The Grand Caravan is powered by a 3.6 L Pentastar V6 featuring Variable Valve Timing and Electronic Throttle Control, coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission with Electronic Range Select. This 283-bhp engine gets a generous 25 highway mpg, representing an estimated 500 highway miles on a single tank of gas.
Caravan is a 7-passenger family flocking vehicle suited for weekend wanderings, vacation strolling, or participating in a caravan transporting a soccer team. The largest and slowest player on the team may be your grandson, but he will be the star of the squad when his parents pick up the team in the Caravan.
Dodge’s Caravan holds numerous titles, such as the bestselling and most-awarded minivan in the industry. Caravan is Best-in-Class in towing (3,600 lbs) and storage system. Caravan also has class-exclusive Super Stow N’ Go Seating and Storage, and Dual Blu-ray & DVD entertainment system. All such wonders carries an MSRP of $28,595 for the SXT Plus.
Stow N’ Go is when you flip, fold and tumble your way to the perfect interior arrangement without physically removing any seats. See how simple that is?
The instrument panel is the focus of the front cabin. Easily read gauges that are surrounded with modern touches of chrome. The leather-trimmed seats and full-circumference leather-trimmed heated steering wheel are so comfortable on those cold blue mornings or frigid frosty nights.
The cabin has soft-touch surfaces—a most appropriate feature. However, the 6.5-inch touch screen was too small to read the navigation data. Although the clear and beautifully colored icons and background were appealing, it was just too difficult to read from the driver’s side. And SiriusXM Satellite Radio became simply impossible to activate because it was difficult to see when driving. The arrow icons for station selection were totally inadequate; a large knob for tuning would have been nice and a large knob for sound would have been perfect.
I liked the unique black Torino leather-trimmed seats with suede inserts and silver accent stitches. This all goes well with the black head liners and overhead console.
Outside, the Caravan was stately and attractive. Its 17-inch polished aluminum wheels with painted Satin Carbon pockets, anchor fog lamps, and automatic head lamps were of high appeal. The bright chrome window trim belt molding complements the bright chrome roof rails with integrated crossbars.
There are eight exterior colors to choose from, like True Blue Pearl, Bright White, and Billet Silver Metallic. Granite Crystal Metallic covered the exterior of my test vehicle, enhanced by beautiful Black/Light Graystone interior colors.
Dodge has provided over 55 standard and available safety, security and technology features throughout the Dodge line. My Caravan had sensors on the outside of the vehicle that alerts the driver of potential hazards. Structurally Dodge engineers have designed crush zones to absorb impact energy or direct it away from the passenger compartment. Seven standard airbags, Parkview Rear Camera, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Path Detection are just a few of the safety features found on Dodge vehicles.
Grand Caravan is a comfortable, luxurious feeling minivan of superb craftsmanship. Its sliding doors offer easy entry and exit, and its abundance of space is great for moving people and luggage.
This abundance of space inside with particular attention to the driver’s floor space was my favorite feature. There was a vast amount of room for your feet. The comfortable space between the brake and accelerator was wonderful. You could actually wiggle your toes freely while your ankles never bumped into each other.
Dodge started with the basic philosophy of the two Dodge brothers: Build a quality car that is reasonable priced, and made to fulfill the needs of the driving public.
Good philosophy equals a superb minivan. Grand Caravan!
3-year or 36,000-mile Basic Limited warranty
5-year or 60,000-mile Powertrain Limited warranty
5-year or 100,000-mile Roadside Assistance
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper of firstname.lastname@example.org