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 |  Feb 08 2012, 6:39 PM

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The Nissan NV200 is a functional cargo van looking to steal some business away from the Ford Transit Connect here in North America, and was just unveiled at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show.

Over 40 countries worldwide are already supplied with the NV200; today is strictly the little van’s North American debut. The NV200 has done quite well for itself globally, winning the 2010 International Van of the Year award in Europe, the 2010 Commercial Delivery Van (CDV) of the Year in China and the 2011 Universal Design Award from Universal Design GMbH, which would suggest that the NV200 will do well for itself in North America.

The NV200 measures in at 186.2 inches in overall length riding on a 115.2-inch wheelbase that offers 123 cubic feet of storage space. That length is 7.9 inches longer in North America than the rest of the global market. Nissan also estimates the van is capable of carrying 1,500 lbs of payload. The NV200 is can also fit a standard 40×48-inch pallet in its cargo area. To bolster the idea of the NV200 being a utility vehicle, six floor-mounted cargo hooks are available for the rear of the van as well as standard mounting points in the walls where shelves and racks can be installed.

The interior of the NV200 tries to emulate a mobile office with a laptop storage spot, a place to hang files, a pen tray and of course cupholders all embedded in the center console. The passenger seat is fully foldable to further aid the driver’s office experience by functioning as a desk or by offering more storage space for particularly long items.

Driving the NV200 is a 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder engine mated to Nissan’s Xtronic CVT transmission. While it may not be a power house, the NV200 should get reasonable fuel economy, an important factor for buyers interested in the van for working vehicle fleets.

GALLERY: 2013 Nissan NV200

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 |  Mar 08 2011, 4:03 PM

Since Daimler and Chrysler went their separate ways, the latter faced somewhat of a dilemma in the commercial vehicle segment, since the Sprinter van was essentially a Mercedes vehicle.

Now the Ram division is jumping back into the fold, with a commercial variant of the Dodge Caravan. Similar in concept to the original T-wagon based models of the 1980s, this one is appropriately enough, named Ram Cargo Van and features solid side panels in place of glass windows and a flat load floor to maximize carrying capacity, which stands at 144 cubic feet.

Although the Ram Cargo Van or (RCV for short), is powered by the same 283 horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 found in the Dodge Caravan, it has a retuned , heavier-duty suspension with load leveling aimed at commercial use, plus a heavy-duty radiator and transmission cooler to better cope with frequent stop/start delivery driving.

Switchable transmission gear shifting, low drag rear bearings and brake calipers, along with a standard rear spoiler are designed to save fuel, especially important among many small business owners who rely on such vehicles.

Options on the Ram Cargo Van range from a satellite navigation system and in-dash media center with 30 gigabyte hard drive to a rear back up camera, cargo divider and vinyl window shading.  Ram Cargo Vans will be produced at Chrysler’s Windsor, Ontario assembly facility and will go on sale in the third quarter of this year as 2012 models, pricing is expected to be announced at launch time.

[Source: Chrysler]