Go

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Passenger

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

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)

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

Buying this car?

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
6.9
Out of 10

Based on 312 Ratings for the 2008 - 2016 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
    7.8/10

This auto has been very good

By on Saturday, July 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,265

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very enjoyable to drive"

Cons: "cannot think of any item"

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

"Purchased this auto Jan 2012, factory car with 10400 miles on it, have driven it all over, recently returned from south Texas, highway mileage was upwards of 29mpg at 63mph. Has been very dependable and comfortable. Electric seat does do wonders. Now retired, wife does not drive, no need for 2 autos. Red in color with black interior"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Excellent mini van.

By on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Is everything a mini van should be."

Cons: "dog hair difficult to get out of carpet"

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

"This is my fourth Grand Caravan and it has been trouble free. Tons of room. Easy to get in out of. Seats go down out of the way very easily AC and Heat work great. Excellent mileage at 23 to 24 mph I do a lot of hwy driving at 75mph. Just a great vehicle with tons of space on the inside and infinite seat variations. Driver seat has great support. Console storage is the best of anyone I have owned."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Would not purchase again.

By on Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
3/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
4/10

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

"Bought new in 2009. Transmission had to be replaced at 40,000 miles but was covered under drivetrain warranty. Back power door occasionally will just sit there and click, click, click. Van is comfortable to ride in and easy to drive."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Don't Buy This

By on Thursday, May 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "comfortable to drive in"

Cons: "poorly built"

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

"I am so disappointed in the quality of this van. I bought is with less than 15 miles on it. There was a tear in the upholstery in the passenger back seat, the windshield makes a loud screeching sound when there's any breeze, and the window regulator needed to be replaced as well. There was also an oil leak because the pan screws were not on correctly. Don't waste your time with this van, it won't last."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

best van i have owned

By on Sunday, May 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

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: "comfort and ride"

Cons: "re sale value"

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

"Bought this 2012 Grand caravan in 2/2012 only had to put front brakes on and just put new set of 4 tires on. only thing bad i can say is resale value is not good on this van. but if you keep it you are all set."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

A Van That should be Called a Lemon

By on Thursday, May 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,500

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "No Pros"

Cons: "Cheap- Should be A Lemon. Avoid at all costs."

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

"This Van has had to many problems with it. with so low mileage. Problems that have occured during ownership. 1. Battery Replaced Twice... 2. AC Compressor Died. 3. Power Door Modules on each slide..Sliding doors would not lock Replaces. 4. Egr Valve 5. Leaking Heater Core hoses..Plastic Was Cracked. 6. Radiator Replaced. Cracked side of plastic. 7. All Rotors Replaced. Warped. Brake Pads 8. Key Fob's Replaced. one broke off in ignition..(Factory Recall) 9. Power Window Switch panel..one switch broke off cheap plastic. 10. Instrument panel..Abs Light Comes on once in awhile..Sensors are fine. 11. Front Struts going bad."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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

Buying this car?

Advertisement