By Cars.com EditorsMay 14, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT. It competes with the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona and Toyota Sienna.
<v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. One of the main reasons people buy new cars is cause their life changes. You get married, you move to the suburbs, and you have kids. Well, that's when you start to consider a minivan.
And right here, we had the Dodge Caravan for 2010, and this one's loaded up to $40,000. And we're gonna see what you get. The minivan market is a small one, and at the top are the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna, which was just redesigned for this year. Where does that leave the Grand Caravan? Well, it's a pretty good value pick cause it starts 4 to $5,000 less than those two. So, if you're looking to save some money, and get a lot of utility, this is the one you wanna go to. When you're shopping for any car these days, trim levels are going to trip you up, because they have different features, different options, and even different engines. And the grand caravan is no exception. And it's a little weird cause their trim levels come with three different V6 engines. So, there's no 4-Cylinder and there's no V8, but there's three different V6's. And this top-line SXT comes with a 4.0-liter V6. It's the most powerful offered, and it's actually pretty good. Even the transmission works a lot better than the other two options. So, how does a $26,000 minivan cost $40,000? Well, you add a lot of options. There's a preferred package with leather trim seats, seven inch wheels, and the power lift gate in the back, a trailer tow group, the security group, which has a blind spot monitoring system, a premium group with iPod control and Bluetooth, and a rain sensitive windshield, dual screen DVD entertainment system, a family value group, which has manual window shades and sliding console in the front. The 4.0-liter V6 actually costs a little bit extra, and they consider it an option. And there's a power sunroof, engine block heater, media center, and the Sirius satellite TV. A lot of families must have built-in entertainment systems, whether they have a three row crossover, or a minivan like this one. The Dodge Caravan's pretty neat, cause not only does it have a nine inch screen in the second row, and a DVD system, like most others, it also has a second nine inch screen for the third row passengers. There's also a satellite. Yeah, a Sirius satellite TV, so you get stations like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network. And they also have this new option called Flow TV, which just came out, and you get over air channels, like your big networks. One of Chrysler's standout features in its minivans is it's Stow 'N Go system, which allows you to fold the second row of seats flat into the floor, without having to remove them and leave them in the garage. It's not the easiest thing in the world to do. It's certainly not as easy as a lot of three row crossovers. You have to move this front row seat all the way up. You have to lift up this floor panel here, and then fold it in. Thankfully, the third row is much easier to stow, even if you don't have the power option here like we do, but I like the power option, because you just hit one button and it folds the seat in place. You hit another button, and it puts them in their stowage position. Having a large cargo area, like this, is useful too. Like, when you finally get to drop those kids off at college. There are a lot of three row crossovers on the market that fit as many people as in minivan, but they don't have the extra cargo space that a minivan affords for family stuff like full-size strollers. And that's why you wanna look at the Grand Caravan. You also wanna check it out cause it's 4 to $5,000 less than the Odyssey or the Sienna. So, do your homework. (energetic guitar music) <v Announcer>For more car related news, go to cars.com, or our blog kickingtires.net.