We have the Grand Caravan Crew version, including one flip down video screen, Sirius radio, backup camera, remote starter, bluetooth, power side doors and power liftgate. The same feature set on the O...
We have the Grand Caravan Crew version, including one flip down video screen, Sirius radio, backup camera, remote starter, bluetooth, power side doors and power liftgate. The same feature set on the Odyssey or the Sienna would have pushed the price well north of 30K.
In addition to the obvious benefits of built in video, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that mom and dad can listen to the radio while the kids use wireless headphones for their movies. There's an inverter to power small electronics along with two plugs in front, and endless places to stow gear and supplies.
The UConnect system is intuitive and easy to navigate. It's a little bit of a reach to access some of the touchscreen controls but that's a minor quibble. I regret not having the GPS since the screen is large and readable.
The ride and seats are reasonably comfortable, especially considering that the seats disappear into the floor. The V6 has very good power and is a nice, smooth engine.
On the minus side, lack of an independent rear suspension is notable - the back end feels rough over over bumpy pavement. And the transmission is a weakness. Downshifts are delayed and awkward on acceleration and I've had to learn to finesse the accelerator a little bit to compensate. Still, when you need power, it's readily available.
It's surprisingly nimble and provides a feeling of confidence even in crowded city driving. Braking is excellent, especially for such a large vehicle.
For the price, a few tradeoffs are inevitable and Dodge has done a good job of providing all the essentials without a budget busting pricetag. The fully loaded Grand Caravan is undoubtedly superior to the stripped down versions of the pricier Japanese competitors.
I'd recommend that anybody considering the Sienna or Odyssey take a good long look at the Grand Caravan. You can take a pretty fancy family road trip with all the money you'll save.