2017 Dodge Grand Caravan Pricing

Minivan

pros & cons

pros

  • Versatile seating and cargo bay configurations
  • affordable base price.

cons

  • Doesn't ride as smoothly over rough roads and bumps as competing minivans
  • limited legroom can make it hard for taller drivers to get comfortable
  • V6 engine can get loud and noisy during hard acceleration
  • touchscreen interface is slow and unattractive.
Dodge Grand Caravan 2017 MSRP: $25,995
Based on the SE Auto FWD 7-passenger 4-dr Passenger Minivan with typically equipped options.
EPA Est. MPG 20
Transmission Automatic
Drive Train Front Wheel Drive
Engine Type V6
Displacement 3.6 L
Passenger Volume 195.8 cu ft
Wheelbase 121 in
Length 202 in
Width 78 in
Height 68 in
Curb Weight 4510 lbs

2017 Dodge Grand Caravan video

2017 Dodge Grand Caravan Expert Rundown Review

Searching for a minivan that offers a lot of features and versatility in an inexpensive package? Consider the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.

Transcript

JOSH SADLIER: This is Edmunds editor Josh Sadlier, and here's an expert rundown of the 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan. We had to check our sources on this one, because with the debut of the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan, we figured the Grand Caravan was toast. But here it is alive and kicking for 2017, same Grand Caravan we've come to know and respect, if not necessarily love, over the years for its many practical virtues. Corporate 3.6 liter pentastar V6 sits under the hood. Six speed automatic is an outdated transmission relative to the eight and nine speed units being used in more recent price of products, but you get plenty of practicality with the Grand Caravan, as you might expect. Every minivan's got a lot of versatility, but the Grand Caravan excels in this area. It's got a ton of cargo space inside and innovative storage solutions. Step inside the grand caravan and you'll see more of that versatility. There the stow and go second row seats that dodge is justly renowned for, plenty of space in the third row for kids or even adults. That's what makes these minivans great. Again, if you're looking for versatility on some kind of a budget, the Grand Caravan continues to be a great option. In terms of features, the Grand Caravan does lag behind. You can see that touchscreens a 6.5 inch unit, instead of the 8.4 inch unit you get in the Pacifica. We're not stoked about the materials either. In terms of quality, you're taking a step down, relative to other vehicles in the class. The bottom line with the Grand Caravan is that this is a value play. If you're looking for a lot of space, and you don't want to spend a lot of money, it's an easy decision. But if you want more features or luxury for what you're spending, best to look elsewhere. For more Edmunds expert rundowns, click the link to subscribe.

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They say you get what you pay for, and few vehicles illustrate that better than the Dodge Grand Caravan. If you're looking to transport the maximum number of people for the minimum amount of cost, the Grand Caravan is the way to go. It undercuts the next-cheapest seven-passenger competitor by a lot of money, even with tons of options piled on.

So where does the Grand Caravan belie its bargain price? Certainly not in the level of equipment: Even the most basic model comes well equipped with features like tri-zone climate control and a rearview camera. Chrysler's exclusive Stow 'n Go seats, which fold down into storage compartments in the floor, remain a star attraction.

No, the low price is reflected in two key areas. First is interior design: This iteration of the Grand Caravan was designed about a decade ago, and the interior was last updated in 2011. Materials quality, surprisingly, is fine ? 2011 was the year Chrysler aimed to eliminate the cheap feel of its cabins ? but the look and feel is yesterday's news. The Grand Caravan's touchscreen doesn't get the wonderful UConnect interface found in other Chrysler products, and the interface it does get feels like it comes from the Stone Age. (A larger screen with a slightly better interface is due late in the model year.)

Second is the lack of refinement in the driving experience. The engine is pretty good: It's Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, here tuned for 283 horsepower. But the six-speed automatic transmission to which it is tied is guilty of the occasional rough shift, and the whole powertrain is noisy under full power. The EPA estimates the Grand Caravan's fuel economy at 20 mpg combined (17 city/25 highway). The ride is smooth enough, though the suspension doesn't deal with bad pavement as well as the competition. Other vans do a better job of soaking up the bumps, and they also steer and handle better, instilling more confidence in the van's ability to swerve out of harm's way than does the Grand Caravan. Crash-test scores, while still very respectable, also aren't quite as good as most other vans.

In terms of value for money, though, the Grand Caravan is difficult to beat. Dodge offers four trim levels: SE, SE Plus, SXT and GT. The SE is lavishly equipped, while the SE Plus adds a few items of interest to private owners (as opposed to the rental fleets that will buy the SE). The SXT adds more appearance and comfort features, while the GT is intended to deliver a sportier driving experience. It's the only trim level to offer advanced safety features, though such features are not nearly as advanced as those offered by competing minivans. Which one is best suited for your needs? Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan for you.

The Dodge Grand Caravan traces its roots back to 1984, when Chrysler introduced American families to a new, extremely space-efficient vehicle: the minivan. The larger, "Grand" version of the Caravan debuted a few years later. It was a huge hit that has remained a strong seller through the years, even as newer rivals outdid it in various ways. Despite innovations like driver-side sliding doors and Stow 'n Go seats, a poor reputation for reliability, a lack of refinement and disappointing execution made it difficult to recommend.

In recent years, however, the Dodge Grand Caravan has been improved significantly. With a strong engine and improved cabin quality highlighting this renaissance, the Grand Caravan is the most competitive that it's been in years. While Toyota and Honda still offer more well-rounded minivans, this Dodge provides several attributes that could make it a good pick for consumers.

Current Dodge Grand Caravan
The Dodge Caravan minivan can seat up to seven passengers and is offered in four trim levels: American Value Package (AVP), SE, SXT and R/T. All of them are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces a very strong 283 horsepower. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. Despite the horsepower advantage, the Dodge Grand Caravan is still a half-second slower to 60 mph than the top-ranked Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna.

The AVP represents the entry-level model and feature highlights include full power accessories, dual-zone climate control and an auxiliary audio jack. However, it's the only trim that features a two-person second-row bench seat -- a minivan rarity nowadays -- in place of the upper trims' excellent Stow 'n Go seats that fold into the floor with one tug of a lever.

As you move up through the trim levels, you'll find more standard features like rear air-conditioning, a power-operated liftgate, power sliding doors, leather upholstery, a rearview camera and a blind-spot warning system. Electronic features are plentiful as well, including a navigation system, Bluetooth and a rear seat entertainment system that includes rare features like a Blu-Ray player, an HDMI port and two screens. Like other loaded minivans these days, a fully equipped Grand Caravan can seem like a full-fledged luxury car in terms of features.

As far as passenger comfort, the Grand Caravan comes up a bit short relative to its rivals. Taller drivers may run out of legroom, the second-row Stow 'n Go passenger seats are a little less comfortable than the fixed captain's chairs of other vans and the third row's seat cushion is tilted down in an effort to increase rear legroom. There also isn't an option for an eighth passenger. On the plus side, though, those Stow 'n' Go seats are a cinch to transform the Grand Caravan from people carrier to cargo hauler. The second-row seats of most other vans must be physically removed or you end up with less maximum cargo capacity. In this way, at least, the Grand Caravan is hard to beat.

Used Dodge Grand Caravan Models
The current van represents the fifth-generation Dodge Grand Caravan that debuted for 2008. However, it was substantially upgraded for 2011. Originally, there were two main trim levels available (SE and SXT) and three V6 engine choices. A 3.3-liter produced 175 hp, a midrange 3.8-liter made 197 hp and a 4.0-liter unit topped out at 251 hp. None were particularly appealing. The Grand Caravan from 2008-'10 was very disappointing for other reasons as well. The cabin featured subpar materials, uninspired design and haphazard construction. Handling was worse, especially in the first model year, and the ride was generally unsophisticated. Even the styling was less appealing.

Though we don't recommend the Grand Caravan from 2008-'10, potential buyers should nevertheless note that it featured different second-row seating configurations. The second-row bench was standard on the SE for '08, but it gave way to standard Stow 'n Go the following year. There was, however, an optional Swivel 'n Go system that included more comfortable second-row captain's chairs that rotated 180 degrees to face the third row. A removable table essentially created a tiny living room on wheels.

Since it was overhauled and much improved for 2011, changes to the Grand Caravan since have been minimal and mostly limited to trim level and equipment shuffling. Still, 2013 brought easier operation of the Stow 'n Go second-row seating system, as well as the Blu-Ray and HDMI port features for the DVD entertainment system.

Prior to all of this were four older generations of the Dodge Grand Caravan. The first spans 1987-'90; the second, 1991-'95; the third, 1996-2000; and the fourth, 2001-'07.

The fourth-generation Grand Caravan's engine lineup included a 180-hp 3.3-liter V6 and a more powerful 215-hp 3.8-liter V6. The top-of-the-line trim level offered Stow 'n Go fold-flat seating, dual power-sliding doors, a separate rear heating and air-conditioning system, a power driver seat, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and powered accessories. As you consider trim levels, keep in mind that the naming system for the van's trims changed a few times during this generation.

A variety of stand-alone options were available, including automatic climate control, leather trim, an Infinity sound system, rear DVD entertainment and a navigation system. Early fourth-gen Grand Caravans were available with all-wheel drive, but AWD capability was discontinued in 2005 to make room for the versatile, under-floor Stow 'n Go fold-flat seating system in premium models.

In reviews, we noted that alongside top import-brand competitors, the fourth-gen Dodge Grand Caravan came up lacking. Its engines weren't as powerful or refined, its ride wasn't as smooth or quiet and its handling wasn't as tidy or sure-footed. Inside, the van's controls and displays were dated, and features like stability control, built-in sunshades or a back-up camera simply weren't available. Still, for used-car shoppers who demand maximum flexibility from their minivans, Stow 'n Go might be reason enough to consider a Grand Caravan from this era.

The third-generation Grand Caravan featured a then-rare driver-side sliding door and unique "Easy Out" rollers on the center and rear seats to aid removal. Dodge offered several Grand Caravan trim levels to suit different budgets and desires, and dual front airbags and antilock brakes were standard. For power, the van had a 3.0-liter 150-hp V6 as standard, with a 180-hp 3.8-liter V6 engine available -- the larger V6 now coupled with a more efficient and recommended four-speed automatic transmission. After a one-year hiatus, all-wheel-drive availability returned to the lineup in 1997 on certain models, and in 1999, top-level Grand Caravans received a more driver-oriented Autostick transmission, 17-inch wheels and steering-wheel-mounted radio controls.

Introduced in 1987 as a long-wheelbase complement to the original Caravan, the Dodge Grand Caravan received its first major overhaul in 1991. The second generation (which ran through 1995) included a restyled exterior, freshened interior and the addition of optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) capability. Its dimensions were unchanged, but the corners were rounded off on its breadbox-like silhouette and more glass was added. Safety was enhanced with the availability of antilock brakes and a driver-side airbag in 1991 and integrated child safety seats in 1992. The Grand Caravan's four earliest generations have all exhibited reliability problems, but the first and second generations were especially troublesome, due to issues related to the automatic transmission. For this reason, we'd advise used-car buyers to steer clear of these oldest Dodge minivans.

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