2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 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 3.6 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 283 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

  • The Dodge Grand Caravan gets a host of mechanical, styling and interior improvements for 2011, yet still trails the competition in terms of refinement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Versatile rear seating configurations.

  • Cons

    Drivetrain lacks refinement; stiff-legged ride quality; limited driver legroom.

  • What's New for 2011

    Though not fully redesigned, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan receives numerous styling, powertrain, suspension and interior revisions.

Full 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Review

What's New for 2011

Though not fully redesigned, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan receives numerous styling, powertrain, suspension and interior revisions.


In the time since the Dodge Caravan ushered in a new era of family transportation way back in 1984, minivans have seen their fair share of changes. But nothing will likely compare to the 2011 model year, as every vehicle in this category offers significant improvements or full redesigns.

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan is one such minivan. Though the van's underlying structure is the same, Dodge has changed just about everything else in hopes of making the "DGC" a more appealing model this year. More aggressive exterior styling and a lower ride height give the latest Grand Caravan some attitude, but the improvements run more than skin deep. Unlike in years past, there is just one engine choice: the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which makes a class-leading 283 horsepower and returns better fuel economy than last year's top 4.0-liter V6.

Inside the cabin, the new DGC sports a more contemporary design as well as welcome improvements in both materials quality and workmanship. Dodge engineers also have refined the suspension, yielding better driving dynamics and road-holding confidence. The Swivel 'n Go seating option is gone, but Stow 'n Go seats return with added strength and comfort. These second- and third-row seats fold flat into the floor to provide a level surface for loading. (Other minivans require the manual removal of their second-row seats to achieve maximum cargo capacity.)

While the 2011 Dodge Caravan and its twin, the 2011 Chrysler Town and Country, are much improved, they still come up a bit short when compared to the 2011 Honda Odyssey, 2011 Nissan Quest and 2011 Toyota Sienna, all of which have been redesigned for this year. The Odyssey and Sienna remain the segment leaders, with better all-around capabilities, more refined drivetrains and additional available features.

If you regularly change your minivan's interior configuration from passenger transport to cargo hauler, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan beats the competition with Stow 'n Go seats. Otherwise, we recommend checking out the competition first.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Dodge Caravan minivan can seat up to seven passengers and is offered in five trim levels: C/V, Express, Mainstreet, Crew and R/T.

The C/V is intended for commercial use and its limited features include 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, a suspension tuned for commercial use, cruise control, rubber floor coverings, cloth upholstery, power front windows, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone air-conditioning and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

The Express model is the entry-level passenger model and features a touring suspension, carpeting, tri-zone air-conditioning, a removable floor-mounted center console, second-row Stow 'n' Go bucket seats, a conversation mirror and a six-speaker audio system. The Mainstreet trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels and power second-row and rear windows, and is eligible for more optional features as well.

Stepping up to the Crew trim level gets you 17-inch wheels, foglights, a roof rack, power sliding doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, added interior storage in the center console, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power driver seat, power-adjustable pedals, a trip computer, a universal garage door opener, a touchscreen display and an upgraded audio system with satellite radio and digital music storage.

The sporty R/T lies at the top of the DGC lineup with performance-tuned suspension, first- and second-row leather seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat and a premium Infiniti sound system.

Available options on select models include a power liftgate, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, running boards, a trailer tow package, rear parking and cross-traffic sensors, blind-spot monitoring, second- and third-row sunshades, a rearview camera, a navigation system with real-time traffic, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a nine-speaker sound system, iPod integration, a rear-seat entertainment system, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Powertrains and Performance

All 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan models are powered by a new 3.6-liter V6 that produces 283 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds testing, the 2011 Grand Caravan accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds -- about a half-second slower than the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.


Standard safety features for the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan include active front head restraints, driver knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front-seat side airbags, antilock disc brakes, stability control and traction control. Optional features include a blind-spot monitoring system, rear parking and cross-traffic sensors and a rearview camera.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Grand Caravan came to a stop from 60 mph in 130 feet -- an average distance for a minivan.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan's interior represents a significant improvement over its predecessors. The new one-piece dash and center stack look less like they come from a delivery truck, and the overall workmanship also achieves a higher standard of quality.

The bottom cushions of the second-row seats are slightly low to the floor, but they are tilted back slightly to make the seating position comfortable for passengers with long legs. The third-row seats are also comfortable, but generally only for smaller adults, as headroom is limited. The rear quarters afford easy access thanks to a wide opening behind the middle row. Several Edmunds editors of different heights have noticed a lack of legroom for the driver, however.

Unlike other minivans that require the removal of the middle row of seats to achieve maximum cargo capacity, the Grand Caravan benefits from its Stow 'n Go second-row seats that fold flat into the floor. Operating these seats is fairly simple, and only a quick tug of a strap and a few gentle yanks are required to make them disappear into the floor. The third-row seats fold into a deep cargo well, but require several more steps to transform. Luggage space behind the rear seats is a generous 33 cubic feet. Stowing all seats opens up 143.8 cubes, comparable to other minivans.

Driving Impressions

The multiple mechanical changes make the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan a contender. But segment leaders like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are still steps ahead through their enhancements for 2011. By comparison, the Grand Caravan lacks some of the refinement found in the Honda and Toyota. The engine, while powerful, sounds and feels rougher, with an odd whistling noise under deceleration. The six-speed automatic transmission does an admirable job of keeping power on tap, but gearchanges can be jarring. Steering is slightly heavier and the suspension is a bit less compliant as well. On the highway, we also detected creaks and squeaks, although nothing compared to the outgoing model.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Almost 4 years and 75k

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Replaced all four brake pads and rotors after 50k miles. Front had more then 6mm left while rear were closer to 3mm in thickness. Replaced with PowerStop rotors and ceramic pads. Had to replace front pads after only 15k miles. Rear ones were still like new. At 73k check engine went on and front (left) cylinder head was replaced under warranty. Also, upstream left O2 sensor was replaced. Still going strong. Very satisfied.

A decent minivan

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Express 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Currently drive a stripped down version of the 2011 Grand Caravan for my vanpool. I commute/drive 80 miles a day, and have sat in all seating positions. Performance: 3.6L is fairly peppy, transmission could be programmed better to be more responsive and less jerky. Average 23 to 24 mpg. (70% hwy) Comfort: Front seats are good. Middle seats are OK, granted you can slide it all the way back. Third row is tight on leg-room, even with middle seats all the way forward. (Stow n go design leaves little to no leg-room.) Anchor points for the middle seats' seat belts hinder 3rd row passengers from straddling their legs forward. Quiet interior. Overall, a good value, but not perfect.

Great value, great family car

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Express 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I purchased it used as a 1 owner car. It took me a while to come around to being a man in a van. However, hauling the kids or lumber from Lowe's this thing did it all. I was thoroughly impressed the cargo space and the versatility and ease of the folding seats. I never once had a reliability issue with it. The vehicle worked flawlessly the entire time I owned it. I easily got 27mpg on the highway despite the 25mpg rating. The only reason I don't still drive it is because my wife's Ford Taurus X was falling apart to the tune of $2K with only 70K miles on it. We had to trade in my Caravan with her car to make up the amount we were upside down in the Taurus X.

Horrible product

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I purchased this van with about 25,000 miles on it in 2012. Within the first month there was a clunking when shifting out of park or from reverse to drive. It was loose motor mounts. Less than a month after it started clunking again. This time it actually broke the motor mount and the new part took a week to come in. This happened every 2 months. 10 months into ownership, the rear calibers stuck. 1 week after the brakes were replaced and calipers cleaned ($400) 1 caliper stuck again. New calipers from a dealership were already sticking and my mechanic had to replace them before he even got them on. I ended up putting $1500 into a new rear brake system with less than 50,000 miles on the van.


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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Purchased new and if not for the poor quality and unreliability of major components I'd love this van. The only reason I made the purchase was for my two Boxers. At about 16K miles I took it to the shop because of vibration/wooble in the brakes. $400+ for new pads and resurfacing all four discs. Took to shop Friday the 25th for its 20k service. Been having knocking sound (like bearings) when braking x 2 days. Sound at left front gets worse the longer its driven. Call from Service (Newark Chrysler Dodge Jeep): The Transmission !!! One of the gears is falling apart. Still in the shop. Pricing a Honda Odyssey & getting rid of this POS.

Still good at 2 years

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Vehicle: 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Since our review a year ago, it's mostly been great. The one issue was a second "clockspring" wiring harness in the steering column going bad early in the second year, right after the first had been replaced. Pretty sure that was because the dealer didn't install it right. At any rate, it was replaced and has been fine for over a year. Nothing else has gone wrong. All in all a very well thought out van. Our car history has been that around or before ten years of ownership some dipstick rear ends us at stop sign/light and the car is totaled. This is probably our last van and we're hoping after the kids have left to make it a kayak hauler/camping van and drive till it won't go anymore.

Talk About The 2011 Grand Caravan

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Discussions See all Started By

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...

Yesterday, as I was exiting the interstate after a fairly lengthy drive at 75 m/hr, my 2011 Dodge Grand caravan kept accelerating as I tried to disengage the cruise control. It felt like the gas peda...

My horrible experience with the transmission began February 2013 when my 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan began experiencing transmission problems. I attempted to go to the service center of the dealer I boug...

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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