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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Passenger

Overview
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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Passenger Review

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The Grand Caravan may have been the vehicle that started the American minivan revolution, but it now has plenty of competition. A somewhat bland redesign a few years back, coupled with some quality issues, allowed the Grand Caravan's rivals to slip past the venerable family hauler, a situation worsened by Chrysler's financial meltdown. The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan looks to regain some buyers by offering a host of interior improvements, aggressive new pricing and a freshened appearance. Still, with stalwarts such as the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna firmly entrenched in the market – and the bargain-priced Kia Sedona – the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan has its work cut out, especially in a time of rising fuel prices and a still-shaky economy.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a full-size family hauler that's as clever about maximizing space as it is pampering your kids, the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan leads the pack.

You May Not Like This Car If...

There is a lot to like in the newly-improved 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan, but the jury is still out on its long term reliability and resale value prospects. Also, if all-wheel-drive is an important consideration in your next minivan purchase, only the Toyota Sienna now offers it.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan receives a major overhaul, with more attention paid to its interior and exterior styling, a revised suspension and new equipment packaging. The standard powertrain on all Grand Caravan models is now Dodge's Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine teamed to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Driving the Grand Caravan Passenger

Driving Impressions Improvements to the suspension, steering and transmission have transformed the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan into a world-class minivan. The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 has lots of power and low-end torque...

(torque is what helps quickly move a loaded minivan from a dead stop or when passing), yet delivers relatively good fuel economy, at least on the highway. More sound-deadening material and structural improvements help quiet the Grand Caravan's cabin, while improved seat cushions help fight fatigue on long trips; the Stow 'n Go seating has also been improved this year, with more padding and softer materials. Although we found the Grand Caravan easy to drive, its somewhat wide turning radius makes U-turns and tight parking maneuvers a bit more burdensome.

Uconnect hard-drive navigation
With navigation by Garmin, Sirius Travel Link and a 30GB hard drive for music storage, the voice-activated navigation system does everything except drive (and it probably won't be long before we see that.) You can even add a mobile WiFi unit to the system, transforming your Grand Caravan into a rolling internet hot spot.

Tailgate seating
Perfect for a day at the game or a shaded family picnic, the Grand Caravan's third-row seat can be flipped 180 degrees backward, creating a comfortable couch on which to perch your weary bones.

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Passenger Details
Interior

Dodge has made major improvements to the 2011 Grand Caravan's interior, adding a new one-piece dash, a larger and more detailed instrument cluster and a number of new storage compartments, including an available "super console" fitted between the front seats (it can conceal a large purse and accommodate one-liter drink bottles.) Fit and finish are vastly better this year, with more soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels, better lighting and more ergonomic seating. The Grand Caravan also offers one-touch Stow 'n Go seats that fold flush into the floor and a tailgate third-row seat that flips 180 degrees to face outward when the rear hatch is open. Some of the Grand Caravan's more desirable options include a heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, a power-folding 60/40 bench seat and a built-in rechargeable LED flashlight.

Exterior

Although the 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan retains its familiar silhouette, the new model includes more detailing in the grille, headlamps, wheel designs and rear fascia. An available Stow 'n Place roof-rack system allows the roof-rack cross bars to be concealed in the side rails when not in use, thus reducing wind noise and improving aerodynamics. Large sliding side doors permit quick and easy access to the Grand Caravan's interior and shaded privacy glass keeps prying eyes from seeing valuables left in the open. All models except the Express feature power-retractable side windows and third-row power vent windows, while the Crew and R/T trim feature power sliding side doors.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Express includes keyless entry, heated side mirrors, three-zone manual air conditioning with rear-seat heater controls, rear wiper/washer, rear defroster, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Stow 'n Go second- and third-row seating, AM/FM/CD/MP3 six-speaker stereo with steering-wheel audio controls and auxiliary audio input jack, 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers and cloth seating. All models feature a 3.6-liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, electronic traction and stability control and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Standard safety equipment includes front, front side-impact and full-length side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan offers three additional trims beyond the base Express: Mainstreet, Crew and R/T. Each trim adds various features that are standard on some and optional on others. Among the more notable options are the Stow 'n Place roof rack, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, leather seating surfaces, a power liftgate and the Uconnect GPS hard-drive-based navigation and entertainment system featuring 30GB hard drive, Garmin navigation and voice-command feature. Other options of note include a 506-watt nine-speaker audio upgrade, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, satellite radio, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, rearview monitor, Uconnect Web mobile WiFi Hot Spot, rear backup sensors, Blind Spot Monitoring system with Cross Path protection, manual sunshades, rain-sensing wipers, power-adjustable pedals and power sliding side doors.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan sees its powertrain choices paired from three to just one: A 3.6-liter V6 engine developing a class-leading 283 horsepower. We think this is one of Dodge's best V6 engines to date and a long overdue requirement for the Grand Caravan. The new six-speed automatic shifts seamlessly and, unlike some other minivan's we've tested, resists the urge to hunt around for the perfect gear. The new V6 is also E85-compatible, meaning it can run on a combination of gasoline and ethanol.

3.6-liter V6
283 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 (Gasoline), 12/18 (E85)

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2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
6.9
Out of 10

Based on 282 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.4/10
    Quality
    7.0/10
  • Reliability
    7.5/10
    Performance
    7.4/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    7.8/10

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."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Too much maintenance and repair costs

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "I like the stow and go seating."

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

"There is some kind of design flaw with the rear of this vehicle or something wrong with the computer. I have replaced the rear wheel bearings twice. I have also had 3 rear brake jobs. I think the computer in the car has the front and rear braking system mixed up and the rear brakes are used far to much. I also had to replace the alternator at 120000 miles, I'm not sure if that is typical. The other thing that bugs me about this vehicle is the constant swaying from side to side. I thought the alignment was off or the tires needed balance but nope, it's just a dodge mini van thing."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Typical minivan

By on Friday, May 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfortable Interior, good mpg"

Cons: "snow makes it slip on drive wheels"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"Not a bad vehicle but living in snow country this vehicle leaves a lot to be desired! It's fine when the roads have been plowed but if there's any snow-pack it just doesn't want to start going without slipping & sliding on the drive wheels! Next vehicle will be AWD!!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

These vans EAT BRAKES! Comfortable enough

By on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Comfortable ride, nice interior amenities"

Cons: "Premature brake wear, suspension noises"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Over the past couple years we have purchased 7 Grand Caravans (2011-2014 models) for our elder transportation business. We also have bought a few Toyota Siennas. The Grand Caravans are adequate; they're comfortable, smooth driving for the most part, and user friendly. CON: We have been VERY DISAPPOINTED in the brake quality on these vans. I used to work for a Dodge dealer as a tech in the 90s, and we had consistent problems with Caravan brakes. Well, it seems nothing has changed in that department; in fact, I think they're worse now! We're seeing stuck calipers (leading to brake pad and rotor destruction) at 20K- 25K miles intervals on several of the vans. And, we're talking front AND rear brakes! And no, they don't salt the roads in our community and we don't drive them hard. Our local shop says they're seeing this all the time on late model GCs. I wrote to Chrysler and got the usual "We're sorry for your inconvenience but brakes are a wear item, blah, blah, blah. We won't be offering any assistance. End of story." Meanwhile, our Siennas go at least 50K miles (often 70K) before they need brakes. So, long story short, if you can do your own brake jobs (not a hard job for most home mechanics) or you can live with paying a shop $300 - $400 every 25K miles to do the job, then the Grand Caravan is not a bad ride."

12 people out of 16 found this review helpful

best vehicle we have ever owned. Won't by anything

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

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: "easiest vehicle ever to drive,"

Cons: "gas mileage is soso"

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

"We have owned the Dodge Grand Caravan since 2005. Not only is it roomy to travel in with 2 big dogs and a cat, the ride is very comfortable. My husband falls asleep all the time because it is that comfortable. The Grand Caravan is the easiest vehicle I have ever driven. I would recommend the Dodge Grand Caravan in a heart beat."

10 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Servers.....

By on Monday, March 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great Value, Very Comfortable"

Cons: "Spare tire hard to get to."

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

"Servers the purpose it was designed for very, very well. I've had this vehicle for 5 years and have had zero work done on it other than the routine maintenance. Tires and Battery has been replaced and tires of course. Visibility it excellent and very comfortable on the highway and in the city. With the seats down, you can haul just about anything you can haul in a pickup. Also have pulled a very small trailer without any extra effort. While this is an old design, it continues to fulfill expectations."

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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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