2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT: Green River, Utah to Santa Monica, Calif.
May 07, 2008
If this 2,400-mile slog from Detroit to LA has taught me anything, it is the power of willful ignorance and blind faith. When the Dodge Carvavan balked at starting the end of yesterday's drive, I chose to put my fate into the spectral hands of the Dodge Brothers in hopes that the problem would be corrected before today's sunrise. And that's exactly what happened. The Dodge started each and every time I asked it to...
Now it is possible that I'd imagined the problem. I had spent a lot of time on the road and was, by last night, feeling a bit, um, unhinged. But neitherI nor any of my imaginary passengers believe this to be the case. We'll mention the incidents to the dealer when we take the van in for its first oil change, something the its computer is already demanding.
We averaged 20.8 mpg for the whole trip, which is a decent figure, although a couple of mpg below what the EPA predicted. With an internal hard drive, a CD player, an auxiliary input for my iPod and satellite radio at my command, I never once had to scan local radio for something decent to listen to. The van's developed a luxuriant goatee of 10 state's worth of bugs. Withsix cupholders in easy reach, I managed to surround myself an impressive array of digital devices, canned coffee beverages and assorted debris.In this regard, the van is anenormously convenient vessel forlongdayson the open seas.
Late today, I noticed a crumb on the "+"markingat the base of theautostick shifter.Iwiped it off with the tip of my index finger and ended up taking off the top section of the "+" so it now looks like a very small, uppercase "T."That shouldn't happen.
Good luck in California, Caravan. It's been...convenient knowing you. --Daniel Pund, Senior Editor, Detroit