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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan Cargo

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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan Cargo Review

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Although it's been overshadowed by the SUV as the symbol for family transport in third-millennium America, large numbers of families still opt for the arguably more functional minivan. Chrysler is widely credited with inventing the modern minivan and is now the only domestic manufacturer left in the game, as GM and Ford have effectively replaced their slow-selling minivans with three-row crossover SUVs. For the 2009 model year, the Dodge Grand Caravan and its slightly ritzier Chrysler Town & Country sibling, arrive with attractive seating and entertainment options to compete with the remaining minivans from Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai and Kia.

You'll Like This Car If...

With features like an available Swivel 'n Go setup that configures into a table for four people and dual, independent nine-inch video monitors that can display DVD movies, video games or satellite-based SIRIUS Backseat TV, Chrysler's fifth-generation minivan is the obvious choice for satisfying rear-seat riders.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the Grand Caravan's ride and handling are well-balanced, you may prefer the softer Toyota Sienna or the more eager Honda Odyssey. Also, while the Grand Caravan's interior has been greatly improved versus its predecessor, we expected the category's leader to feel somewhat richer.

What's New for 2009

The SE trim receives more standard equipment including Stow 'n Go seating, cruise control, power second-row window and third-row vents and body color door handles. SXT trims now offer Dodge's Blind Spot Monitoring System, Rear Cross Path Warning System and rain-sensing wipers.

Driving the Grand Caravan Cargo

Driving Impressions If you've found the ride and handling of other minivans too soft or too firm, you might appreciate the 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan's balance between highway comfort and around-town responsiveness....

We also appreciated the much-improved steering and braking response from the optional sport tuned suspension package (SXT). Equipped with the 3.8-liter V6, the Grand Caravan had no problem transporting medium-size loads, but for an additional $700 and no significant sacrifice in EPA fuel economy figures we prefer our test vehicle's 4.0-liter V6 option. We'd likely look elsewhere in the segment before settling for the 175-horsepower base V6. The Grand Caravan isn't as nimble in parking lots as the exceptionally tight-turning Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Overall, we found the 2009 Grand Caravan much more satisfying from behind the wheel than its predecessors and commendable for a people-mover of its stature.

Audio/Video Options
In addition to the comprehensive uconnect infotainment system up front, Chrysler's newest minivan offers dual, independent rear video screens that allow second- and third-row passengers to watch two different DVD movies, play video games or even watch the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network Mobile via SIRIUS Backseat TV.

Swivel 'n Go Seats
Although not without legroom challenges, the Swivel 'n Go seating option, that comprises rear-swiveling second-row captain's chairs and a hideaway, removable table, takes the concept of the rolling family room to a new level.

2009 Dodge Grand Caravan Cargo Details
Interior

Sharing sheetmetal, powertrains and all but a few features, the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country are most differentiated by unique interior styling. Whereas the Town & Country combines wood-like and bright trim in conveying a more sophisticated persona, the Grand Caravan's sportier gauge cluster and heavier use of black suggest a more athletic nature. Available conveniences include Stow 'n Go and Swivel 'n Go second-row seating, integrated child booster seats and a class-exclusive power-folding third-row seat. Loading and unloading is predictably easy and the accommodations are comfortable.

Exterior

After more ovoid third- and fourth-generation models, the newest Grand Caravan returns to the boxier roots of the first couple of iterations. The squared-up sheetmetal and prominent chrome trim give the 2009 model a look that's bolder and more sophisticated at once, and counters the stereotypical minivan look. Power-operated side windows give second-row passengers a less claustrophobic ride, while the SXT trim provides a standard roof rack with integrated cross rails.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base-equipped 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SE includes air conditioning, cruise control, power windows and locks, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system, stain resistant cloth seating, Stow 'n Go second-row seating and a 60/40-split fold-flat third-row seat. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability and traction controls plus front and three-row side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

The Grand Caravan's most sophisticated option is a hard-drive-based uconnect gps system that offers navigation with real-time traffic information and features MP3/WMA music and JPEG image uploading, auxiliary audio input, voice-recognition, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone connectivity and more. Other notable options include backup sensors and a rearview camera, Blind Spot Monitoring System and the Cross Path System, which warns of traffic crossing paths when backing up. Also available is a power liftgate, power sliding doors and power-folding third-row seat. Second-row seating options include rearward-pivoting Swivel 'n Go seats, integrated child booster seats, and manual sunshades. A comprehensive entertainment system offers two independent video displays with a swivel third-row monitor.

Under the Hood

The 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan no longer offers a four-cylinder engine, which is probably a good thing because we can't even say we'd want to regularly haul around full loads with the base powertrain. Comprised of a 3.3-liter V6 and four-speed automatic transmission, it offers very little gain in the way of improved fuel economy. The lager V6 engines are teamed to six-speed automatic transmission which permits them relatively decent fuel economy with more power and smoother operation.

3.3-liter V6
175 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
205 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (gasoline), 11/16 (E85)

3.8-liter V6
197 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
230 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

4.0-liter V6
251 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
259 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25

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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
6.9
Out of 10

Based on 294 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.4/10
    Quality
    6.9/10
  • Reliability
    7.4/10
    Performance
    7.3/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    7.7/10

people want to buy it. all the bells and whistles.

By on Sunday, August 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "kids and parents love it. roomy"

Cons: "family car. not cool looking for single person."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Even though the seats adjust multiple ways, the driver seat not that comfy. Runs smooth and a nice ride. The 4.0 allows more power. The swivel and go is nice, because of the table. But the 2 bucket seats do not stow. Inconvenient. There are 2 fairly large storage compartments. The rear seats auto stow. For a family because of the 3 dvd/satellite tv's."

most enjoyable ride

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
3/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "good gas mileage on current trip 25.1 mpg intersta"

Cons: "petty non-mechanical problems except tire noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"has been great for trips 1500-3000 each. several small problems: Difficulty in changing trip computer display. Tire press warning has come on for no reason several times (checked press immediately w/ tire gauge - no problems. Plastic side panel on both drivers seat and passenger seat has been repaired when under warranty but have broken again. BIGGEST PROBLEM is tire noise being so loud that you cannot hear radio or CD while driving. This vehicle supposedly has a special tire that decreases friction. Tire wear is good but noise is bad enough to switch to another brand. Love the storage space eventhough stowing the 2nd row seats is a pain. All items above have ceen brought to attention of two dealers...no fix."

7 people out of 12 found this review helpful

HATE THIS CAR

By on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "COST far outweighed the value"

Cons: "Nothing but problems mechanically"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I HATE this car. I have not even had it for 5 years and have had problem after problem. It is not even paid off yet and I just had to put another $2800 into it. What a cheaply made piece of junk. Buyer beware, do not purchase a Chrysler/Dodge product imported from Canada."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Decent car for traveling or around town.

By on Monday, July 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great Storage Capacity"

Cons: "Repairs over 100,000"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"Everyone loves the stow and go and the "airplane" lighting overhead. Plenty of room. Comfortable. Handles well. However. I am tired of all the service repairs needed at this point. I have had brakes completely redone twice including rotors. Transmission has been done too. Constantly getting repairs now at 120,000. Needs to be seen asap for a new noise. How fun."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Lots of little disappointments

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Lots of space, really comfortable seats"

Cons: "Wide turns, noisy, rough to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This minivan feels awkward to drive. It accelerates roughly and it takes turns very wide. Parking has been especially difficult. It handles well on long drives, but its very noisy. Night driving was terrible. I found it very hard to see, and the trouble turning made winding roads feel dangerous. I would only recommend this van to someone who needs a lot of space. The stow-and-go compartments can easily hide clutter. The seats are also very comfortable."

16 people out of 33 found this review helpful

Do not waste your time and money on this car

By on Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Lots of room"

Cons: "Not worth the cost or headache in reliability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"If I could give it a zero i would. Just Google complaints and watch the screen light up with electrical, transmission and brake problems with this car. Make sure you read the warranty really well because there are several loopholes that they will use every time to get out pf paying for the repair. The money I have sunk into this vehicle is astronomical, even for small repairs. The performance of the car is poor and there are better models out there. Cheap and not very well made."

2 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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