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Value, Design, Utility
By fdby on
Vehicle2012 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
ReviewI just bought a 2012 Grand Caravan SXT with 36k miles. So I can't say much about reliability yet. So far I'm impressed with the seating, much improved in 2011 over the previous Stow'n'Go. The DOHC variable-valve-timing engine is very nice and powerful (but still uses 87 octane gas), though I can't imagine it will be as trouble-free, tough, and durable as the old OHV 3.3L dinosaur. Handling is very good. The standard suspension is no longer mushy, but feels more like the old Sport option, yet is quite compliant. Power doors all around work well, but seem pointless to me, as does the key-in-fob arrangement. Fit'n'finish is so-so. There are some very clever options inside.
Best FeaturesStow'n'Go, flexible and usable space, handling, power, interior look, modern engine, clever options inside.
Worst FeaturesEurope gets to opt for a Diesel. We should too, or a hybrid, or at least a smaller direct-injection engine. With the new engine, Chrysler needs to beef up the transmission and cooling system and uprate towing (about 3,500 lbs) by 1,000 lbs or so. I don't know if Chrysler offered an air compressor, but that option, along with a higher-rated 120V inverter (only 150 watts now) would be nice.
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