2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT: More Dirt Racing
October 06, 2008
Back in May (the last time I drove this van) the Jacquot family used it to haul all our crap out to a triathlon in the Valley of the Dirt People where it was very dusty, verysunnyand miserably hot. Here we discovered the effectiveness of theDGC's cooling system and the poor heat durability of its rear bumper cover. That was a pivotal day for me and for the van.
With a new baby and the need to carry much baby and triathlon accouterment,I had to acknowledge that the stigma of driving a minivan had been overcome by its utility. And the van showedsome of its greatest strengths and greatest weaknesses yet.
Well, it's six months later now and the van has seen many adventures since then. So when I jumped behind the wheellast Friday to head out for another weekend of racing in thedirt I was eager to see how the old girl hasheld up. The news, as you have read here, isn't great. Perhaps most noticeable is the quality of the van's interior. The rattle factor has increased about three fold since my last experience. And there's no shortage of plastic bits which simply aren't fastened together as they should be.
And, as Niebuhr says,the rear shocks are filled with fish oilwhichoffers little damping at any speed.
Still,short of a Honda Element or Mazda5, I'm hard pressed to find a vehicle that can haul three people, two bikes and a ton of stuff as easily and efficiently as this van. And really, neither of those Japanese rivals comes anywhere near matching the vast expanse of real estate available in the DGC.
And then there's this: My wallet, which rivals George Costanza's at times, fits perfectly in the center console. And I love it when things fit perfectly.
Josh Jacquot, Senior road test editor