Review: 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2008 to 2010.
Although some of the Grand Caravan's interior plastic is of the hard and shiny variety and doesn't look as rich as what is offered in some of the competition, the control layout is simple and the gauges are easy to read. The driving position is high off the floor, which gives a commanding view of the road ahead. The Grand Caravan has a soft and supple ride that absorbs bumps without disturbing occupants. It goes down the road with minimal fuss, but anyone expecting anything exciting will be disappointed.
Three engines are offered in the Grand Caravan. Base versions are powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 with 175 horsepower. One rung up is a 3.8-liter V-6 with 197 horsepower, and a 4.0-liter V-6 with 252 horsepower is the top engine. The 3.8-liter and 4.0-liter V-6 engines come paired with a six-speed automatic; base 3.3-liter engines get an old-think four-speed automatic.
Major competitors to the Grand Caravan include the Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Entourage, Kia Sedona, Nissan Quest, Toyota Sienna, and Volkswagen Routan.
Ultimately, although the Grand Caravan is roomy and practical — what minivan isn't? — it finished third in our latest five-minivan comparo, slotting behind the second-place Toyota Sienna and winning Honda Odyssey. The Dodge did acquit itself well in overall features and third-row comfort, however.
What's New for 2009
Highlights and Recommendations
You should think long and hard about the practicality of the Swivel 'n Go seats. They might seem like a great idea, but space around the removable table is cramped, and when equipped with Swivel 'n Go, the second-row seats don't fold into the floor. On the flip side, it would be wise to consider the Stow 'n Go arrangement if you think you'll need to haul a lot of stuff, as it allows for the second- and third-row seats to fold into the floor.