2006 Dodge Caravan Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Dodge Caravan Minivan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Dodge Caravan Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 180 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Dodge Caravan

  • Enjoyable to drive and ride in, the 2006 Dodge Caravan offers no-frills minivan transportation for the family on a tight budget.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Surprisingly agile handling, quiet ride in V6 models, low price.

  • Cons

    Some cheap interior bits, reliability record not as strong as some competitors', limited availability of major safety features.

  • What's New for 2006

    As of December 2005 production, the 2006 Dodge Caravan benefits from a strengthened roof and side structure and updated side curtain airbags to improve its crashworthiness in side impacts.

Full 2006 Dodge Caravan Review

What's New for 2006

As of December 2005 production, the 2006 Dodge Caravan benefits from a strengthened roof and side structure and updated side curtain airbags to improve its crashworthiness in side impacts.


Back in 1984, Dodge's Caravan introduced America to the modern minivan. Within its relatively compact dimensions it offered seating for up to seven, and with the second- and third-row seats removed, enough cargo space to handle a kid's move to college. Since then, Chrysler has sold more than 10 million minivans worldwide.

Last redesigned in 2001, the Dodge Caravan impresses with its peppy performance and carlike ride and handling qualities. These minivans have been Chrysler's biggest success story of the last two decades and have always been at or near the top of the segment's sales charts. But these corporate darlings haven't been without their problems, as various mechanical woes have tarnished its reliability reputation. Although quality has improved greatly in the last five years, the Caravan still tends to have more repair issues than import rivals. An extended warranty is a good idea if you're planning to keep the van beyond its basic three-year/36,000-mile warranty period.

The 2006 Dodge Caravan is geared toward families who need a seven-passenger vehicle but can't afford or don't want one of the larger and pricier minivans. Luxury features, such as leather seating and triple-zone climate control, aren't available on the Caravan, in keeping with its more basic persona. Keeping things simple, the Caravan comes in just two trim levels: base SE and well-equipped SXT. A 150-horsepower, 2.4-liter inline four hooked up to a four-speed automatic propels the SE. Since that really isn't enough power for a vehicle of this size, we'd advise you to get the SXT with its 180-hp, 3.3-liter V6. There is also a CV model, a cargo van geared toward customers seeking a low-cost vehicle for business use. In recent years, the competition has gotten stronger, with competing models offering better performance or more value. Regardless, plenty of folks will still be won over by its combination of agile handling, comfy ride and good looks.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

With only two trim levels to choose from, picking out a Dodge Caravan is relatively easy (there's also a cargo van version, the CV, that offers options for configuring a Caravan as a work vehicle). The base SE is equipped with a four-cylinder engine, 15-inch steel wheels, dual sliding doors with an alert system, a CD stereo and bench seating in the second and third rows. Stepping up to the SXT model adds 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone manual air conditioning (with separate controls for the rear), power door locks with keyless entry, second-row bucket seats and a tilt steering wheel. Many of the features fitted to the SXT can be had as options on the SE, including power windows, locks and mirrors. Popular stand-alone options include a rear-seat DVD-based entertainment system and power-adjustable pedals.

Powertrains and Performance

The Dodge Caravan SE comes with a 2.4-liter inline four rated at 150 hp. This engine may be adequate for a small passenger car, but it is definitely lacking as a power source for a minivan. The SXT's 3.3-liter, 180-horse V6 is strongly recommended. In addition to more muscle, another benefit of the V6 is its quiet performance in contrast to the four which gets buzzy when pushed. The V6 is standard on SXT and CV models. A four-speed automatic transmission is the sole gearbox.


Front disc/rear drum brakes are standard, and ABS is optional on the SXT only. All Caravans include a driver knee airbag. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional on both the SE and SXT. Neither traction nor stability control is available. The Dodge Caravan has posted good crash test scores in government crash testing, netting five out of five stars for driver and front-passenger protection in frontal impacts. In side impacts, it earned four stars for front-occupant protection and a perfect five stars for rear-occupant protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Dodge minivan can seat up to seven people. When in family-shuttle mode, 15 cubic feet of luggage space is found behind the third-row seat. When it's time to make a trip to the home improvement superstore, removing the second- and third-row seats (which are by no means light) will open up 142 cubes of available cargo space.

Driving Impressions

The Caravan's most endearing qualities continue to be its agile handling and supple ride characteristics. We suspect that the 2006 Dodge Caravan will surprise and win over a lot of folks who expect the minivan driving experience to be an exercise in lethargic vehicle dynamics.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Mechanical lemon, regret buying

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Caravan SXT 4dr Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

This car is a LEMON. 70,000 miles entire navigation and panel unit failed. 100,000 miles alternator died, transmission aux unit blew out, radiator failed, lots of oil leaks. 120,000 miles another alternator died, retractable doors fail, plastic parts on stow and go seats failed causing seat frame to not stow, cooling system leaking, and now warning lights keep coming on and off (ABS, airbag, etc) for no reason. This car is junk. I will NEVER buy a Dodge product again. I should have learned with my 1998 Caravan. That carís transmission blew out at 100,000. Now at 150,000 the computer keeps dying and not allowing the car to start.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Low repair costs

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Caravan SE 4dr Minivan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

its not the most reliable, but its cheap to fix, if you're a do-it-yourselfer and make the repairs yourself its the best you can own, parts are dirt cheap for the Caravan

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 year review

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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Caravan SXT 4dr Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

Have had "Bonnie" now for 5 years. #1 thing about the van - value. Bought new and Chysler was giving these away at the time so I thought I'd take one since we needed the "family vehicle" for kids sports etc. etc. As noted on Edmunds reliability rating, our SXT 3.3L did in fact have the water pump go at 45k. The rack and pinion steering was replaced within the first year of ownership. Aside from regular maintenance, that's about it. Currently 71k on the odometer. Will admit, for a lower hp'ed V6, not real good on gas. 21mpg all around I'm guessing, lil' better on the hwy but nowhere near the sticker 26 mpg. Very comfortable ride IMHO. American made (Fenton, MO) which is hard to find today.

Am so glad i traded

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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Caravan SE 4dr Minivan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

so i got the base SE when it was new for a good price--very basic, meaning roll your own windows down, no keyless entry etc.. power was so-so for regular town driving and terrible on the highway, noisy and no pickup!so car was ok for about 50k then we saw oil leaking all over our driveway! it neede towing to a garage and a 3K repair (crankshaft). luckily we had an extended warranty--but we still paid almost 500 dollars and had a rental car for a week. after this experience and not being so thrilled w/ the car we just traded it for a preowned Odyssey (ironically of the same year). what a difference! the odyssey so far is awesome, i would advise anyone to avoid any all caravans...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Caravan C/V 4dr Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

This car should be called the Dodge Random; everything simply works randomly. Doors, windows, locks, engine - you never know from day to day when things will work. Expensive repairs to make them work are only temporary. Scary to roll a window down not knowing if you will ever get it up, or even if the van will start. Many many problems with this van - please do not invest your money here!

Ridiculous location for spare tire

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Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Caravan C/V 4dr Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

My wife and I purchased our Caravan in 2008, and have had largely no problems with it. Then I came across the location of the spare tire. Putting the spare under the van under the front seats is the most asinine place I've ever seen for a spare tire. I was changing the tire in my driveway, on a nice day, and found it to be a most aggravating experience. I can only imagine how a person is supposed to do this while stopped on the side of the road in inclement weather. I am a licensed professional engineer, and I work on my cars. I am no novice. This system was designed by an imbecile, and he/she ought to be fired. I will never again by a car without checking where the spare is.

Talk About The 2006 Caravan

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Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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