2008 Dodge Grand Caravan: 450-Mile Run
October 24, 2008
I once wrote a scathing post about our long-term 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan. Haven't driven it since. Didn't want to. Avoided it like reality shows staring Scott Baio.
But Tuesday the inevitable happened. I was handed the keys to the DGC and instructed to drive it 225 miles east to Blythe, California and back in the same day. In other words, drive it the entire width of Califonia twice, as Blythe essentially sits on the Arizona border.
I hemmed and hawed and hit the road. Turns out the DGC isn't that bad. Oh, it's built like a high school science project gone wrong, packs more squeeks and rattles than a bundle of snake mice and still feels like the rear suspension is missing its dampers, but I also found a lot to like.
Turns out our van has very comfortable seats. My ass, back and legs still felt great after all 450 miles. The DGC also has a respectable range, nearly 400 miles on a tank. And I learned to like its loosy goosy suspension as long as the road was perfectly smooth, which it turns out to be way out in the California desert. The van's strong air-conditioning, navigation system and Sirius radio also made the trip more enjoyable, as did its sizable cupholders and powerful 4.0-liter V6. Passing power is not one of this van's shortcomings.
So there you have it, although I hope I never have to return to the upscale enclave that is Desert Center, California (pictured), I've learned to kinda like our Dodge Grand Caravan. Maybe I'll drive it again soon before we send her back to Chrysler HQ. Maybe?
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief@ 18,567 miles