Dodge revolutionized the minivan segment back in the 1980s. In fact, some actually credit the American automaker with inventing the segment altogether with its Caravan and Grand Caravan. Now, in 2016, Dodge still offers its minivan, but only as the Grand Caravan. Regardless of its name, the Grand Caravan continues to offer a great value and an unmatched pedigree in the segment.

Pricing and Equipment

The Grand Caravan checks in as one of the best values in the minivan segment with a base AVP (American Value Package) trim that starts out at just $21,795. Despite this super-low pricing, the Grand Caravan AVP does comes with some decent features, including:

  • Two-zone air conditioning
  • Four-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities
  • Dual glove box

Buyers looking for more premium features can move up the SE, SXT, or R/T.

Performance Pros

Dodge Grand Caravan Front Quarter

The 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 provides plenty of pop for straight-line acceleration, which helps greatly when hauling a minivan full of people and cargo.

Performance Cons

Suspension tuning is geared to comfort rather than performance, and you'll need to opt for the R/T if you want better handling in the corners.

Interior Pros

Dodge Grand Caravan Interior
  • The cabin feels airy, and it's easy to move around
  • Everything is perfectly positioned
  • Durable hard plastic where it needs to be and refined materials where you want them
  • Blacktop Package adds some extra sportiness

Interior Cons

  • That durable hard plastic might not be as appealing if you're transporting adults rather than children
  • Some design elements are starting to feel dated

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Grand Caravan offers a good mix of features and tremendous value. Of particular note is the AVP, which is a fantastic option for families on tight budgets. But any Grand Caravan gives buyers a lot of features for the money.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

We're not thrilled about the Grand Caravan's safety rating, which aren't what they should be for a minivan designed to carry families. The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives it just four stars overall, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it a "Poor" rating in its difficult small-overlap crash test.

The Bottom Line

In terms of value, the Grand Caravan is almost unbeatable, as nothing comes near it in price. However, there are better options out there for buyers looking for the safest rig for their family.