KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
- Updated Date: 9/1/2012
You'll Like This Car If...
The Chrysler Town & Country's history dates back 1989, when it broke new ground as the first luxury
minivan ever produced. Since then, competitors such as the
Honda Odyssey and the
Nissan Quest have entered the market with varying degrees of success, but the 2013 Chrysler Town & Country continues its long-standing position as one of the top-selling people movers in America – and for good reason. Its interior quarters are stuffed with practical and convenient niceties, including Chrysler's popular Stow 'n Go second-row seating and a newly-available Blu-Ray disc player. Add in class-leading horsepower, and the 2013 Town & Country becomes a minivan you actually want to drive – with or without the family.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If features-per-dollar, power and fuel economy are more important than styling and best-in-class resale value, the 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan makes a very tempting prospect.
What's New for 2013
If you value exterior styling and a vehicle that holds its value well over time, you're probably going to be happier with a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. Also, those needing all-wheel drive will find the Sienna is still the only game in town.
The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan American Value Package (AVP) is made even better this year, with a lower price and more features that make it the most affordable 7-passenger minivan in America. A rear-seat entertainment package with Blu-Ray-compatible DVD player is offered on R/T and Crew models.
With its 283-horspower Pentastar V6 engine, the Grand Caravan is the closest thing to a driving enthusiast's minivan you can buy. The suspension, steering and brakes are in complete harmony, delivering excellent response and good feedback in all driving situations. The V6's low-end torque is so plentiful it feels as though it could tow two Grand Caravans with no problem. Yet, despite all this power, the Grand Caravan still manages EPA city/highway figures of 17 and 25. 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. You can even add a mobile Wi-Fi unit to the system, transforming your Grand Caravan into a rolling internet hot spot.
Perfect for a day at the game or a shaded family picnic, the Dodge's 2013 Grand Caravan's third-row seat can be flipped 180 degrees backward, creating a comfortable couch on which to perch your weary bones.
While the 2013 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. Although loaded with storage areas, the Crew and R/T trims go further with an available "super console" capable of holding a 1-liter bottle between the front seats. The 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.
Notable Standard Equipment
Where it was once on the cutting edge of minivan design, the Dodge Grand Caravan is now behind the curve. Compared to the flowing features of the Nissan Quest and Honda Odyssey, the Grand Caravan's slab-sided styling just falls flat. 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 rear-most glass panel can be vented for better airflow. Unique features include the Stow 'n Place roof-rack system which employs swiveling roof-rack crossbars that can stow away in the side rails.
Notable Optional Equipment
A Grand Caravan AVP includes keyless entry, heated side mirrors, 2-zone manual air conditioning, rear wiper/washer, rear defroster, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, second-row in-floor storage bins, 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. Available on the AVP and standard on all other trims are second-row Stow 'N Go seating and tinted side glass. 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.h
Under the Hood
The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan offers four additional trims beyond the base AVP: SE, SXT, Crew and R/T. Among the more notable options are the Stow 'n Place roof rack, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a power liftgate and the Uconnect hard-drive-based voice-activated navigation and entertainment system. 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.
Beneath the hood of every 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan is a dynamo 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 enhancement 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.
283 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (gasoline), 12/18 mpg (E85)
The 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan AVP has a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $21,000; the base Grand Caravan cargo van starts around $22,500. At the opposite end of the pricing spectrum, the Grand Caravan can approach $40,000 for a fully-loaded Crew or R/T model. For 2013, the Dodge Grand Caravan's base price is among the lowest in the category, yet it features the most powerful standard engine. By comparison, the Toyota Sienna V6 costs about $4,000 more, while the entry-level Honda Odyssey will set you back nearly an additional $7,000. We expect our Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to reflect real-world transaction prices – before any available incentives – within a few hundred dollars of sticker price. And, although the 2013 Grand Caravan minivan may have a cheaper entry price, we don't expect it to retain resale value as well as the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.