Affordably priced. The Dodge Grand Caravan all but started the minivan segment when the nameplate was introduced by in 1984 as one of Chrysler’s vehicles. Since then, the Grand Caravan has always been one of the more affordable ways to ferry an entire family around. With the 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan being the model's last year, the minivan segment is about to get a little bit more expensive.
Pricing for the Grand Caravan starts at $28,785 including destination. With that price tag, it undercuts a lot of the competition, including the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, and Chrysler Pacifica. For consumers searching for a no-frills family car, the Grand Caravan offers a lot on a small budget.
Minivan versatility. SUVs may be the current craze, but minivans still offer some of the most interior space and versatility of any body style. Despite being one of the older options on the market, the Grand Caravan still offers a large amount of interior space.
Behind the third row, the Grand Caravan can hold up to 33 cubic feet of cargo space. Folding the third row down reveals 83.3. In total, the Grand Caravan can hold up to 143.8 cubic feet of cargo. While some minivans can hold more, that’s a competitive amount of space for the class.
Getting the Grand Caravan to hold that much space is a cinch, too, thanks to Dodge’s Stow ‘n Go system that allows the third- and second-row seats to fold away, leaving you with a flat floor.
Respectable performance from a V6. Being from a different time, the Grand Caravan continues to be powered by a strong-performing 3.6-liter V6. Output is rated at 283 horsepower, which is competitive for the segment. The powertrain is good, offering more than enough power to get up to highway speeds.
Minivans aren’t exactly known for being sporty, fun-to-drive vehicles, but the Grand Caravan is even worse than competitors because of its old design. Its suspension and steering systems can’t keep up with newer options.
Ride quality is poor, with small bumps jostling the vehicle. Around corners, the Grand Caravan has more lean than you'd expect. With other minivans, especially the Pacifica, having much more comfortable rides, the Grand Caravan just can’t keep up.
Poor crash-test ratings and safety features. Minivans are predominantly used as family vehicles and are usually filled to the brim with passengers and belongings. Safety is one of the major reasons to go with one. Unfortunately, the Grand Caravan has poor crash-test scores and zero modern driver-assist features.
It didn’t fare that poorly in NHTSA testing, as it earned a four-star overall safety score from that organization. In IIHS testing, the Grand Caravan earned a Poor rating in the driver-side small overlap front test and had Poor-rated headlights. These are terrible scores for a modern vehicle.
To make matters worse, Dodge doesn’t offer any driver-assist safety features on the Grand Caravan. With other minivans coming with suites of advanced safety features as standard on a lot of trims, it’s a massive oversight on Dodge’s part.
Final thoughts. The main selling point for the 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan is its low price. But there are a few options that cost less. So, at that point, the only real reason to buy a Grand Caravan is if you get a stonking good deal on one or if you have some kind of brand loyalty to Dodge. Even then, it’s hard to recommend the Grand Caravan.
With Chrysler offering the Pacifica, we understand why Dodge never really updated the Grand Caravan. The result, though, was an option that’s last in nearly every respect. We wish it came with more technology, had nicer interior materials, and a more composed ride. It wouldn’t have hurt to update the styling, either.
For the budget-conscious consumer, the other two minivans that are more affordable than the Grand Caravan are the Kia Sedona and the Chrysler Voyager. Both are better options. The Sedona can seat up to eight, has a more powerful V6 engine, has more available tech, and has a larger cargo area. The Voyager has a much nicer cabin, a more powerful V6 engine, more tech features, and a slightly larger cargo area.
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