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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan Cargo

Overview
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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 288 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.4/10
    Quality
    7.0/10
  • Reliability
    7.4/10
    Performance
    7.3/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    7.7/10

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."

3 people out of 8 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."

Does not stand behind vehicle

By on Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

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

"We had some issues with our caravan that should have been covered by warranty. Dodge refused to cover this issue. Both rear doors rub the rear quarter panels. This is a very common problem with this model, yet they refused to fix it. We will never buy another dodge caravan."

2 people out of 7 found this review helpful

3rd one I have owned, will buy another.

By on Saturday, May 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Travel with ease"

Cons: "Not realy a head turner."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Ultimate utility vehicle, 7 passenger to cargo van in less than 5 minutes. Great for travel, more than adequate power, and good mileage 28 MPG. Does have little electrical quirks."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Very nice vehicle. Other than too much road noise

By on Friday, May 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good price, the 4.0 is great, fun for family/dog"

Cons: "too much road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Stow and go is wonderful, mileage is ok, fit is good. Tires that come with the car are just fair, it makes sense to upgrade at the time of purchase."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

This is a very versatile yet comfortable vehicle!

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort, Ulitity, Hauling Power, Room!"

Cons: "Fuel Economy, Road noise at acceleration, Resale"

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

"The Dodge Grand Caravan is one of the most versatile and affordable vehicles on the road. While it might not do everything as well as other specific vehicles - it does all things well! It has the utility of a truck, the comfortable ride of a family car, and the people hauling capacity of a van. The engine is peppy and powerful- and can tow smaller loads well. It does get a bit loud and a little buzzy when accelerating at higher speeds - but performs well when you aren't leaning on it hard. ( After-all, this isn't meant to be a sporty vehicle!) The interior is very comfortable for around town use - and works well for longer hauls with the fairly plush bucket seats. The stow-and-go seating system is the best out there. While the seats are not as large and plush as other mini-vans, they are much more versatile and fold out of the way in a flash to give one a HUGE cargo hauling capacity. My wife and I use this like the bed of a truck, and sometimes use it as a bed for an overnight camping trip! As I said before, this vehicle does all things well, and for a very affordable price. It might not maintain its new purchase price as well as other foreign mini-vans, but it is a REAL bargain if one purchases a lightly used late model! That's what WE did, and we couldn't be happier with our purchase."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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