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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 301 Ratings for the 2008 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.4/10
    Quality
    7.0/10
  • Reliability
    7.5/10
    Performance
    7.3/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    7.7/10

LOVE the Caravans!

By on Friday, February 05, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I purchased my first Caravan in 1987 and have driven nnothing else since. They have never let me down. I have used them in a small business I owned transporting school students and for my own personal use. Every one has been driven over 120,000 and still ran. Saftey, comfort, handling are all terrific. Fuel economy for the size of the vehicle is pretty good too. We travel a great deal so comfort AND storage means a lot. There are so many places to store suit cases, coolers, etc. We always travel with at least 5 people. The only reason I am getting rid of mine is because I am retiring and hitting the road in an RV."

My Experience with this vehicle is very good

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "We liked all the features and recommend to anyone."

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

"This mini-van is very good to carry my whole family when we traveled different places. It is a good riding and comfortable. We also used a few times to carry tables and chairs as all seats are stowable to have a flat floor. This is mainly my wife's van. Only thing is the gas mileage and since she is changing job location to a further way. We would rather have a better gas mileage vehicle."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent minivan

By on Sunday, December 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "perfect for road trip with all the storage"

Cons: "A little more comfort on the third row"

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

"We love this minivan. We bought as we like to travel and have space. The stow and go is a breeze to use and allows you to quickly get some extra space, no need to remove any seats. When travelling it also give you some extra space under the back passenger feet. We got ours with the single DVD player and satellite radio. We had no issues so far, the minivan is fun to drive, comfortable on long trips and quite economical. The engine is powerful and we had no issue keeping highway speed with a fully loaded van with three adults, 4 kids and a loaded trunk. Way cheaper than any other vans"

11 people out of 11 found this review helpful

A great van for handicap people

By on Monday, October 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price for handicap use"

Cons: "None"

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

"This van has been modified for handicap use, with the hydraulic lift. The lift can lower on regular surface. The front passenger can move back so the Wheelchair passenger can move forward."

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Have had no problems other than transmission

By on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price vs. other vans, rides & drives great"

Cons: "lousy transmission"

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

"Roomy, drives and rides great, small interior trim problems, transmission has a mind of its own. Never knows when to change gears. Good gas milage for a big car."

16 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Good Value!

By on Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great comfort, solid build, low price"

Cons: "acceleration, so so fuel economy"

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

"Well people may say I am crazy, but we traded Honda Odyssey few yeas older for Dodge Grand Caravan 2013 and I personally love it. Compared to a previous ride, it was lot cheaper to get comparably equipped van than competition. It is more comfortable for a tall driver and longer rides than Honda (at least the model that doesn't have mechanical seat adjustments). In general it is more comfortable than Honda (especially for the driver). You have better visual view on the road from Dodge. The only thing noticeable is that acceleration is not responsive as Honda's, but are you buying this car for racing? I usually drive this car very fast and it is alright, but Honda may start faster when the light turns green. Also, mpg may not be great, but you should get what is stated for the car."

17 people out of 27 found this review helpful

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