LOS ANGELES – Chrysler showed its new Ram Cargo Van at a media event in Los Angeles on Dec. 21, giving attendees the opportunity to check it out and drive it.
On hand for the event were Chrysler’s Nick Cappa, communications manager, Mark Mallie, head of product planning - commercial vehicles, and Dennis Lex, Ram Truck marketing, who discussed the wide range of different options on the vehicle, its fuel economy and engine performance, and pricing. They also discussed the target market for the vehicle, which would include small-business owners and larger fleets looking for a Class 1 van option.
For an inside look at the vehicle, can see our photo gallery of the Ram Cargo Van shown at the event here.
The main features Cappa and Elshoff discussed were the vehicles 3.6L V-6 engine and fuel economy performance of 17 city, 25 highway. The engine can produce up to 283 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The vehicle is a flex-fuel model, for fleets that want to use E-85. The Ram Cargo Van also features a driver selectable “fuel economizer” mode, which lets the driver change the transaxle shift schedule to maximize fuel economy. The vehicle also comes with a 20-gallon fuel tank for added range. The base model’s MSRP is $23,255, including destination.
The Ram Cargo Van provides a cargo payload capacity of up to 1,800 lbs. and a towing capacity of up to 3,600 lbs. In the cargo area, the vehicle features a sliding door on each side and a lift gate in the back. Chrysler replaced the windows on the Grand Caravan-style body with panels. Chrysler added four tie-downs inside the cargo area. The standard floor is aluminum.
In terms of dealing with a full load of cargo, the Ram Cargo Van has tuned steering, a commercial load-tuned tire-pressure monitoring system; a front anti-sway bar, and a rear twist-beam axle with coil springs.
One of the “delete” options available is the interior trim delete option, as the standard model comes with interior trim (cup holders) in the cargo area. Other interior delete options include a floor delete option, for fleets that want to install their own type of floor option; a side airbag delete option; and a radio delete option.
When it comes to the vehicle’s exterior, although it’s available in white, additional colors include Bright Silver Metallic, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearl, and True Blue Pearl.
In terms of available options, the vehicle comes with a wide range. One option is a deluxe floor, which provides three storage bins; a MOPAR cargo security cage in the front; a rubber floor mat; and a security screen for the rear of the vehicle. Chrysler does offer a rear window option for the van, which includes a wiper, nozzle, and defroster. For business owners that need access to the Internet, Chrysler is offering a wifi option (the provider is Autonet Mobile).
Other options include an engine block heater, a media center with a 30 gb hard drive and a 6.5-inch touch-screen display; an audio input jack for mobile devices; a Garmin navigation system; a ParkView back-up camera; a power eight-way driver’s seat with lumbar adjust; front and rear power windows; a security alarm; Sirius Satellite Radio; Uconnect hands-free communication (via Bluetooth); a remote USB port; and a rear view auto-dim mirror.
Standard features include 16-inch steel wheels; a 160-amp alternator; all-season extra-load capacity tires; a 730-amp battery; an engine oil cooler; quad halogen lamps; and fold-away power exterior mirrors with heating elements.
Additional standard features include air-conditioning with dual-zone temperature control; a 120-volt auxiliary power outlet; 12-volt front and rear DC power outlets; and cloth low-back bucket seats, among others. Safety features on the new Ram Cargo Van include active head restraints; front and side airbags, and a driver’s-side knee bolster airbag; electronic stability control; keyless entry with immobilizer; and a tire pressure monitoring warning lamp, among others.
Cappa and Elshoff said two examples of fleet customers that have put in orders for the Ram Cargo Van include Quest Diagnostics and Xerox.
You can read more details about the Ram Cargo Van in our original article on the vehicle here.
By Greg Basich
Photos by Greg Basich