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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.

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
6.9
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."

2 people out of 6 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 6 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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