2012 Dodge Grand Caravan

The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is a minivan with a unique distinction: an R/T badge which signifies it as a member of Chrysler's track and road performance group. The Grand Caravan is at the top of the minivan market due to its features and innovative seating which makes it a minivan of first choice for many families.

With the growing competition coming from other manufacturers, the Grand Caravan had been upgraded in 2011 to remain amongst the top ranked minivans.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Minivan Base Price: $20,995.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 20 gallons (75l) MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 203.7 in. (517.3 cm) Wheel Base: 121.2 in. (307.8 cm)
Height: 67.9 in. (172.4 cm) Width: 78.7 in. (199.8 cm)
Curb Weight: 4510 lbs (2045 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.6 in. (14.2 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 33 cu ft behind 3rd row Maximum Seating: 7 people
Performance
Engine: V6 DOHC VVT Displacement: 3.6 Liter
Horsepower: 283 HP Max RPM: 6400 RPM
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Available Trims & Engine
Option:SE MSRP: $22,995; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy
Option:SXT MSRP: $26,495; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy
Option:Crew MSRP: $28,495; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy
Option:R/T MSRP: $29,995; MPG: 17 city / 25 hwy

Engine & Performance

This minivan is powered by a 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine, which produces 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. With this, you still get 25 mpg while on the highway which means that a full tank can last 500 miles. With the increase in engine durability, the distance between planned maintenance is also maximized.

In addition to that, the Grand Caravan is capable of pulling up to 3,600 pounds of towing capacity. All models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission to enhance performance.

Exterior

The 2012 Grand Caravan comes in a functional shape, which can no longer be said to be under styled. The wheels are standard 16 inch rims. Other features include: a rear lift-gate door, rear window wiper, and rear defogger. The minivan is offered with 2 sliding doors on both sides and four trim levels.

Interior

The interior of the Grand Caravan has many features. The seven passenger cabin features Stow n Go seating that can be folded to maximize cargo space. The instrument panel emits a blue glow in the evening, enabling the driver to view driving information easily.

The Uconnect Web technology enables you to connect with friends and family, music and other devices that are of importance to you. The Uconnect Phone feature offers a complex communication system featuring: pairing of up to 7 Bluetooth-compatible phones, Bluetooth integration and voice activation.

In addition, features like a DVD player, power outlet for other devices and gaming inputs provide flexibility. The entertainment suite is composed of 2 wireless infrared headsets, auxiliary jacks, and 6 speaker audio system.

The Base models are offered with cloth upholstery, power front windows, air conditioning, tilt and telescope steering wheel among other interior features. Upgraded models on the other hand, include additional features like: rearview camera, dark tinted confidentiality glass, power windows and fog lights.

Safety & Reliability

The Caravan comes with safety features that help prevent collisions and keep the driver and the passenger’s safe. Among the most prominent safety features are the side impact curtain airbags, passenger airbag, and knee airbag for the driver.

Other notable safety features include: child safety locks, traction control, 4-wheel disc brakes, electronic stability control, and tire pressure monitoring. The Caravan is protected with a 3-year or 36,000 mile warranty and a 5 year or 100,000 mile engine warranty.

Pros

  • Low base price
  • Large cargo space
  • Responsive and refined V6 engine
  • Innovative Stow n Go seating

Cons

  • The engine feels sluggish
  • Rides get bouncy
  • Unremarkable handling

With excellent second and third row seating, this minivan is suitable for large families. Moreover, since the seats can be folded to create more cargo space, business people can benefit from this when transporting their goods.

Competition

The Grand Caravan has been a favorite along with the likes of the Nissan Quest S (MSRP $25,990; 19 city / 24 hwy), Kia Sedona LX (MSRP $24,900; 18 city / 25 hwy), and the Toyota Sienna (MSRP $25,060; 19 city / 24 hwy) of those with big families or even who just enjoy the extra room in their ride.

Overall Rating
72 out of 100

What others say:

“The most flexible seating system in the minivan business remains the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan's hallmark.”Car Connection

“Despite their overall size, these vans are quite tractable. Body lean in corners is fairly pronounced, as you might expect. An impressively tight turning radius aids in close-quarters maneuvering.”Consumer Guide

“The Grand Caravan still falls short of the best minivans. Like its Town & Country Sibling, high points include a comfortable and settled ride, and a quiet, well-equipped cabin that offers considerable versatility.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“Low-end torque is what is required to move a heavy object quickly from a standing stop and the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan has it in spades.”KBB

“Although the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan offers a low starting price and clever passenger- and cargo-carrying functionality, it still trails the competition in terms of overall refinement.”Edmunds