Don't be fooled by the rumors - the Dodge Grand Caravan is here to stay for 2020. For those looking for an affordable minivan option, it's a good choice...but consider your needs first! The Grand Caravan has been around since another decade and lacks many of today's modern driver-assistance features that are now standard in its competitors. Before you invest, ask yourself if this van meets all of your requirements.
The Grand Caravan's infotainment system is not user friendly nor modern, however its interior has value in spades with Stow 'n Go second-row seats that come standard and a hardy (plasticky) composition. Best of all, you can expect an amazing price tag to go along with it.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Grand Caravan is equipped with a single powertrain option: a 283-hp V-6 engine connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. It may not be the most innovative combination, but it's reliable and familiar. Even so, you'll notice an unexpected deep growl as soon as you press down on the accelerator - unfortunately though, this doesn't equate to any added performance; tested zero to sixty times showed that this minivan was by far the slowest of them all!
Despite its six-speed transmission, which falls short of the eight-, nine-, and 10-speed automatics offered by competitors, it is more than up to the job. It typically shifts seamlessly without a problem; however, it has been known on occasion to resist downshifting during overtaking maneuvers.
Furthermore, the ride is smooth and handling responsive with just a few exceptions when it comes to bigger bumps on the road. The body roll for such an elevated vehicle is remarkable, enabling the Grand Caravan to remain stable through corners and cruise serenely along highways.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
It's easy to understand why the Grand Caravan lags behind its more modern competitors in terms of EPA fuel-economy estimates with its aged powertrain. Its performance was especially lacklustre during our real-world highway fuel-economy test, where it achieved only 22 mpg—lower than its 25 mpg EPA rating—when travelling at a consistent 75 mph for 200 miles. Even worse, the Chrysler Pacifica, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna all exceeded their respective EPA estimates by 2 or more MPG on this same test! Clearly these newer models are superior when it comes to efficiency and reliability.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Safety is often a key consideration for minivan shoppers, but unfortunately the Grand Caravan's safety chops are hindered by lackluster crashworthiness results and a dearth of driver-assist tech. Awarded a four-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it failed to earn a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Although it earned a Good rating in most of the IIHS's tests, a Poor result in the small-overlap test is disappointing. It could be worse, but its rivals all do a lot better. Less forgivable is the absence of driver-assistance features.
Is Dodge Grand Caravan a good car?
The Dodge Grand Caravan Reliability Rating is 4.0 out of 5.0, which ranks it 2nd out of 8 for minivans. The average annual repair cost is $673 which means it has average ownership costs. The severity of repairs is average and the frequency of those issues is low, so major repairs are uncommon for the Grand Caravan.
Are grand caravans reliable?
The Grand Caravan's Pentastar V6 has above-average reliability, with Motor Reviewer claiming that drivers can hit 300,000 miles with proper maintenance, and some have lasted up to 500,000 miles. Buying a used Grand Caravan also means owning a piece of history.