2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT: Supreme People Hauler
June 18, 2008
Problem: How can I move six people and their luggage from Los Angeles to San Francisco?
Solution: 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT.
Yes, this was one of those rare instances when a bunch of people (my parents and my two sons) were all going to the same place at the same time. A poor option would have been to take two vehicles. Instead, we all piled into Big Red and hit the road... It was comfortable, roomy and quick. No one in our family is a light packer and the deep rear well gobbled up all our bags without blocking rear visibility.
And we even stopped for a picnic lunch at the "Sideways" bridge near Gaviota (pictured).
It's amazing how, when you use a vehicle such as the Dodge Grand Caravan, for its intended purpose, your admiration of it grows. Even an uber SUV wouldn't have done the job as well.
A real hit with my Dad were the swivel seats. He spun around and grilled my son about his college courses and life in general. In fact, my Dad several times enthused: "This is a great van!"
I wasn't excited about driving the DGC since it's kind of roly-poly in the curves but, hey, it isn't pretending to be a sports car. I didn't like the dash mounted shifter and once, in the mountains, manual shifting for engine braking wasn't convenient.
On the open road I kept the speed to about 70 mph and, amazingly, didn't get passed. I think folks have made the connection between speed and fuel economy. I averaged 21.2 mpg over 1,244 miles and spent about $263 on fuel. On one tank we were able to go a total of 368 miles -- a record for our Grand Caravan.
Philip Reed, Edmunds Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 8668 miles