Dodge minivan Specs

Dodge Grand Caravan Models | Detailed Comparison Chart

Over time, the Grand Caravan has lost some features, like all-wheel drive and manual transmissions and turbocharging, while it's gained others, such as fold-away seats and dual sliding side doors.

It's also lost a couple of stablemates: both the Plymouth Voyager and later the Chrysler Voyager, and now the Chrysler Town & Country, have passed into the history books.

Today's Grand Caravan remains one of the most flexible, and most affordable, family haulers available though its safety scores have sagged.

Today's Dodge Grand Caravan

In 2008, Chrysler updated the minivans with more upright styling, which seemed to be more appropriate for the Dodge Grand Caravan. A flex-fuel version that could run on E85 fuel was added, and a new Swivel 'N Go option added a picnic table and rotating seats to the popular minivan-though that option proved unpopular and was later dropped. The short-wheelbase Caravan disappeared with the new generation-replaced by the crossover-like Dodge Journey instead-and the new vans were saddled with a plasticky, inexpensive-looking interior as Chrysler struggled to avoid bankruptcy. Stability control became standard, along with curtain airbags; options included satellite radio and TV, provided by Sirius. Three V-6 engines made up the engine lineup, and a new six-speed automatic joined the powertrain roster.

For the 2011 model year, the Dodge Grand Caravan continued to resonate with families on the go, more than 25 years after the minivan first rolled out of showrooms. Chrysler's new owner Fiat gave it a new interior with much nicer finishes than that of the 2008-2010 models, plus a new 283-horsepower V-6 coupled to a six-speed automatic—which became the only powertrain. Safety features and flexible seating continued to lead the class of minivans, and it was awarded almost perfect crash-test scores. Mild handling and sheet metal updates were less dramatic. Fuel economy approached best in class, at 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.

Through the 2012 model year, Chrysler built a version of the Dodge minivan for VW, which sold it as the Routan. The Routan was basically a rebadged Grand Caravan with mid-level equipment but no Stow n' Go second-row seating. It's since been discontinued.

The Grand Caravan was largely unchanged from 2011 to 2015. In 2013, the Grand Caravan added an optional entertainment system with Blu-Ray compatibility and with two separate screens that let rear-seat passengers watch two different video programs. The 2015 model year brought only a few minor packaging changes with value in mind.

Chrysler introduced its new minivan at the 2016 Detroit auto show as the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. For 2017, the Dodge Grand Caravan remains on sale as a lower-priced alternative, offered in four basic configurations. It is expected to end its long run after the 2017 model year.

Grand Caravan history

First conceived for Ford as early as the 1970s, the original Voyager and Caravan were moved across town to Chrysler and unveiled as 1984 models. Those two short-wheelbase vans would be considered compact cars today, based as they were on front-wheel-drive K-Car underpinnings, but a car-sized vehicle with the practicality and volume of a traditional van proved an instant hit with consumers—especially those with families. Early models were powered by four-cylinder engines, with the powertrain lineup soon expanding to turbo fours and V-6s as well. They came mostly with three- and four-speed automatic transmissions, though some of those early Caravans were built with four- and five-speed manual gearboxes.

Despite what now seems incredibly primitive equipment—no airbags, no anti-lock brakes, no rear-seat entertainment, no power doors or hatch— the first minivans offered three rows of seating for up to seven occupants, and a single sliding door on the passenger side that made access to back-seat kids easier for parents in parking lots. A long-wheelbase Grand Caravan variant joined the range in 1987, and a small number of cargo-panel bodies were sold as Ram commercial vans as well.

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