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2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Passenger

Overview
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2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Passenger Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is locked in a struggle to regain turf it has lost to newer, sleeker, and more affordable competitors. A new pricing structure and more standard equipment across the line are only part of Dodge's battle plan, which it hopes will put the 2012 Grand Caravan minivan back on top of a segment essentially invented by Dodge. If its lackluster exterior styling isn't a put-off, there is much to like about the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan. The Grand Caravan includes some segment exclusive features such as the efficient Stow 'n Go second-row seats that fold into the floor, and a best-in-class horsepower rating from its 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine. For those who need a purely work-oriented van, Ram carries a non-passenger version of the Grand Caravan (dubbed the Ram C/V) fitted with numerous options catering to your every delivery-oriented need.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your minivan shopping list is all about functionality, features and price, the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is bound to be an attractive option.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a minivan with a bit of an edge, the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan's rather conservative styling probably won't float your boat. Both the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna hold far higher resale and reliability ratings (as well as price tags), and the Sienna is the only van in this segment to offer the option of all-wheel drive (AWD).

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Dodge Caravan minivan carries over largely unchanged for 2012. A new American Value Package (AVP) is offered creating the lowest-priced minivan in the segment. The AVP package has a host of features including second- and third-row Stow 'n Go seating, cruise control, and a V6 engine.

Driving the Grand Caravan Passenger

Driving Impressions Thanks to last year's extensive overhaul of its suspension, steering and transmission, the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is one of the best-handling and most enjoyable minivans on the road today....

Of course, much of the Grand Caravan's thrill comes from its potent 283-horsepwoer V6 engine, which has tremendous pulling power yet achieves world-class fuel economy ratings of 17-mpg city and 25 highway. Low-end torque is what is required to move a heavy object quickly from a standing stop and the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan has it in spades. An ample helping of sound-deadening material and a stiffer chassis help minimize outside road and wind noise as well as calm squeaks and rattles. The thin Stow 'n Go seats may look a bit stiff, but they are actually quite supportive and comfy, designed with special foam cushions that help fight fatigue on long trips. 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.
Favorite Features

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 Wi-Fi 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.

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Passenger Details
Interior

While the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan's exterior doesn't thrill us, its interior is a different story altogether. The large one-piece dash and detailed instrument clusters are among the nicest in the minivan world, featuring soft-touch surfaces, chrome bezels and colorful backlighting. The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan is loaded with storage areas, and on Crew and R/T trims, with an available "super console" between the front seats. This Super Console is large enough to hold 1-liter drinks or hide a large purse. Soft surfaces abound in the Grand Caravan, as do little details like premium stitching on the seats and clever overhead lighting throughout the cabin. The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan's Stow 'n Go seating folds completely into the large floor wells, which can be used to store more stuff when the seats are in place. The third-row seat can be stowed or flipped back 180-degrees to create the perfect perch for tailgate parties. Among the Grand Caravan's more desirable options is a heated steering wheel, a power-folding 60/40 bench seat, built-in rechargeable LED flashlights and heated second-row seats.

Exterior

Where it was once on the cutting edge of minivan design, the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan is now behind the curve. Although some nice exterior upgrades last year help add a bit more character, the overall boxy shape and flat sides stand in stark contrast to the elegant flowing features of the Nissan Quest and Honda Odyssey. Unique to the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan is its Stow 'n Place roof-rack system featuring swiveling roof-rack crossbars that can stow away in the side rails, thus helping to reduce drag and wind noise when not in use. The Grand Caravan's large sliding side doors can be power operated and fitted with roll-down power windows (SXT, Crew and R/T trims). Rear shaded privacy glass covers most of the side glass, and, on upper-level trims, the rearmost glass panel can be vented for better airflow.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan SE-AVP includes keyless entry, heated side mirrors, 2-zone manual air conditioning, rear wiper/washer, rear defroster, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, Stow 'n Go second- and third-row seating, AM/FM/CD/MP3 4-speaker stereo with steering-wheel audio controls and auxiliary audio input jack, cloth seating and 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers. All models feature a 3.6-liter V6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission, electronic traction and stability control and 4-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 four additional trims beyond the base SE-AVP: SE, SXT, 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 an Infinity 506-watt 9-speaker audio upgrade, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, satellite radio, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, rearview monitor, Uconnect Web mobile Wi-Fi 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 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan offers only one engine choice: 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 6-speed automatic shifts seamlessly and, unlike in some other minivans 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 @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 (gasoline), 12/18 (E85)

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2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
6.7
Out of 10

Based on 242 Ratings for the 2008 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.3/10
    Quality
    6.9/10
  • Reliability
    7.3/10
    Performance
    7.2/10
  • Comfort
    7.7/10
    Styling
    7.7/10

Worst vehicle ever

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 182,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
1/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Looks nice"

Cons: "Pile of junk"

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

"This van has given us nothing but trouble all we have done is put money into it because it has needed constant repairs! Will never buy one again!"

Worst vehicle ever

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 182,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
1/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Looks nice"

Cons: "Pile of junk"

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

"This van has given us nothing but trouble all we have done is put money into it because it has needed constant repairs! Will never buy one again!"

Worst vehicle ever

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 182,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
1/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Looks nice"

Cons: "Pile of junk"

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

"This van has given us nothing but trouble all we have done is put money into it because it has needed constant repairs! Will never buy one again!"

Good choice.

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Rides great. Fuel economy generally better than rated. Handles well. Lacks some features that I assumed were standard in almost every car today. You must turn the headlights on manually. No reading lights for middle or back row. Small details, but, overall the car meets every need and makes highway trips a relaxing way of life. Put 36,000 miles on in less than 2 years -- nary a problem."

Best vehicle ever.

By on Thursday, April 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,778

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: "Pretty expensive"

Cons: "need running boards wife is handy-cap."

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

"This mini-van is really under rated hwy mileage at 65 mph is about 28- 30 mpg, but this crew model is loaded with a lot of options, like heated steering wheel, front and back seats shades in the windows his and her ac and heat control it has the 3.6 engine which delivers a lot of power, The only thing i have to do is change oil, The dealership I bought it from tales care of this mini-van. and they have all of the records."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Disapointed overall with vehicle

By on Friday, March 28, 2014

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good mileage, price"

Cons: "Road noise, cheap radio, early repairs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Bought vehicle with 28,000 miles on it. It had some electical/computer issues. Also one or both of the rear shocks needed to be replaced. It was taken back to dealer 2-3 times for warranty repairs before 36,000 miles. Has been OK since. Prior to buying this vehicle I owned a 2005 Grand Caravan SXT. The 2005 was much quieter on the road and had better accessories, radio/temp guages etc. I had new van undercoated and it is still noisy. The gas mileage is better on the 2012.I've had number of Grand Caravans over the years, don't know if I'll get another one."

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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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