2011 Dodge Grand Caravan: First Look
By David Thomas
on October 28, 2010
- Competes with: Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey
- Looks like: The interior is radically different; outside ... not so much
- Drivetrain: 283-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 with six-speed transmission
- Hits dealerships: Late 2010
The most important thing Dodge has changed to its upcoming Grand Caravan is the interior. It is all new and in line with the other recent Dodge models we’ve seen, like the Journey. However, the company is highlighting the performance of the new V-6 engine and a thoroughly revised suspension, touting it as “a minivan with the driving dynamics of a performance sedan.”
See, that’s where people just throw their hands up.
If the Grand Caravan can handle as well as a Honda Odyssey, it will be a terrific achievement. There’s no need to compare it to a BMW M3. Back to the important stuff, the most intriguing new interior feature looks to be a center console that flows outward from the dashboard. Most minivans rely on a separate storage bin that often can detach from the floor. This feature, called the “Super” center console, is optional. A heated steering wheel is another option, but most consumers will likely be swayed by more comfortable Stow ‘n Go seats and upgraded seating materials.
There will be four trim levels. In ascending order, they are Grand Caravan Express, Mainstreet, Crew and R/T. Dodge says the R/T will be the ultimate “Man-Van” in terms of performance, but what upgrades it may pack weren't revealed.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David