2008 Dodge Grand Caravan: The Bright Spot
November 25, 2008
As expected, our 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan's engine bay is nothing special to look at. Actually, it's rather dirty from the van's trip to the salt flats. Yet it's what's underneath this bland piece of plastic (which I lazily cleaned up for this photo) that's actually one of this van's best attributes.
As Scott noted early on, our DGC SXT's got motor. Its 251-horsepower V6 delivers a 0-60-mph time of 8.8 seconds (or 8.4 seconds with a drag-strip rollout). A comparison test we conducted earlier had the DGC out-accelerating a Honda Odyssey.
Meanwhile, the engine sings a respectable throatynote when you pin the throttle and the transmission upshifts with a surprising level of swiftness. It's certainly one of the Grand Caravan's strengths.
The drawback is that Dodge offers this engine on the top-line SXT trim level only. It's optional and comes as part of a pricy leather-and-power package, the $2,365 Quick Order Package 28L (2009 DGC pricing).
It's a bummer that this V6 can't be fitted to other configurations, as maybe you could get a budget van with a buff engine.
I'd hate to think of what a Grand Caravan would be like to drive with the base 175-hp V6, four-speed automatic and a back full of people/cargo.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 20,051 miles