Dodge Grand Caravan

2016 Dodge Grand Caravan

For decades, the Dodge Grand Caravan has proved its mettle as a family carrier, as ready for highway excursions as it is for quick jaunts around town. Long considered an exceptional value among minivans, the Grand Caravan has gotten old. Little has changed for the 2016 model year, since a new generation of minivans is expected soon and it looks long in the tooth.

Still ranked among the most flexible minivans you can buy, the Grand Caravan has fallen victim to more stringent crash-testing programs. Safety counts big in family vehicles, and Dodge falls short. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives it only a four-star overall rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety declared Grand Caravan Poor in the new small-overlap crash test, though better in other testing.

Advantages of the Grand Caravan include strong V6 power, fine visibility, and exceptionally flexible seating. Grand Caravan handily tops its more up-to-date competitors, including the Honda Odyssey, with a terrific system called Stow n Go. Standard on all but the base SE trim, Stow n Go permits second- and third-row seats to fold flat into spaces within the floor. When seats are up, those spaces can serve as storage bins.

One drivetrain is available: a 283-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6, mating with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Gas mileage is about average for a minivan, EPA-rated at 17/25 mpg City/Highway, or 20 mpg Combined. Hondas Odyssey manages a Highway rating of 28 mpg. However, we have observed 28 mpg on the highway in both the Grand Caravan and the Odyssey. An Eco switch adapts shift patterns for optimal fuel economy on the Dodge.

Except for a hint of groaning from the V6 now and then, its a smooth powertrain, with no shortage of low-end or midrange power. Steering and ride quality dont quite match Odyssey or Quest, yet a Grand Caravan feels composed on the open highway. Over sequential bumps, on the other hand, the Grand Caravan tends to bound, revealing that its suspension damping could be better.

Dodge offers a Blacktop package that includes silver-painted 17-inch wheels with gloss black pockets, black grille and headlight housings, and an all-black interior, including the headliner.


2015 Dodge Grand Caravan

Dodge Grand Caravan and the similar but more luxurious Chrysler Town & Country are the most popular minivans, accounting for nearly half the U.S. market.

For 2015, a new Grand Caravan SE Plus model features 17-inch Satin Carbon aluminum wheels, heated mirrors, silver accent stitching and piano black interior accents. Also introduced for 2015, Grand Caravan SXT Plus includes power sliding doors, a power liftgate, chrome roof rack, foglamps, automatic headlamps, and black leatherette seats. Both are actually option groups. The Blacktop Package, introduced for 2014, remains available. Todays Grand Caravan is a fifth-generation product launched as a 2008 model. It was revised for 2011, but little has changed since.

Grand Caravan rides smoothly and does not wallow and float. It is a large vehicle, however, and it can be a beast to handle in tight quarters. Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna, Nissan Quest, and Honda Odyssey are all roughly the same size: extra large.

Power is provided by Chryslers 3.6-liter V6 mated to a mediocre 6-speed automatic transmission, resulting in a combination that delivers barely adequate response.

The interior is attractive, with soft-touch door tops, boldly contemporary gauges, and some nice bits of trim, but hard plastic dominates the dashboard as is typical for the class. The seats are comfortable. Entertainment features include hard-drive radios, SiriusXM satellite radio, video entertainment, a wireless cell phone link, and a mobile internet hot spot.

Super Stow n Go second-row seats fold into the floor, offering useful cargo space with those seats up or down. Third-row seats fold into the well behind them. With all seats down, Grand Caravan can accept a 48 sheet of plywood.


2013 Dodge Grand Caravan

The Dodge Grand Caravan is indisputably America's favorite minivan. Dodge sold 141,648 Grand Caravans in 2012, representing a 28 percent increase over 2011. Add in 111,744 sales for the 2012 Chrysler Town & Country, the Grand Caravan's mechanically similar but decidedly up-market cousin, and the resulting quarter-million minivans account for nearly half the entire U.S. minivan market. The Chrysler Group minivans have left Nissan, Toyota, Honda and some other bit players scrambling for the half that's left over, perhaps appropriate given Chrysler popularized the minivan.

The Town & Country is reportedly being phased out, following the exit of other manufacturers from the minivan segment, and we expect Grand Caravan to attract some of their would-be buyers.

Dodge lowered the base price of the 2012 Grand Caravan to $20,995, and has lowered the price again, to a 15-year low of $19,995 MSRP for the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan. According to Dodge, that makes the 2013 Grand Caravan the most affordable seven-passenger vehicle currently on sale in the U.S.

Yet despite its low price, the Grand Caravan keeps acquiring attractive new features. For example, integrated Trailer Sway Damping is now standard on all 2013 Grand Caravan models. A second-row bench seat is now standard on 2013 Grand Caravan base models, increasing versatility. And a new, industry-exclusive dual-screen Blu-Ray video system is now offered on 2013 Grand Caravan Crew and 2013 Grand Caravan R/T models.

Dodge Grand Caravan is a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Industry for Highway Safety, the insurance industry's lobbying outfit.

The basic design of the current-generation Grand Caravan has been around since 2008, but it still looks fresh and crisp, especially next to some of the more forced and gimmicky styling we've seen on newer import-brand vans. Substantial interior and mechanical revisions back in the 2011 model year updated the Grand Caravan and have kept it more than competitive in its segment.

Grand Caravan rides lower and more firmly than minivans did a few years ago, making it more responsive to driver inputs. Long gone are the annoying wallow and float once characteristic of the breed. Yet ride quality is quite smooth. Like all modern minivans, the Grand Caravan is big, so it can be a beast to handle in tight quarters. The Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna, Nissan Quest and Honda Odyssey are all roughly the same size: extra large. We should call these vehicles midi-vans or, simply, vans because there is nothing mini about them.

Power is provided by the relatively new 3.6-liter V6 that is rapidly becoming ubiquitous in Chrysler Group products. Unfortunately, it's still mated to a mediocre 6-speed automatic transmission, resulting in a combination that delivers barely adequate response for most drivers.

We found the interior of the Grand Caravan attractive, though, as in most of its rivals, hard plastic dominates the dashboard. Still, the soft-touch door tops, boldly contemporary gauges and some nice bits of trim are welcome.

Grand Caravan is about usable space. Super Stow 'n Go is standard on all but the base model, and optional there. It offers comfortable second-row seats that fold into the floor, offering useful cargo space with those seats up or down. The third-row seats fold into the well behind them, and with all the seats down the Grand Caravan can accept a 48 sheet of plywood.

Grand Caravan's entertainment features make it a strong contender in the minivan class. Families will like it, especially because those entertainment features will make for more enjoyable family trips. That is, after all, the reason the Grand Caravan remains so popular. They include a variety of hard-drive radios, SiriusXM satellite radio, rear DVD or Blu-Ray entertainment, a wireless cell phone link, and a mobile internet hot spot.


 

Shopping Tools

INVENTORY


Learn More

SERVICE & PARTS


Learn More

DEALER SPECIALS


Learn More

FINANCIAL SERVICES


Learn More

OUR STORY


Learn More

COLLISION CENTER


Learn More