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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
6.7
Out of 10

Based on 250 Ratings for the 2008 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.3/10
    Quality
    6.8/10
  • Reliability
    7.3/10
    Performance
    7.2/10
  • Comfort
    7.7/10
    Styling
    7.7/10

2013 sxt Great Van with a few shortcomings

By on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Power baby, Power"

Cons: "Quirky transmission"

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

"Pros: 1)A Ton of Power! This ain't your momma's minivan, this van can take on the best with its pickup and power. 2)Stow and Go is great, very convenient. 3)Highway mileage is awesome. You can get about 34 mpg traveling at 55mph on flat highway, 4)I use this van for business purposes and the power doors are very useful. 5) Interior dash is solidly built 6) Good crash test ratings Cons: 1) Transmission is really quirky, I don't like. 2) Highway mileage is awesome, however city mpg is pathetic. On hilly terrain in stop and go traffic 13 mpg 3)Boring appearance, but then again it is a minivan. In all great for my purposes. I purchased used @ 44,000 miles and have put 12,000 miles on it with no problems. Really a great highway or travel van."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

2014 Dodge Grand Caravan - Great Reliable Car

By on Sunday, July 06, 2014

I don't own this car

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, reliable, good mileage"

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

"Got this as a rental car for 10 days and put 1,400 miles on it in that time. Over the time, it was remarkably reliable. air conditioning was ice cold in 108 degree temperatures. The car is very spacious and has many compartments for holding and storing things which is a plus. if we were in the market for a new minivan the 2014 grand caravan would be at the top of the list for sure."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

disappointing van to own

By on Saturday, June 28, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Poor quality,reliability

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "none"

Cons: "Poor quality"

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

"We bought our Caravan to replace our old Toyota Sienna.Our 02 Sienna gave us ten plus years of worry free driving.Only had to repair the breaks,struts,and one ball joint during that time. We bought our Caravan used for a fair price,and it seemed like a great car for the first 6 months. Then a transmission cooling line and a power steering line went bad fixed it for $700 and thought that should be it for a while.During the last six months check engine light came on and wont go away no one can figure it out.The passenger a/c stopped blowing cold air,the 3.8 engine is burning about 2 quarts of oil every 3000 miles now and the automatic sliding door broke!Today after about one year I traded it in on a newer Sienna. I lost some money on the deal,but I defiantly gained some peace of mind!A friend of mine owns a 2012 Caravan and he is having a lot of the same sort of issues . I think they are just a poorly made vehicle ."

Don't buy this van

By on Monday, June 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 159,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "None"

Cons: "Tons of problems, electrical, mechanical"

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

"We have owned this van since January 2013. We bought is used at a dealership with 68,000 miles on it. Driving off of the lot, the seal on the windshield came off and was flapping against the window. Then within the first four months of owning it, we had to replace the front brake pads, rotors and calipers ($700). We had to replace two tires. Then we started having problems with the shifter. It would stick in and lock so that you can't remove the key. Then the ignition started malfunctioning so that the car doesn't always start. And, the A/C went out. This car is a joke. For a car that is marketed and designed for families, this is a huge disappointment and financial burden. Do not buy this car! Wish we hadn't!"

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

The car was just OK!

By on Friday, May 16, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Trade in for a new car

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage, room and comfort."

Cons: "Paid way too much for a used car."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I honestly liked the feel of this car, the safety I felt when driving but I bought this car from a dealership and I was ripped off in every sense of the word and paid way too much, so much that on trade in I had negative equity value toward a new car which made my down pretty much void. Unfortunately, I was naive and should have done things differently but I can't change what happened. The car is technically a good car and great for a family but watch for people who will try to sell it overpriced. Always check Kelly Blue Book to make sure you are getting a fair deal!"

13 people out of 21 found this review helpful

2014 SE Great buy!

By on Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Value, Performance, Interior/Hauling functionality"

Cons: "Expensive packages"

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

"The interior is by far the most functional out of all the 2014 minivans and the cost was 5000 or more less than anything else in the same class. What more could you want? No idea where the "road noise" comments in a lot of the reviews are coming from, maybe a previous year? It is very quiet on the road. The only real con is that the base equipment is a joke. The AVP base model is missing things like rear AC vents and the critical stow and go middle row. Go for the SE and beware the extremely high cost for all the optional equipment and higher package levels. ($500 for a spare tire? Is it gold plated?) Not rating the quality or reliability since I haven't had it long enough to say."

5 people out of 7 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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