The Dodge Grand Caravan was first introduced for the 1987 model year. It debuted in the late-1980s as an extended wheelbase version of the original Caravan, which helped launch the minivan segment. The current Grand Caravan offers competitive interior space and undercuts a number of competing minivans with a lower base price.
2008 to Present: Dodge Grand Caravan
The current Dodge Grand Caravan was introduced as a 2008 model. Like most minivans, the Grand Caravan puts comfort and space at the forefront with three rows of seats and up to 144 cubic feet of cargo space.
When it was introduced, the 2008 Grand Caravan came with a four-speed automatic transmission and a base 3.3-liter V6 engine that produces 175 horsepower. Two optional engine choices included a 3.8-liter V6 with 197 horsepower and a 4.0-liter V6 with 251 horsepower, which are both paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Dodge simplified the powertrain lineup for 2011, when a six-speed automatic transmission and a 283-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 became standard on all models.
Inside, the Grand Caravan features standard seating for seven. Most trims offer a Stow ‘n Go seating system that allows the seats to fold into the floor, creating a flat cargo area. Swivel ’n Go seats were also offered, which don’t fold into the floor, but allow the second-row seats to spin around to face the third row.
The base Grand Caravan typically carries less standard equipment than competitors like the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and the related Chrysler Town & Country. However, it also has a lower base price, allowing shoppers to add options or climb trim levels to match the standard features found elsewhere in the class.
All Grand Caravans come standard with a conversation mirror, full power accessories, air conditioning and a basic audio system. Common options include a power-adjustable driver’s seat and pedals, power-sliding rear doors, a power liftgate, satellite radio, navigation, Bluetooth and USB connectivity and a rear-seat entertainment system. A rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and integrated child booster seats are also available.
Earlier Dodge Grand Caravan Models
The Dodge Grand Caravan was all-new for the 2001 model year. It brought in a number of firsts for the segment, including options like a power liftgate and an obstacle detection system for its power-sliding rear doors.
Dodge offered the Grand Caravan with 3.3- and 3.8-liter V6 engines, which are paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive was available, but phased out in later model years.
For 2002, Dodge introduced a number of luxury options including power-adjustable pedals and rear-seat entertainment system with wireless headphones.
Interior and exterior styling was updated for the 2005 model, and Dodge introduced its Stow ‘n Go seating system for added passenger and cargo carrying flexibility. A year later, Dodge revised the side curtain air bags and made structural changes to improve the Grand Caravan’s performance in side crash tests.