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Ram 700: Fiat Strada pickup truck for Mexico and the Caribbean

The first compact Ram pickup since the Mitsubishi-sourced Ram 50, the Ram 700 is built in Brazil and sold in Mexico and the Caribbean. Underneath the Ram logos is a Fiat Strada, and the Fiat name remains on the windows and the engine cover. The latter is ironic, since the engine itself is the only Chrysler-related part: the 1.6 liter four-cylinder is the Neon-derived "E.torQ" engine.

The Ram 700 will not be sold in the United States or Canada.

The front suspension is a MacPherson strut system with coil springs and a stabilizing bar; in the rear, it has an independent suspension with a transverse beam axle. Ventilated disc brakes are used in front (257 x 20 mm regular cab, 284 x 22 mm Club Cab); rear brakes are 228 mm drums. The pickup bed includes eight upper hooks in the standard pickup, four in the club cab; both have four lower hooks.

The pickup has 15,000-km (9,320-mile) oil changes, and a 705 kg payload, with a cargo volume of 43 cubic feet; Ram's literature claimed that the engine had a flat torque curve. The truck itself is based on the fourth generation Fiat Strada, which was launched at the end of 2009, and upgraded in 2013 with a cosmetic workover and double-cab edition (using "suicide doors" - the rear door opens "backwards" compared to normal cars and large-cab pickups).

The base model is a two door; a three-door Club Cab (that name is used in Mexico, without translation) is a major step up in options and cab size. It incudes a trip computer, iPod/MP3/Aux compatible stereo, and air conditioning. A trip computer lets buyers change vehicle settings, and provides fuel economy and other information; it also allows the owner to set a top speed. Steering wheel audio controls are optional.

Ram claims that the 700 was designed for city and highway driving, along with dirt and cobblestone roads, and was tested in Mexico; the Fiat Strada itself is not sold there.

The Ram 700, like the Fiat Strada (not sold in Mexico), competes with the Chevrolet Tornado (also made in Brazil) and the Volkswagen Saveiro. Ram claimed in its press release that the Tornado has a slower throttle response despite higher torque, and that the Tornado and Saveiro's base models don't have airbags, antilock brakes, air conditioning, or sound systems - all standard on the Ram. For durability, the engine has a timing chain, not a belt.

Chevy TornadoRam 700VW Saveiro
Capacity734 kg705 kg712 kg
Horsepower105115 @ 5,500101
Torque119-121 117 @ 4,500105
Transmission5-speed man.5-speed man.5-speed man.
Volume1100 liters1220 liters924 liters
converted to mpg
not on GM site11.29 /14.03
26.6 / 33.0
?? / 13.07*
?? / 30.7*
Cost (MX)$194.400 $182.900$166,334
Cost (USD)*$14,354$13,505

* Manufacturers' figures. VW only provided a single fuel economy figure which is assumed to be highway mileage. GM did not list any. Conversions from km/l to mpg are Allpar's, are not based on EPA protocols, and cannot be directly compared with American trucks. Base prices listed; Club Cab is $241.900 or US$17,681. Mexican to US currency conversion as of November 4, 2014.

Jaime Hale wrote:

The first three units that arrived in one of our dealerships sold the day they showed up. The cars seem to be well assembled, fit and finish are just right, and the upholstery is good. My only concern is that these vehicles come from Brazil, a country not known for the quality of their cars. The truck says both "Dodge" and "Ram," yet the windows have little Fiat signs all around.

The package is priced competitively. A bonus would be some units that could work as delivery trucks; in congested Mexico City, that would be a plus. VW had what they called a "Van" several years ago, and it was a big seller, but they discontinued it, leaving the market to the Renault Kangoo and Peugeot Partner. The latter offers a diesel engine as an option, something I'd like to see on the Ram 700 [Fiat Strada does have diesel options].

The Club Cab has great possibilities here. If we were to customize one with leather seats, extra lights, a roll bar, and such, it would be a real winner.
The base model, with two doors and two seats, has body-color outside mirror holders, body-color fascias, bedliner, and 14" steel wheels with P175/70 tires. Both the base and Club Cab have skid plates.

The Club Cab, with three doors and four seaets, has a removable tailgate for easier loading (or, presumably, oversized loads). Off-road tools include a compass, inclinometer, and bank indicator, indicating the vehicle's limits. A locking differential is standard on Club Cab, for speeds up to 20 km/hour. Club Cab also includes special fascias, awning rails, black outside mirrors with turn signals, splash guards, 15 inch alloy wheels with 205/65 tires, and fog lamps.

2014 Ram 700 MetricUS
Regular CabClub CabRegClub Cab
Width1664 mm (1906 w/mirrors)1740 (1877)65" (75)68.5" (74)
Height1590 mm1648 mm62.565
Length4440 mm4471 mm175176
Wheelbase2718 mm2753 mm107108
Riding height160 mm178 mm6.37.0
Gross weight1874 kg1899 kg4,1414,187
Net weight1169 kg1249 kg2,5772,753
Payload 705 kg650 kg1,5541,433
Bed surface2.4 square meters1.4 square meters26 sq ft15 sq ft
Box height589 mm589 mm2323
Gate width1358 mm1358 mm53.553.5
Width between wheels1090 mm1090 mm4343
Bed length1692 mm1182 mm66.646.5
Total cargo volume1220 liters680 liters43 cu ft24 cu ft


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