Minivan; Built in USA, Canada
  • 3-door van
  • 3-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $2,200*


1994 Dodge Grand Caravan ES


1993 Dodge Caravan SE


1992 Dodge Caravan C/V


1995 Dodge Caravan interior


1994 Dodge Caravan interior


1994 Dodge Caravan SE interior

Pros:
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Acceleration (4-cylinder)
  • Fuel economy

The Caravan’s initial basic design lasted more than a decade, and most of the bugs were worked out in the first generation. With so much versatility, these vans are an exceptional secondhand value. If you’re shopping for a minivan, Caravan and its twins should be first on your list.

Overview

America’s best-selling minivans received their first major overhaul in 1991 since their debut seven years prior. The revamp included a restyled exterior, a new interior, and the addition of all-wheel-drive (AWD) models and optional antilock brakes. Later that year, Dodge added an optional driver-side airbag. Exterior dimensions were unchanged from the previous model, but the corners were rounded off and the glass area was increased. The Caravan, along with the nearly identical Plymouth Voyager, come in standard- and extended-length versions (called Grand). Also similar, the Chrysler Town & Country comes only in the long version. Seven-passenger seating (two front bucket seats, a 2-place middle bench, and a 3-person rear bench) was standard on all except the base model, which seated five.

Yearly Updates

1992 Caravan
For 1992 Dodge made the driver-side airbag standard on all models. Also on the safety front, they offered an optional bench seat with a pair of integrated child (20-40 lb.) safety seats.
1993 Caravan
Front shoulder belts were given a height-adjustable mounting point; and on vehicles with middle bucket seats, the right bucket tilts forward to ease entry/exit.
1994 Caravan
The Caravan was given a standard passenger-side airbag in 1994, to go along
with the driver-side airbag. Dodge also added side door guard beams. With the addition of the second airbag, the dashboard was redesigned. All-wheel drive was now limited to Grand models, but antilock brakes were available on all models except the base. On the outside, Caravans sported new bumpers and bodyside moldings.
1995 Caravan
In the final year for the current design, the Caravan received only a few trim and option package changes.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Dodge initially offered three different engines in the Caravan. The base engine was a Chrysler 2.5-liter 4-cylinder that made 100 horsepower. This engine also was used in several other Chrysler products like the LeBaron, Spirit, Dynasty, and Shadow. It was offered only with a 3-speed automatic transmission, but 5-speed manual supplanted the automatic in 1992. The first step up was a 3.0-liter V6 engine that made 142 horsepower. This engine was available with either a 3- or 4-speed automatic. The 3.0-liter V6 is a Mitsubishi-designed engine with a single-overhead camshaft. Also optional was a 3.3-liter V6 that initially made 150 horsepower but was upgraded in 1994 to 162 horsepower. In 1994, Chrysler added a 3.8-liter V6 to the lineup. This engine also made 162 horsepower, but had significantly more torque (pulling power) than the 3.3-liter V6. Both the 3.3- and 3.8-liter V6 engines come only with a 4-speed automatic transmission, have overhead valves, and were built by Chrysler. The AWD system was only available on models with the 3.3-liter engine. The system is always engaged, but normally sends power to only the front wheels. If wheel slip is detected, power is redirected to the wheels with the most traction. Unlike most sport-utility vehicles, there is no low range on the Caravan AWD system.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 100
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 135
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
19/25
20/30
21.6
19.9
ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 141-142
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 173
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
19/24
19/25
18.2
19.7
ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.3/202
Engine HP 150-162
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 194
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/23

18.5

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/230
Engine HP 162
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 213
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/23

18.5

Road Test

With the Caravan, avoid the weak 4-cylinder engine and balky 5-speed manual transmission. They are more trouble than the initial savings you might make in a lower purchase price. The 3.0- and 3.3-liter V6 engines provide adequate acceleration, but the 3.8-liter V6 delivers the best action in all situations. It’s also the quietest. With any of the V6 engines, don’t expect to get more than 20 mpg.

The standard front-wheel drive provides sufficient traction for most situations; however, the effective AWD system is a boon in the snow belt. But beware: AWD makes the ride rougher, hurts acceleration, and lessens fuel economy. The Caravan’s ride is carlike and secure, but there’s too much body lean and not enough traction for these vehicles to score as anything other than minivans when it comes to handling.

Though the regular-length versions can seat seven people, it gets crowded if everyone is an adult. In addition, cargo room is only adequate with all the seats in place. Grand Caravans have more space for everyone and ample cargo room. Though the middle and rear seats can be removed, they are quite heavy. The dashboard has a convenient design, and climate and radio controls are easy to use. However, front-seat occupants might find themselves craving more leg room.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3-liter

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 8
80%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 56

Specifications

3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.3 178.1 72.0 66.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
117.0 20.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 38.5 38.3 37.6
3-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
119.3 192.8 72.0 66.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
141.3 20.0 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 38.4 38.3 37.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Caravan 3-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 64
Injury 71
Theft 61

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: If the air conditioner gradually stops cooling and/or the airflow from the vents decreases, the computer (PCM) may not be sending a signal to the compressor clutch relay to cycle off, which causes the AC evaporator to freeze up. (1991-95)
Alternator belt
Description: Deep snow could knock the serpentine belt off the pulleys of a 3.0-liter engine. Installation of a shield fixes the problem. (1991-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: Any minivan with the 3.3-liter engine may have late, harsh, or erratic automatic transmission shifts that are not transmission related, but caused by a defective throttle position sensor. (1994)
Automatic transmission
Description: If the transmission shudders under light to moderate acceleration, the transmission front pump could be leaking due to a worn bushing. (1991-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: 41TE or 42LE automatic transaxles could take several seconds to engage at startup because of a problem with the valve body. (1993-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: Bad seals in the transmission lead to premature friction component wear, which causes shudder when starting from a stop, a bump when coasting to a stop, and slipping between gears. (1993-95)
Cold-starting problems
Description: 2.2- or 2.5-liter engines idle rough or stumble when first started below freezing temperatures unless a revised intake manifold (with an “X” cast into the number 1 runner) was installed (1992), or a revised computer (PCM) was installed (1992-93), or the computer was reprogrammed. (1994)
Engine noise
Description: The motor mount on the left side of the engine tends to break. (1992-93)
Oil consumption
Description: Oil consumption and smoke from the exhaust at idle and deceleration on 3.0-liter engines is caused by exhaust valve guides that slide out of the heads. (1991-93)

Recall History

1991 w/ABS
Description: High-pressure hose in antilock braking system may leak or detach, which increases likelihood of brake lockup.
1991 w/ABS
Description: High-pressure pump of antilock braking system may be porous, resulting in increased stopping distances.
1991-92
Description: Steering-wheel mounting armature can develop cracks and separate from the center hub attachment to the steering column. This can result in loss of vehicle control.
1991-93 w/ABS
Description: Piston seal in control unit can wear excessively; ABS could fail, and power assist might be reduced.
1991-93
Description: Left windshield-wiper pivot-drive arm was not mechanically staked to shaft; arm could disengage, causing loss of wiper function.
1991-93
Description: Seatbelt-release button can stick inside cover, so buckle is only partly latched; also, center rear belt anchor clip can disconnect.
1991-95
Description: Liftgate-support attaching bolts can break, resulting in liftgate falling unexpectedly.
1992
Description: Zinc plating of some upper steering-column shaft coupling bolts caused hydrogen embrittlement and breakage.
1992
Description: Brake-pedal pad-attachment to pedal arm may not have adequate strength.
1992
Description: Fuel tank may drop or lines may rupture near fuel tank, leading to possible fire.
1993-94
Description: Lug nuts on optional 15-inch stamped steel wheels may have been improperly installed, which could lead to wheel separation.
1993-95
Description: Electrical short could cause airbags to deploy inadvertently.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.