By KBB.com Editors
If you have a big family, but your pocket book says "no" to a big SUV, the Grand Caravan might be your next-best choice. Although still referred to as a minivan by the EPA, the Grand Caravan has long since outgrown any description with the word "mini" in it. This sizable people hauler can seat up to seven passengers and features Dodge's innovative Stow 'n Go seating, which allows the second and third-row seats to be folded flush into convenient floor wells. The Grand Caravan has a long list of standard and optional equipment, but its aging design lags behind newer minivans in offering such features as roll-down sliding-door windows, and it's also behind the competition in horsepower and torque.You'll Like This Car If...
If you have a big family and are always on the go, the Grand Caravan is a great way to get around. The second-row captain's-chair seating and DVD entertainment system will keep the kids away from each other when they get bored, and the Stow `n Go seating lets you convert your family hauler into a cargo carrier with minimal effort.You May Not Like This Car If...
The Grand Caravan falls short on horsepower when compared to the Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna. Features such as power windows on the sliding side-doors and all-wheel drive are not available on the Grand Caravan. Some may find the Stow `n Go seats on the firm side.What's Significant About This Car?
No major changes for 2007.Driving It Driving Impressions
The base Grand Caravan is powered by a tepid 3.3-liter V6. Horsepower and torque are adequate when lightly loaded, but fill the Grand Caravan with people and cargo and this engine feels the strain. The SXT performs better thanks to its more powerful engine. The 3.8-liter is one of the best V6's Chrysler has ever produced, with terrific low-end torque and a smoothness of operation not commonly associated with minivans.
As for handling, the Grand Caravan delivers an exceptionally smooth ride, but its steering and braking earn only an acceptable rating from our testing staff, as the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey have set a higher standard in this area.
Power Rear Liftgate
The power rear liftgate opens with a press of the key fob.
Stow `n Go Seating
Stow `n Go seating proves amazingly versatile without any loss of interior headroom.
The Grand Caravan is surprisingly plush inside with standard cloth-covered seats, full carpeting and a long list of standard and optional features. Grand Caravan models have room for up to seven passengers, and models equipped with Stow `n Go seating provide additional storage areas beneath the floor when the seats are not folded.Exterior
Like the Chrysler Town & Country, the Grand Caravan has a smooth exterior that is slightly rounded and handsomely detailed with such features as flush side glass and Dodge's signature crossbar grille. It's a design that is decidedly sporty (as far as minivans go) and when outfitted with the 16-inch, five spoke alloy wheels, can look downright attractive. We like the way the sliding door track is hid just below the rear side glass.Notable Standard Equipment
The Grand Caravan SE has a 3.3-liter V6, four-speed automatic transmission, tilt-steering wheel, cruise control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), rear wiper/washer, driver's side-knee airbag, air conditioning, second-row bench seat, AM/FM stereo with CD and 15-inch wheel covers. The SXT adds a 3.8-liter V6, Stow `n Go seating, power sliding doors, three-zone air conditioning, power windows, power locks, dual heated power mirrors, eight-way power driver's seat, overhead console, remote keyless entry, cassette player and 16-inch alloy wheels.Notable Optional Equipment
Options include power sliding-side doors, power-operated rear liftgate, three-row side-curtain airbags, front side-impact airbags, keyless entry (SE models), rear-seat DVD entertainment system, Park Sense rear back-up warning system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Infinity sound system, power adjustable pedals, heated leather seats, trailer tow package with level control and a power glass sunroof.Under the Hood
The 3.3-liter engine is not the best choice for the big Grand Caravan. Unfortunately, to get the better 3.8-liter V6, you have to move up to the more expensive SXT trim.
170 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
200 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26
200 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25
The Grand Caravan SE has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,070, while the SXT stickers for $28,155. A fully loaded SXT can easily top $38,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price page shows the typical transaction price paid for the Grand Caravan in your area, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiations. Also check the Incentives tab to see what further deals may be in the works. The Grand Caravan is projected to hold lower-than-average five-year residual values, better than the Chevrolet Uplander and Ford Freestar, on par with the Kia Sedona, but far behind the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna and the Nissan Quest.