodge Grand Caravan in C/V trim. For more information on the Dodge version and its previous generations, please read our Dodge Grand Caravan review.
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