2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Review

Pros & Cons

  • Versatile rear seating configurations.
  • Drivetrain lacks refinement
  • stiff-legged ride quality
  • limited driver legroom.
List Price Range
$6,992 - $13,899

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The Dodge Grand Caravan gets a host of mechanical, styling and interior improvements for 2011, yet still trails the competition in terms of refinement.

Vehicle overview

In the time since the Dodge Caravan ushered in a new era of family transportation way back in 1984, minivans have seen their fair share of changes. But nothing will likely compare to the 2011 model year, as every vehicle in this category offers significant improvements or full redesigns.

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan is one such minivan. Though the van's underlying structure is the same, Dodge has changed just about everything else in hopes of making the "DGC" a more appealing model this year. More aggressive exterior styling and a lower ride height give the latest Grand Caravan some attitude, but the improvements run more than skin deep. Unlike in years past, there is just one engine choice: the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which makes a class-leading 283 horsepower and returns better fuel economy than last year's top 4.0-liter V6.

Inside the cabin, the new DGC sports a more contemporary design as well as welcome improvements in both materials quality and workmanship. Dodge engineers also have refined the suspension, yielding better driving dynamics and road-holding confidence. The Swivel 'n Go seating option is gone, but Stow 'n Go seats return with added strength and comfort. These second- and third-row seats fold flat into the floor to provide a level surface for loading. (Other minivans require the manual removal of their second-row seats to achieve maximum cargo capacity.)

While the 2011 Dodge Caravan and its twin, the 2011 Chrysler Town and Country, are much improved, they still come up a bit short when compared to the 2011 Honda Odyssey, 2011 Nissan Quest and 2011 Toyota Sienna, all of which have been redesigned for this year. The Odyssey and Sienna remain the segment leaders, with better all-around capabilities, more refined drivetrains and additional available features.

If you regularly change your minivan's interior configuration from passenger transport to cargo hauler, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan beats the competition with Stow 'n Go seats. Otherwise, we recommend checking out the competition first.

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan models

The 2011 Dodge Caravan minivan can seat up to seven passengers and is offered in five trim levels: C/V, Express, Mainstreet, Crew and R/T.

The C/V is intended for commercial use and its limited features include 16-inch steel wheels, heated mirrors, a suspension tuned for commercial use, cruise control, rubber floor coverings, cloth upholstery, power front windows, keyless entry, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone air-conditioning and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

The Express model is the entry-level passenger model and features a touring suspension, carpeting, tri-zone air-conditioning, a removable floor-mounted center console, second-row Stow 'n' Go bucket seats, a conversation mirror and a six-speaker audio system. The Mainstreet trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels and power second-row and rear windows, and is eligible for more optional features as well.

Stepping up to the Crew trim level gets you 17-inch wheels, foglights, a roof rack, power sliding doors, tri-zone automatic climate control, added interior storage in the center console, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power driver seat, power-adjustable pedals, a trip computer, a universal garage door opener, a touchscreen display and an upgraded audio system with satellite radio and digital music storage.

The sporty R/T lies at the top of the DGC lineup with performance-tuned suspension, first- and second-row leather seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat and a premium Infiniti sound system.

Available options on select models include a power liftgate, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, running boards, a trailer tow package, rear parking and cross-traffic sensors, blind-spot monitoring, second- and third-row sunshades, a rearview camera, a navigation system with real-time traffic, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, a nine-speaker sound system, iPod integration, a rear-seat entertainment system, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

2011 Highlights

Though not fully redesigned, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan receives numerous styling, powertrain, suspension and interior revisions.

Performance & mpg

All 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan models are powered by a new 3.6-liter V6 that produces 283 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds testing, the 2011 Grand Caravan accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds -- about a half-second slower than the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.

Safety

Standard safety features for the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan include active front head restraints, driver knee airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, front-seat side airbags, antilock disc brakes, stability control and traction control. Optional features include a blind-spot monitoring system, rear parking and cross-traffic sensors and a rearview camera.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Grand Caravan came to a stop from 60 mph in 130 feet -- an average distance for a minivan.

Driving

The multiple mechanical changes make the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan a contender. But segment leaders like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna are still steps ahead through their enhancements for 2011. By comparison, the Grand Caravan lacks some of the refinement found in the Honda and Toyota. The engine, while powerful, sounds and feels rougher, with an odd whistling noise under deceleration. The six-speed automatic transmission does an admirable job of keeping power on tap, but gearchanges can be jarring. Steering is slightly heavier and the suspension is a bit less compliant as well. On the highway, we also detected creaks and squeaks, although nothing compared to the outgoing model.

Interior

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan's interior represents a significant improvement over its predecessors. The new one-piece dash and center stack look less like they come from a delivery truck, and the overall workmanship also achieves a higher standard of quality.

The bottom cushions of the second-row seats are slightly low to the floor, but they are tilted back slightly to make the seating position comfortable for passengers with long legs. The third-row seats are also comfortable, but generally only for smaller adults, as headroom is limited. The rear quarters afford easy access thanks to a wide opening behind the middle row. Several Edmunds editors of different heights have noticed a lack of legroom for the driver, however.

Unlike other minivans that require the removal of the middle row of seats to achieve maximum cargo capacity, the Grand Caravan benefits from its Stow 'n Go second-row seats that fold flat into the floor. Operating these seats is fairly simple, and only a quick tug of a strap and a few gentle yanks are required to make them disappear into the floor. The third-row seats fold into a deep cargo well, but require several more steps to transform. Luggage space behind the rear seats is a generous 33 cubic feet. Stowing all seats opens up 143.8 cubes, comparable to other minivans.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Still good at 8 years and 180k miles
oregonfamily,05/18/2015
Crew 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
Over eight years and 180k miles, and in most respects this GC remains a great family/vacation/car-pool/kids-activities/daily-driver van. Pros still are: strong and so-far robust drivetrain; nice road manners, good road feedback - I honestly still enjoy driving the van; flexible seating/cargo options (Stow and Go is very nice when we infrequently use it); reliability in the main has been great; and low purchase price compared to Japanese alternatives. Neutral points include: city gas mileage (17-19 mpg, even with Econ mode engaged), but that's probably what we should expect, and highway mileage is a much better 22-25 mpg; brakes are now longer and more evenly wearing than was the case on the first sets of pads and rotors, which may be just be me; and tires have worn well (replaced 3rd set after 57k miles). Negatives are: - not electronic, but electrical failures like intermittent or difficult-to-actuate buttons and switches, some of which are seasonally (hot weather) dependent, and a failed sliding-door remote locking mechanism which required removing the door skin to replace. We're on our 3rd alternator, mainly because the 2nd one failed very early (not Dodge's fault, and fixed under alternator and mechanic's warranties. We, the dealer, and our independent mechanic are now sceptical earlier failures attributed to clockspring wiring harness in the steering column were correct. We don't have the gascap seal/engine-check error anymore. - the vinyl upholstery on the front seat and front-door armrests that looked cheap when the car was new, was - we've got unsightly splits and cracks on these now; and we occasionally have a. But for us at least, these are minor issues. All of them are known issues with Dodges of this vintage. The armrest vinyl cracking has aftermarket solutions - though that shouldn't have been necessary. The gas-cap error is a nuisance, but after going to our mechanic a couple of times for diagnosis and resetting, it prompted me to get an OBD scanner (BlueDriver and the Haynes onboard diagnostics manual are both highly recommended), which we leave permanently plugged in, and reset the error lights ourselves. Looking back, getting this Grand Caravan still looks like the right thing to have done. We fully expect to keep the van to 200k miles, and hope to get to 300k, which will make it our last van.
Almost 4 years and 75k later
stekicar,12/15/2014
Replaced all four brake pads and rotors after 50k miles. Front had more then 6mm left while rear were closer to 3mm in thickness. Replaced with PowerStop rotors and ceramic pads. Had to replace front pads after only 15k miles. Rear ones were still like new. At 73k check engine went on and front (left) cylinder head was replaced under warranty. Also, upstream left O2 sensor was replaced. Still going strong. Very satisfied.
Easy Buy
rdyer478,07/11/2011
Our 1997 GC was used and only had an O2 sensor go out. We took it past 150k miles and it still had spunk but couldn't trust it to longer trips. After renting a 2011 GC three times I had developed an attachment. Still looked for other options but after talking to a rep at a great dodge dealer we went to look at a 2011 GC Crew fairly loaded and was blown away at the price, which was way lower than the msrp of $30k. The 300 mile ride home was sweet. Good milage, smooth, quiet and handled excellent. Shifting, acceleration and braking were not too slow or jerky. The transmission didn't clunk or give reason to fear. I just love it and need to plan a trip just to satisfy my need to drive it.
Crew for the crew
stekicar,05/04/2011
Since now, I was always buying base models without any blows and whistles. Steering wheel and 4 wheels were the only "options" I wanted. But this time, I got the Crew model (due to $4000 on lease+$750 incentives) plus $500 for existing Dodge owner (not sure about this). Anyway, $5250 discount and employee pricing (my friend works for Chrysler) made me look Dodge way. Because of the new engine/transmission and mostly because of the known reliability of Chrysler vehicles, I did not dare to buy this car so I choosed to lease it instead. I choosed Driver and Passenger package and since it was very hard to find a vehicle with both options and not to be fully loaded I ended up buying the car ...

Features & Specs

See all Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.4%

More about the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Overview

The Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan is offered in the following submodels: Grand Caravan Minivan. Available styles include Mainstreet 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Crew 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), Express 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), R/T 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), and C/V 4dr Minivan (3.6L 6cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Express is priced between $11,395 and$13,899 with odometer readings between 12602 and50639 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan C/V is priced between $10,995 and$10,995 with odometer readings between 31437 and31437 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew is priced between $12,395 and$12,395 with odometer readings between 74251 and74251 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan R/T is priced between $6,992 and$6,992 with odometer readings between 127967 and127967 miles.

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Which used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravans are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2011 Grand Caravans listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,992 and mileage as low as 12602 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan.

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Find a used Dodge Grand Caravan for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $23,556.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 11 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $12,617.

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Should I lease or buy a 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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Check out Dodge Grand Caravan lease specials