Minivan; Built in Canada, USA
  • 4-door van
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,100 – $22,600*


2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Front


2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Profile


2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Rear


2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Interior

Pros:
  • Acceleration (4.0-liter V6)
  • Quietness
  • Ride (except 4.0-liter)
  • Seat comfort
Cons:
  • Fuel economy
  • Interior materials
  • Road/engine noise (4.0-liter)

With four-cylinder and short-wheelbase models gone, Dodge focused its attention on the heart of the minivan market. Grand Caravan is tailor-made for families with a need for space and a desire for comfort. Along with Town & Country from sister division Chrysler, these minivans hit the bull’s eye. Even though the Honda Odyssey may be sportier and the interior of the Toyota Sienna more refined, neither matches the Caravan or T&C’s blend of room and functionality.

Overview

Redesigned for 2008, Dodge’s Grand Caravan minivan featured fresh styling, a new top-line engine, and new seating features. Grand Caravan was built from the same front-wheel-drive design as Chrysler’s Town & Country. The 2008 model was 2 inches longer in wheelbase and overall length, than the 2007 versions. This time, it came in a single-length Grand Caravan model in SE and SXT trim levels. The shorter-wheelbase Caravan model was discontinued, as was the four-cylinder engine. Dodge competed against the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, and Toyota Sienna.

All Caravans now had V6 power. The 3.3-liter and 3.8-liter engines carried over from 2007. New for 2008 was an optional 251-horsepower 4.0-liter V6. Standard in the SE model, the 3.3-liter V6 teamed with a four-speed automatic transmission. The 3.8- and 4.0-liter engines used a six-speed automatic.

Standard safety features included curtain side airbags that covered all seating rows, antilock braking, traction control, and an antiskid system. All Caravans seated up to seven. Standard was a 60/40 split third-row bench seat that folded into the floor. A power-folding third-row seat was available. The second row was available as a removable bench with integrated child seats, or with bucket seats that could fold as part of Dodge’s Stow ‘n Go system. With the seats raised, the floorwells provided storage space. Newly available was Dodge’s Swivel ‘n Go, which allowed the second-row buckets to turn 180 degrees and face backward. This seating arrangement included a removable table that mounted between the second and third rows. The swiveling seats could be removed but not folded into the cargo floor. Other available features included a navigation system, 20-gigabyte hard drive for storing digital music files, and dual-screen DVD entertainment.

Yearly Updates

2009 Grand Caravan
Several new features became available for 2009, including a blind-spot alert system and what Chrysler called “Rear Cross Path.” Activating when the transmission was in reverse, that latter system could detect any traffic moving toward the vehicle. Chrysler’s uconnect multimedia suite also became available, including a navigation system, wireless cell-phone link, and 30-gigabyte hard drive for storing digital music and picture files. SXT models equipped with the 4.0-liter V6 gained a revised sport suspension this year. An optional Flexible Seating Group included Swivel ‘n Go seating with the removable table.
2010 Grand Caravan
The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan lineup gained some new entertainment options including FLO TV, which allows pre-recorded and live TV broadcasts via terrestrial airwaves to play on the DVD screens.
2011 Grand Caravan
The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan model lineup was revised, and all versions got a new powertrain. Previous SE and SXT trim levels were replaced by Express, Mainstreet, Crew, and R/T. All have a 283-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 3.3-, 3.8-, and 4.0-liter V6 engines were discontinued.
2012 Grand Caravan
Trim levels of the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan were changed to American Value Package, SE, and SXT. The available power-folding third-row seat was dropped.
2013 Grand Caravan
Not much changed with the 2013 edition of the Grand Caravan. The entry-level American Value Package and SE models cost less than their 2012 counterparts, but had less standard equipment. Top-line models were newly available with a high-definition Blu-ray entertainment system.
2014 Grand Caravan
Dodge celebrated the 30th anniversary of the minivan with a special edition package for the Grand Caravan. Otherwise, little was changed for 2014.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Four powertrains have been used in the Grand Caravan. Early models could have a 3.3-liter V6 engine with a four-speed automatic transmission, or a 3.8- or 4.0-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission. Starting in 2011, all models had a 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.3/201
Engine HP 175
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 205
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

17/24

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.8/230
Engine HP 197
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 230
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

16/23

17.5

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 4.0/241
Engine HP 251
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 259
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

17/25

20.2

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/220
Engine HP 283
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

17/25

Road Test

Both the 3.8- and 4.0-liter engines offer sufficient power for around-town driving, with the 4.0 providing much-needed extra boost for merging and highway passing. With both of these V6s, the transmission is quick to shift as needed, but can change gears harshly at low speed. Because of the Grand Caravan’s approximately 4500-pound curb weight, the 3.3-liter V6 may be overwhelmed. With the 3.6-liter V6 introduced for 2011, the Grand Caravan doesn’t feel quite as quick as its 283-horsepower rating would suggest. Rather, it provides adequate, very smooth power at all speeds. The transmission works well for the most part, but it can occasionally be reluctant to downshift when power is needed for highway passing and merging.

Fuel economy could be better. Test Grand Caravan and Town & Country models with the 3.8-liter V6 averaged 16.1 to 17.8 mpg in city/highway driving, 20.8 to 21.7 mpg with more highway use. A 2011 with the 3.6 V6 averaged 20.7 mpg. All engines run on regular-grade fuel. The 3.3-liter engine can use E85, an ethanol/gasoline blend.

Ride quality of the earlier models shines with the smaller engines, which offer impressive road isolation. Even large bumps are absorbed with poise. Caravans with the 4.0-liter V6 included a sport suspension that was not available on other models. With that sport suspension, impacts are more readily felt and some body quiver is noticeable over broken surfaces. Dodge modified the sport suspension for 2009. The 2011 model tested rode a bit more firmly than its Chrysler sibling. It was nicely absorbent overall, but there was quite a bit of wheel patter and clatter over rough pavement surfaces.

Despite their overall size, these big vans are quite tractable and barely more difficult to drive than a midsize sedan. Impressively tight turning radius is a boon to tight-quarters maneuverability. Body lean in corners is fairly pronounced, though 4.0-liter models feel less tippy, thanks to their sport suspension.

Along with the similar Town & Country, these may well be the quietest minivans on the road. Wind noise is impressively muted, with road noise only an issue on 4.0-liter models-due in part to their standard sport suspension. Engines are generally quiet, though noise can intrude while accelerating, with the 4.0-liter V6 sounding especially coarse.

Large dials and gauges are simple to locate and easy to read. Most controls are plainly marked and work as expected, though audio controls suffer undue complications on models with a navigation system or Chrysler’s MyGig media management system (or the 2009 uconnect multimedia setup). Some testers also found climate controls mounted too low for quick adjustment. For 2008, Dodge moved the shift lever to the dashboard, an apparent novelty that quickly becomes easy to use and does not block access to controls.

Interior assembly is mostly top-notch, but hard plastic surfaces and low-grade materials dominate the cabin and disappoint in this price class. One test Caravan suffered from several minor interior rattles.

Up front, wide, comfortable chairs contribute to long-haul comfort-though it’s disappointing that a telescopic steering wheel is not offered. Dodge widened the upper portion of Caravan’s cabin for 2008, and the interior has a roomier, more airy feel as a result. Visibility is very good in all directions, though the rear view is seriously compromised when both screens of the dual DVD entertainment system are in use.

All tested models have had Stow ‘n Go or Swivel ‘n Go seating. Second-row passengers enjoy roomy, supportive buckets, though the larger Swivel ‘n Go seats offer more comfort and back support than Stow ‘n Go units. The third-row bench is quite roomy for two passengers, but three-abreast seating is cramped for adults. Novel Swivel ‘n Go seats work as promised, allowing easy interaction between second- and third-row riders. The available table is an excellent idea, but it’s fairly small, and it’s difficult for third-row passengers to reach when they’re buckled in.

Vast cargo volume is available, though different seating configurations offer varying challenges to accessing that space. Stow ‘n Go second-row seating disappears into the van floor as advertised, but the process of folding the seat into the floor is more complicated and clumsy than it should be-though it is a welcome convenience not offered on rival minivans. Likewise, the Swivel ‘n Go seats, which rotate easily enough but are complicated to remove and extremely heavy. Available power-folding third-row seat is a marvel of convenience. That seat folds flat into the floor, or rolls to face rearward, providing comfortable tailgate seating. Note that the rear-facing seating position is not intended for use while the van is in motion.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Grand Caravan SXT w/3.8 V6

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 - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 9
90%
Cargo Room - 10
100%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 69

Specifications

4-door van
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
121.2 202.5 76.9 68.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
140.1 20.0 7.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.8 39.7 40.6 36.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Grand Caravan 4-door van

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

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

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Exhaust system
Description: A clunk from the rear when going over bumps or when turning is caused by the exhaust resonator hitting the vehicle requiring updated exhaust hangers be installed. (2008)
Fuel gauge
Description: Refueling may become slow with the nozzle clicking off repeatedly because the vapor recirculation hose becomes kinked. (2008)
Oil leak
Description: The oil filter housing may leak oil. (2014)
Power seat
Description: The third row power seat may begin to move from its stowed position but stop before the seatback is upright, then quit working due to something (toys, paper, etc.) interfering with the position sensors. (2008)
Audio system
Description: The MyGIG radio may stop working properly and there was a campaign to update the software. (2008)
Audio system
Description: Disconnecting or reconnecting the battery without first removing the radio fuse can damage the MyGig radio due to voltage spikes. (2008-09)
Steering problems
Description: Power-steering hose may leak and require replacement with a Kelvar hose. (2008-10)

Recall History

2008 Grand Caravan
Description: These vehicles may experience a water leak at the heating and air conditioner (HVAC) drain grommet which can lead to illumination of airbag warning light and a potential inadvertent airbag deployment. An inadvertent airbag deployment could result in injury to the seat occupant in front of the deploying airbag and/or a vehicle crash. Dealers will replace the HVAC drain grommet free of charge.
2008-09 Grand Caravan
Description: If stop/start button is pressed and held, and engine turns off, electronic key code is removed from vehicle; if transmission is not in “Park,” this could result in accidental rollaway or increased likelihood of theft.
2008-10 Grand Caravan
Description: Some vehicles may experience inadvertent ignition key displacement from the run to accessory position while driving causing the engine to shut off. Engine shut off while driving could increase the risk of a crash. Dealers will replace the win modules free of charge.
2008-10 Grand Caravan
Description: The driver-side airbag’s inflator could rupture during deployment and metal fragments could strike the driver or passengers.
2008-10 Grand Caravan wheelchair modified by Liberty Motor Company
Description: Vehicles made wheelchair accessible Liberty Motor Company may develop cracks in the rear axle. The axle could fail and result in a crash.
2009 Grand Caravan
Description: Unused electrical connectors for the blind spot detection system may become corroded and could short circuit. If this happens, the connectors could overheat and potentially catch fire. Dealers will seal the power circuit at the subject connector and replace the fuse for this circuit if necessary free of charge.
2009-10 Grand Caravan
Description: Some vehicles may lack a front-wheel spindle nut. The wheel could separate from the car.
2009, 2014 Grand Caravan
Description: The tire pressure monitor sensors may not transmit the actual tire pressure. This could result in the driver not being aware of low tire pressure. Dealers will replace the TPM sensors.
2010-14 Grand Caravan
Description: The rear vent-window switch mounted on the driver’s armrest may overheat and result in fire.
2011 Grand Caravan
Description: Vehicles may have been built with a missing or incorrectly installed steering column pivot rivet. This could compromise the ability of the steering column to support the occupant loads in the event of a frontal crash, decreasing the effectiveness of the frontal impact safety system. As a result, the condition may increase the potential for injury in a frontal crash. Dealers will inspect for rivet presence and alignment and repair the steering column pivot as required, free of charge.
2012 Grand Caravan with 3.6L engine
Description: Due to debris inside engine block, engine may experience connecting rod bearing failure with may lead to engine seizure and could increase risk of a crash.
2012 Grand Caravan
Description: Some vehicles may have right rear hub and bearing assemblies that were not fully machined and as a result are not durable. This could lead to wheel separation.
2013 Grand Caravan
Description: Airbags may not deploy because of faulty software.
2013 Grand Caravan
Description: The wrong airbags may deploy during a crash.

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.