2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
Our intention to drive what had been a very satisfactory 2002 GC beyond 150K miles ended when it was totaled in a rearend collision.
We didn't expect Dodge/Fiat would be on our short list, but it drove much better than a Toyota LE, the 2011 update almost remakes the car (we drove a 2010 rental, and wouldn't have bought that), and we could get a Crew GC equipped exactly as we wanted for $3-9K less than less well-equipped competitors during the May minivan sale.
Odyssey's had very limited availability and frustrating packaging of options; Sienna LE had vague steering and inexplicably felt "too long" parking (rearview camera was a must); the Quest was tempting in some ways, but weird.
Great ride/handling compromise:
we test drove all the competitors (with the exception of Toyota SE, which might have been competitive), and rented 2010 Toyota and Dodge vans, and the 2011 GC Crew edition had the best handling and balance.
The new engine has plenty of power and is well-behaved; the transmission shifts very smoothly even if it "just a 6-speed".
Overall just feels like a very competent car.
The 2011 interior upgrade was very well done:
we see the improvement from our leather-interior 2002 and a 2010 rental.
Controls and details felt more natural to us than
And most importantly, the pricing with options we wanted was more than competitive.
Will it be reliable?
We've owned/own a Honda Accord and Nissan Maxima and try to keep cars at least 10 years.
We had a great experience with our previous GC, and hope this one will do as well.
We'll try to report back here as we have more time with the car.
The front is beginning to look okay after 10 days of ownership, but the back still looks like a refrigerator:
the 2008 redesign was a mistake.
The overhead storage compartments pop open if exiting/entering rearseat passengers brush against them.
A good leather interior like we had on our previous GC, available at the Crew trim level, would've been nice.