Dodge doesnt mince words when it identifies the passenger and cargo versions of its full-size vans. The passenger version is called Ram Wagon, and the cargo model is called the Ram Van.
The Ram Wagon and Van were restyled and extensively upgraded for the 1998 model year, but the basic design dates to 1971.
Dodge offers three sizes of its full-size vans, while Ford and Chevrolet have just two. The shortest version has a wheelbase of 110 inches and an overall length of 187 inches slightly shorter than the Chevrolet Astro, a truck-based minivan. The in-between version is 205 inches long and has a 128-inch wheelbase. The Maxi Van/Wagon shares the 128-inch wheelbase but is 26 inches longer in back.
Standard fare on all models includes dual passenger-side doors that swing out and dual rear cargo doors that also open to the sides. A sliding side door and a side-hinged single rear door are no-cost options.
The Ram Van is basic, to say the least. It comes with standard vinyl seats for the driver and front passenger, and the passenger seat can be deleted. Side and rear glass is optional on cargo models.
Seating accommodations on passenger models range from eight on the short body to 12 on the middle size and 15 on the Maxi Wagon with five rows of seats.
Cargo space starts at 207 cubic feet for the short body, grows to 247 on the middle size and tops out at 304 on the Maxi Van.
Under the Hood
A 3.9-liter V-6 with 175 horsepower is the standard engine for models rated for half-ton payloads (1500 Series), and it teams with a three-speed automatic transmission. A 225-horsepower 5.2-liter V-8 is standard on three-quarter and one-ton models (2500 and 3500 Series) and optional on the 1500 Series. A 5.9-liter V-8 is optional on all models except the short-body 1500. Both V-8s come with four-speed automatic transmission.