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.
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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 Yes

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.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Still good at 2 years

by on
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.




Almost 2 years and 32k

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

No serious problems so far. There is a profound wind noise next to the upper doors' corner when windy. Also, when raining, water collects inside the cavity of left side rear view mirror making "running water" noise. Performed M38 transmission update and it shifts better. Needs more improvements though. Noticed a small stain of oil sediment text to the head gasket 4th cylinder. Will keep monitoring. There is a vibration on steering wheel with moderate braking. With heavy braking there is no problem. Michelin tires are good match for this minivan. Drives very good. Quiet inside. Everything in working order. Average MPG: 19.5 (city). On freeway, best was 24.3 at 75mph. Overall - very satisfied.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

13 months and 17k miles:

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

This is an update to our previous reviews, and we remain very satisfied. The only problem we've had was intermittent cruise control at about 12K miles, which was fixed with replacement of the "clock-spring" wiring in the steering column, under warranty. It's been great as a daily driver, for long family trips, and loaded with kids for school field trips, soccer games, and the like. We've learned having the luggage rails up needlessly reduces mileage by nearly 2 mpg on long trips. This has been a exceptional, high-mileage year for us: we should be driving a bit less from now on, and plan on having the car for ten years or so.



23 of 27 people found this review helpful

10 months and 15k miles

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

No problems until 11430 miles. Check engine light came on with P0128 indicating stuck thermostat. Took it to the dealership and they told me that it was not the thermostat but computer which did not know how to act on some data. They did the update on computer and immediately I noticed that transmission shifted from first to second gear with a "thud" sound while Econ button was on. When Econ button was off transmission was shifting from 1st to 2nd gear smooth but from 2nd to 3rd with hesitation (shudder). I thought it is because when they flashed computer everything was lost so computer had to learn all parameters again. Well, after 3500 miles nothing changed and I took it to dealership.



18 of 23 people found this review helpful

Lemon.

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

We purchased our Dodge Grand Caravan Crew on May 22 (the day before my husband left for Iraq). We have barely had it 2 months and for the last 7 days it has been in the shop (second time since we purchased it). *Check engine light came on at aprx 1500/2000 miles *Traction control light comes on for no reason, even when just starting the vehicle *The ignition gets "stuck" when you stop turning the key, it keeps trying to start *The gas pedal quit responding to me while driving with my 3 children on the interstate- very DANGEROUS *My son got stuck in the rear seat belt and it wouldn't unlock- had to cut him out *Not important but if you have kids (minivan usually = kids) interior color is bad



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5000 miles: going great so

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

This car was a surprise replacement for a satisfactory but accident-totaled 2002 GC: it matched Toyota and Nissan on apparent quality and features for about $3K less. A comparable Honda was even more expensive. After 5000 miles including a 2700-mile Oregon/Bay-Area/LA/Vegas and back vacation with six people, we remain very satisfied. The Crew trim level has all the features needed for a long road trip. We've also used it for the usual local commute/kids hauling/cargo hauling expected of a minivan. No problems, no complaints. It's been a great driver. 18-20.5 mpg local, 21-24.5 mpg on long trips, and the engine isn't broken in yet. It is just a very competent minivan.



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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.

Introduction

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.

Safety

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.

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Talk About The 2011 Grand Caravan

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Discussions See all Started By

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...


downie283
downie283
10-03-2012
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...


johpatjustic
johpatjustic
11-20-2013
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...



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