2006 Dodge Grand Caravan Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Dodge Grand 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 Grand 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 Grand Caravan

  • Pleasant to drive and ride in, the 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan finally steps up to the plate with fold-flat rear seating, allowing families to get the most out of its expansive interior.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent ride and handling characteristics, good low-end pull from 3.8-liter V6, roomy cabin, nifty fold-flat second- and third-row seats.

  • Cons

    Unimpressive reliability history, low resale value, can't get stability control.

  • What's New for 2006

    Starting with December 2005 production, the 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan benefits from a strengthened roof and side structure and updated side curtain airbags to improve its performance in side-impact crashes.

Full 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan Review

What's New for 2006

Starting with December 2005 production, the 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan benefits from a strengthened roof and side structure and updated side curtain airbags to improve its performance in side-impact crashes.


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 off to college. Still, some folks wanted more space, so late in 1987, Dodge brought out a stretched-wheelbase version dubbed the Grand Caravan.

The Grand Caravan has taken heat since its last full redesign (in 2001) for not having a fold-flat third-row seat, a key feature now found on virtually every competitor. Finally last year, Dodge has bowed to the pressure and introduced its new Stow 'n Go seating and storage system. This system enables owners to quickly and easily fold both the second- and third-row seats into the floor. Also, the third-row split bench may be flipped completely rearward to provide tailgate seating. This new level of flexibility should allow owners to get the most out of what was already the most expansive interior in the minivan segment.

The Dodge Grand Caravan has always impressed us with its peppy performance and carlike ride and handling qualities. The Grand Caravan has been Chrysler's biggest success story of the last two decades and has always been at or near the top on the segment's sales charts. But this corporate darling has its share of problems, as various mechanical woes have tarnished its reliability reputation. Although quality has improved greatly in the last five years, this Dodge minivan 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.

Apart from the versatile seating system, the 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan has many charms, among them a comfortable interior, good looks and an available power liftgate. Depending on what trim level and options are selected, driver and passengers can be ensconced in soft, gathered-leather seats while triple-zone climate controls keep everyone comfortably cool or warm. In spite of the Grand Caravan's strengths, the Odyssey and Sienna offer something else that Dodge won't be able to simply bolt in: a long-standing reputation for exemplary reliability and build quality. Still, we don't feel sorry for Dodge, as plenty of folks will be won over by its combination of agile handling, comfy ride, spacious interior, stylish looks and iconic presence in the minivan segment.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Dodge Grand Caravan is available in two main trim levels -- SE and SXT (there's also a cargo van version, the CV, which offers several options for configuring a Grand Caravan as a work vehicle). The SE comes with 15-inch steel wheels, antilock brakes, a second-row bench seat (for two passengers), a 60/40-split third-row bench, dual manual-sliding doors, cruise control and a tilt steering wheel. The SXT adds the Stow 'n Go fold-flat seating feature, dual power-sliding doors, a separate rear heating and air conditioning system, a power driver seat, 16-inch alloy wheels, a larger V6 engine, keyless entry, and power windows, mirrors and locks. A variety of options are available on all Grand Caravans, including automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an Infinity sound system, a rear DVD entertainment system and a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

A 180-horsepower, 3.3-liter V6 powers the SE. The SXT includes the more powerful 205-hp, 3.8-liter V6. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard on both models. A Grand Caravan with the 3.8-liter V6 is a sprightly performer, with crisp response down low and through the midrange. Towing capacity maxes out at 3,800 pounds with the optional towing package.


Antilock brakes are standard across the line, but the SXT comes with an upgraded four-wheel disc set. Stability control is not available. Side curtain airbags with coverage for all three rows are optional on both models. All Grand Caravans include a driver knee airbag. In government crash testing, the Dodge Grand Caravan posted a full five stars in all NHTSA frontal- and side-impact crash tests. Frontal offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS produced an overall "Acceptable" rating (the second highest on a scale of four). IIHS side-impact testing also resulted in an "Acceptable" rating on a Grand Caravan with the optional side curtain airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

The star of the show is definitely the Stow 'n Go fold-flat seating and storage system. In-floor compartments swallow up the second- and third-row seats when you don't need them and double as storage areas when the seats are in use. Other useful features include a movable center console equipped with power points and a power rear liftgate. The seats are generally comfortable, and drivers will find most controls within easy reach. The Dodge Grand Caravan has 26 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the 60/40-split third-row seat, and a maximum of 161 cubes with all second- and third-row seats folded into the floor.

Driving Impressions

The Grand Caravan's most endearing qualities continue to be its agile handling and supple ride characteristics. We suspect that the 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan will surprise and win over a lot of folks who expect the minivan driving experience to be an exercise in lethargic vehicle dynamics. The 3.3-liter V6 engine provides adequate acceleration, but larger families and those who tow a trailer will prefer the added power of the 3.8-liter V6.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

This van is the bomb!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

We've purchased this van brand new in 2006. It has over 117,000 miles in it! Other than the interior cosmetic issues such as flimsy cup holders and shortage on the automatic windows and lights in the front- in terms of its reliability, it's great as it has never left us stranded anywhere we've been! My kids grew up riding in it and we have all loved it! No transmission or engine issues so far! We're hoping to another 100,000 miles in it!

Finally done with chrysler

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

Bought this van new in 2005, has been a great hauler for grandkids and big stuff. In 80000 miles, it went thru 3 sets of front brakes and 2 sets of rear brakes, the original tires lasted 28000 miles. Cooer GS4 have lasted 52000 mi. in the last year the sliding doors have decided to rust on the bottom and the rear fender wells have also started. The 3.8 motor has used a quart of oil every 1500 miles since 47000 mi. replaced the turn signal switch 2 times. Final thing the driver side spring broke the other day, never had a car do that. very dangerous. with the rust not sure it's worth repairing. Worst of 4 vans.

Horrible reliability - never buy

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

Nothing but non-stop issues design flaws, poor quality and mfg'd parts, and multitude of issues. Interesting, when you talk to all the auto shops - which plz take the time to do, they tell you they see this EVERY day with Dodges. After 55k miles, transmission completely went out - which was a $3k repair, dealership would have been $5k. With less than 85k miles still - have already replaced the front left CV joint, replaced alternator, front passenger window regulator, passenger sliding door lock actuator, rear hatch lift gate assembly motor/arm and also shocks, oil pan seal, and more. Bottom line, Dodge vans are total POS and will never buy one again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

I should not have bought

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

Bought used with 36,000 miles. It now has 44,000 . Both auto doors went out about a week apart. Lift gate will not stay open. Power driver seat stopped working. Breaks are way under sized for the weight of the vehicle and need to be replaced. I get a slight shutter and wine when turning. It was hard to start in the cold weather. I do like the stow n go seats but they are a but of a chore to stow them. The value for it has dropped so much that I cant even trade it in. No one wants it including me!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Rust badly!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

Bought used in 2009 and started to rust badly around the wheel wells about a year later. It was still under warranty, so they repaired it, but it came back in the same place. They repaired it again and it came back yet again in the exact spot they "repaired." It is now out of warranty and the dealership won't return our calls. We contacted Chrysler and for the past 2 weeks, they have been "looking into it." The only other issue we have is that driver side passenger door sticks/jams upon opening. Overall, it seems to be mechanically solid. However, the rust issue is serious enough that we are looking at getting rid of it. And we will NEVER purchase a Chrysler product again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Verrrry unreliable

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)

I just traded in my van with 88K miles for a 2012 Honda CRV. This was my 3rd Dodge van and Dodge should be embarrassed by the quality. I will no longer purchase a Chrysler product. Issues: Head gasket, Water pump, Steering rack (I was told I now need anther one) Valve covers needed new seals, Tie rods on both sides, Power side doors - one does not work and the other needs replacement motor, Air Conditioning - Dodge paid for part of the repair because issue was the design with mis-matched metals that causes leaks, Van is rusting and dealer repaired under warranty but not all rust issues, ignition harness, starter - I have no more space but more issues!!

Talk About The 2006 Grand Caravan

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Gas Mileage


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