You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2015 Ram CV Tradesman REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/5/2017

Con: Lower fuel economy than other small cargo vans; ride can be stiff over sharper impacts; limited legroom for taller drivers.

Research

Interior: The 2015 Ram CV's interior is surprisingly attractive for a work van, with solid materials quality and a pair of comfortable seats. Available features such as navigation and an iPod/USB port make long days behind the wheel considerably easier, and the optional Uconnect is one of our favorite infotainment systems around. It's easy to learn and operates quickly, which should be a benefit on any job site. The only significant gripe is that longer-limbed drivers may find legroom lacking due to limited seat-track travel.

A number of standard and optional features are available to help contractors tailor the Ram CV to their specific needs. A flat load floor is available, as are a choice of solid or windowed walls and a rear liftgate. The Ram CV's cargo capacity is an impressive 144.4 cubic feet. For comparison that's 22 feet more than the Ford Transit Connect and Nissan NV200.

Body: The 2015 Ram CV Tradesman is a two-passenger minivan intended for commercial use, and it comes in one basic trim level. Standard features include 17-inch steel wheels, a heavy-duty suspension, dual sliding side doors, heated sideview mirrors, rubber floor covering, cruise control, cloth upholstery, power front windows, power locks, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

Available options include a choice of solid or windowed walls and rear liftgate, an engine block heater, trailer hitch, rear privacy glass, power rear windows, a cargo divider, an eight-way power driver seat, an upgraded sound system (with digital music storage and a 6.5-inch touchscreen display), a navigation system, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, satellite radio and the Uconnect voice command system (with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a USB port and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls) and an onboard WiFi router.

Driving: As a work truck, the 2015 Ram CV Tradesman is generally pleasant to drive. The V6 engine is strong, capable of hauling around a cabin full of gear. The six-speed automatic transmission does a respectable job of keeping the power on tap, though sometimes it's not that smooth with gearchanges. The steering is firmly weighted and precise, though as expected, given the van's heavy-duty suspension, ride quality is on the firm side. The Ram CV is sturdy, but smaller competitors like the Nissan NV200 and Ford Transit Connect may feel more agile around town.

What’s New: The 2015 Ram CV Tradesman carries over mostly unchanged, aside from the standard 16-inch steel wheels now being replaced by 17-inch steel wheels.

All 2015 Ram CV Tradesman models are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 283 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

In Edmunds testing, the Grand Caravan upon which the Ram CV is based went from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 8.0 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway).

Safety: Standard safety features for the 2015 Ram CV Tradesman include antilock disc brakes, stability control and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag and active front head restraints. A rearview camera is optional.

In Edmunds brake testing, the similar Grand Caravan came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is a respectable distance for a minivan.

Pro: Strong V6 engine; well-equipped driver's compartment; variety of floor choices.

Edmunds Say: The 2015 Ram CV Tradesman offers small business owners much of the functionality of a full-size cargo van in a more space-efficient minivan body. It's one of the few cargo vans that fits between compact and full-size offerings in the segment.

Introduction: With the 2015 Ram CV Tradesman, you're basically getting a two-seat Dodge Grand Caravan prepped for cargo duty. With such a basic premise and dedicated purpose, it's pretty hard to go wrong. The CV Tradesman has a standard V6 engine with 283 horsepower, is capable of towing 3,600 pounds or hauling 1,800 pounds, and posts an EPA-estimated 21 mpg combined. It also has lots of options for customizing the back, including varying door and window configurations and an available flat cargo floor.

Practical though it may be, the 2015 Ram CV Tradesman does have some drawbacks. A heavy-duty suspension helps it to be a more capable hauler, but results in a stiffer ride, which can be annoying if you're spending all day making service calls in the van. And while the CV gets respectable gas mileage compared to some trucks, smaller, more nimble vans from Ford and Nissan get an additional 3-4 mpg combined.

Essentially, the 2015 Ford Transit Connect and the 2015 Nissan NV200 are the 2015 Ram CV Tradesman's closest competitors. They're more efficient, agile and comfortable around town than the Ram. Both the Transit Connect and the NV200, however, aren't as roomy on cargo space. Interestingly, Ram is also bringing out another small van this year, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City, which is based on a popular Fiat van from Europe. We recommend checking it out as well. But if you're looking for a familiar van that can handle light-duty hauling, it's worth considering the 2015 Ram CV Tradesman.

AdChoices
AdChoices
Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon