2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 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 175 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan

  • Handsome, packed full of thoughtful features and offering almost endless entertainment options, the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan reclaims its spot as a top-tier minivan.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Quiet cabin, nice highway manners, handsome exterior, plenty of entertainment options.

  • Cons

    Not as nimble handling as other top minivans, Stow 'n Go seats aren't very comfortable.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan has been fully redesigned. A new 4.0-liter V6 is available as an option and Dodge's "Swivel 'n Go" seats make their debut. The new minivan also features several new or improved features like a power fold-flat third-row seat and more standard safety equipment. There's also new entertainment technology: Sirius Backseat TV. It offers three channels of kid-friendly programming. The Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans are the only vehicles to currently offer this feature.

Full 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan has been fully redesigned. A new 4.0-liter V6 is available as an option and Dodge's "Swivel 'n Go" seats make their debut. The new minivan also features several new or improved features like a power fold-flat third-row seat and more standard safety equipment. There's also new entertainment technology: Sirius Backseat TV. It offers three channels of kid-friendly programming. The Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country minivans are the only vehicles to currently offer this feature.

Introduction

Despite the popularity of crossover vehicles, minivans continue to be popular as well. Certainly no one will mistake the family Dodge Grand Caravan as a sexy personal statement, but you've got more important things to worry about these days. Each year, about 1 million people choose practicality and versatility over factors like "chicks dig it." They buy minivans.

Dodge invented the modern minivan and it has no intention of walking away from the segment it created nearly 25 years ago. And the fully redesigned 2008 Dodge Caravan is a much better van than the previous version on many fronts. Its base price is lower but it has more standard equipment, and it has many useful features that you simply can't get on other minivans.

A new V6 and six-speed transmission powertrain debut on the new van, plus Swivel 'n Go seating means the family van can now double as a sort of living room on wheels. There are also power fold-flat seats in the third row -- no other minivan has these seating features.

The 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan is also roomier inside and there's more storage space behind the third row of seats. That's due, in part, to a van that's 2.5 inches longer and has a 1.9-inch-longer wheelbase. Expect a quieter ride as well -- Dodge's engineers gave the new van thicker glass, deeper carpet padding, additional seals and isolated front suspension components.

This new Grand Caravan also has a host of new electronic and telematics features. A three-zone video system is optional and essentially means that front, middle and rear-seat passengers can watch or listen to totally separate entertainment sources. The Nissan Quest has a third-row video screen but not a separate video source.

In our last comparison test, we ranked Chrysler minivans in last place. Had that test been held today, the results would be much different. While the Dodge's interior can seem a little more utilitarian than other vans', it is an excellent minivan overall. A long list of standard and optional equipment plus vastly improved driving dynamics and a sharp new look mean the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan (and its corporate twin, the Chrysler Town & County) should be on anyone's short list when shopping for a family-friendly vehicle.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan is available in two trim levels: SE and SXT. Even the base SE comes with a decent level of equipment such as power windows and locks, air-conditioning, keyless entry, a CD/MP3 player and a flip-down kiddie mirror. The SXT adds a more powerful engine, a power driver seat, power adjustable pedals, power sliding doors and rear air-conditioning. Dodge expects most people will opt for this version of the Caravan.

Optional equipment is plentiful, particularly for the SXT trim level. A MyGIG hard-drive-based audio system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, 115-volt household-style outlet, satellite radio, a navigation system and a backup camera are available. Available exclusively on Dodge and Chrysler minivans is Sirius Backseat TV. This option allows passengers to watch three channels of kid-friendly TV. Cartoon network, Nickelodeon and Disney Channel are provided.

Other notable options include another entertainment package (that adds a separate video source and screen to the third row), a surround-sound audio system, leather seating, retractable sunshades, remote start, power-adjustable pedals, three-zone climate control and Uconnect hands-free phone.

Powertrains and Performance

Dodge's 2008 Grand Caravan is available with three engines. Base SE models get a 3.3-liter V6. It makes 175 horsepower and can run on E85 ethanol as well as regular gasoline. This engine gets a four-speed automatic transmission. SXT models come standard with a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 197 hp. Both the 3.3- and 3.8-liter V6s are carried over from the previous minivans. A new, all-aluminum 4.0-liter V6 makes its debut in the 2008 Grand Caravan and makes 251 hp. While this new engine is standard in the top trim level of the Chrysler minivan, it is offered as an option on the Grand Caravan SXT. The new engine, as well as the 3.8-liter V6, is hooked up to a new six-speed automatic transmission that features a manual mode for those who insist on shifting gears themselves, even in a minivan.

As you would expect, the smaller 3.3-liter V6 gets the best fuel economy, with an EPA rating of 17 city/24 highway. Both the 3.8-liter and the new 4.0-liter V6s post ratings of 16 city/23 highway.

Safety

A generous list of safety equipment is now standard on all models, even the budget-priced SE. Traction control, stability control, antilock brakes with brake assist and three rows of head curtain airbags are all standard. A rear parking camera, parking sensors and a built-in child booster seat are optional.

Interior Design and Special Features

The '08 Dodge Grand Caravan features a versatile interior with three different configurations. Stow 'n Go is standard on the SXT and gives the van the flexibility of folding all seats into the floor. When the seats are up and in place, the area the seats can fold into becomes a large storage area. Swivel 'n Go is another option, and allows the second-row captain's chairs to swivel around and face the rear seat. A small table is included and can be installed in this configuration. Most minivans have the option of power-sliding side doors and a rear liftgate, and this new Grand Caravan is no exception. Dodge ups the ante by offering a minivan first, a power-folding third-row seat that deploys with just one touch.

Driving Impressions

Minivans are not intended to be sports cars, so expect decidedly vanlike handling from the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. Still, it is tighter and much more pleasant to drive than the previous version. The interior remains quiet even at highway speed, and power from the 4.0-liter V6 is more than ample. The 3.8-liter V6 delivers adequate, if not spectacular, acceleration.

Read our Dodge Grand Caravan Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



I will never buy a

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 4dr Ext Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

This is the worst Minivan I have ever owned. I have owned 4 in total (different years) It seems that the newer year you get, the more issues you have. I currently have 3 recalls on it but there should be more. My issues are as followed: *you have to giggle the shifter to get it to go into park to turn it off *stalls *bad on gas even with Flex Fuel *turns off while driving *over heats *wipers turn on, on there own *will repeataly start (turn over) over and over again while trying to start it and have to turn it off and try again to start it. *always replacing breaks, struts, shocks, ball joints, rooters (never before this bad)



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

2008 nightmare

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 6A)

This is my 3rd Chrysler minivan, dating back from 1994; 1st lasted 10yrs, 180K, 2nd one totaled in accident after 6 years - both of those vehicles had 'usual' Chrysler issues, transmission, radiator. My '08 that I bought used from dealer 3 years ago, 30k miles - has been an absolute nightmare! I bought the extended warranty cuz of all the bells&whistles that came w/ this van; plus have a $150 deductible. This van has died on me at least 13 x's, stalled while driving @ 8x's, electrical panel gone awry, hatchdoor broke, slider broke, slider window broke, starter replaced 3x's, rear camera broke! If I did my research prior I would of NEVER EVER purchased van. I'm 15k til end of warranty & I cry




Ok for a minivan

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 6A)

I purchased this van used in 2010. I didn't know at the time, it was a previous Enterprise Rental. I got a good deal on it and has been mostly reliable. The van still has the original battery in it! It currently has 79,000 miles on it. THE BAD - My van needs front brakes every 8-10k miles. I only replaced rears once so far. Other than the A/C, Radiator Cap, and Sliding Door recall, I've had no major problems. The right front caliper did freeze up on me once. Since the last time I did brakes, the right front has been making a screeching sound while driving. I hope it is not wheel bearings. The seats could be more comfortable. The newer vans have nicer interiors since Fiat took over.




My van is possessed!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SE 4dr Ext Minivan (3.3L 6cyl 4A)

We bought our van 2 years ago and we wish we would of never bought it. Shortly after the "used" warranty expired I was stranded because the plastic key would not start the van. My husband had to take apart the whole dash and unplug and re plug in wires to make the van start with the key. There was been numerous times that the windshield wipers will start, the lights blink off and on, and the gauges go off and on. This van had had these issues since 65,000 miles! Recently this has happened and now also the door locks wont work. I wouldnt suggest this van to anyone! I wish we would of bought a Toyota instead. My sister-n-law has a Toyota mini van and has Never had any problems with it



2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Stay away-moneypit/death trap

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 6A)

Total junk, worst think I ever bought. Breaks last 10-15k.Power lift gate and passenger sliding door failed due to rotten plastic (64k&70k).Clock spring & tilt sensors went out causing stability and traction control system malfunction, computer activated brakes stopping van in middle of traffic (no break input from driver).Exploded coolant line @ 82k due to rotten plastic in Y junction, another one leaking on airbag wiring (101k) causing airbag MIL to come on. Broken brake spacer @101,5k cause pad to fall out and wedge between rotor and brake assembly locking up rear driver wheel. This POS has left my wife and 4kids stranded on side of road 5 times in less than 2 years! Run Away! Deathtrap!



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Saved my life

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Ext Minivan (3.8L 6cyl 6A)

I just posted a while back how much I loved my 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. My Grand Caravan had 86000 trouble free miles on it until January 24 2013. I was traveling to fast for snowy conditions slid off the road took out a HUGE hemlock tree did 4 360's and tumbled down an embankment. The right side of the van was gone, the glass blew out of it, the dashboard collapsed, and the roof buckled but I was able to unbuckle my seatbelt and walk away from the crash uninjured. I really miss my van!



Talk About The 2008 Grand Caravan

2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Discussions See all Started By

Sylvia
Sylvia
10-19-2005
For 2008, the Grand Caravan ups its style and technology quotient....


craigmri
craigmri
01-13-2011
Just picked up my new 2011 Grand Caravan. First let me say, I've been driving Caravans for over 15 years. Every two or three years I get a new one for a company car(I'm a Field Service Engineer). M...


As you see all the Dodge Caravan ads all show the vans w/ no front license plate bracket. I just got rid of our old 96 Plymounth Van which has a nice front license plate bracket/holder and the 08 has?...



Read more about the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
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