By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 6.7
The 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan remains as one of the Big Three minivan choices out there, alongside the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. There are lots of good reasons for this, well beyond the fact that the Caravan was the first modern minivan those 30-plus years ago. The Grand Caravan boasts the most powerful V6 engine in its class, a cleanly finished and modern interior, plus lots of high-tech and family-friendly features like the Stow 'n Go seating system, which folds the 2nd-row seats down into the floor. While it's true that the Dodge Grand Caravan isn't particularly interesting to drive, and its styling is about as box-on-wheels as it gets, its low price – even when fully loaded – makes it a killer value.
If you're looking for family transportation, and you don't have a lot of money to spend, then the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan is about the only vehicle on your list.
This year, Dodge ups the value quotient on the Grand Caravan minivan with two new Plus Packages, which bundle popular features at a discount.
Driving Impressions While the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan isn't a drag to drive, it's definitely starting to show its age. Its 283-horsepower V6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission make it the...... hot rod of the minivan class, and the brakes do a good job of hauling it to a stop again, too. Of course, the engine's really there to haul up to seven big Americans around, and drag an additional 3,600 pounds of their stuff with the optional towing package. The suspension blends competence and comfort nicely, and the decently weighted steering makes the Dodge Caravan an enjoyable long-haul companion. However, it feels ponderous in parking lots thanks to the wide turning circle, lacks many of the more modern touches we see in newer Dodge and Chrysler products, and both the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna offer a more satisfying driving experience, albeit at a price premium.
3.6-LITER V6 ENGINE
This 283-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is a perfect fit for this big family hauler. With a 6-speed automatic, shifting is smooth, the engine responds quickly to the gas pedal, and even fuel economy is acceptable, if not class-leading.
The 2015 Dodge Caravan's price gives it a definite leg up against competitors like the Honda Odyssey or the Toyota Sienna. With a starting price around the $22,000 mark, and topping out at about $36,000 fully loaded, the low price will help buyers overlook some of its age-induced flaws.
The 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan offers up a clever and comfortable interior for its seven passengers. One of its aces is cargo flexibility, primarily due to the Stow 'n Go 2nd-row seats, which quickly fold into the floor to maximize cargo space without removing the heavy seats. The downside is that this limits the Grand Caravan to only seven passengers, unlike most of its competitors, which can seat up to eight. Those seven have comfortable seats, two available rear video screens and plenty of other amenities. The driver gets a nicely designed instrument panel and plenty of knickknack space.Exterior
If you think form should follow function, you're going to love the looks of the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. It's not ugly by any means, but the plain wraps around a very functional and family-friendly vehicle. The two sliding doors are a godsend to anybody who's ever been trapped in a crowded parking lot, and they're available with a power sliding mechanism as well. If there's not enough cargo space behind the third row, the Stow 'n Place roof-rack system uses swiveling roof-rack crossbars that can be stowed away, out of sight, in the side rails.
The base Grand Caravan AVP comes pretty well equipped, starting with the 283-horsepower engine, 17-inch wheels, remote keyless entry and air conditioning in front and in the rear. It also comes with tilt/telescope steering, steering-wheel-mounted controls for the audio system, and storage bins hidden in the floor in front of the 2nd- row seats. All Grand Caravans come with 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.
The Grand Caravan SE is the step up from the AVP, and includes Stow 'n Go and tinted glass standard, plus 3-zone automatic climate control. The new SE Plus package adds black leather trim inside, 2nd-row power windows, the Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth, along with streaming audio and other must-haves. The SXT comes standard with power sliding doors and a power liftgate, all for less than $30,000, while the R/T gets a monochrome exterior and upgraded interior treatment. Options include parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with cross-path detection, dual DVD screens and a towing package.
Only one engine is available for the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan: a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Known as the Pentastar, it's an excellent V6 engine, delivering smooth power and pretty good fuel economy. The engine gets paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth shift action and, unlike some other transmissions in other vehicles, doesn't have the annoying characteristic of continually "hunting" for the correct gear. Finally, the V6 is E85-compatible, so it can operate on blends 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 base 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan AVP carries a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a little under $22,000, including the destination charge. The SE adds about $3,000 to that price, but the $28,000 SXT model offers the best blend of features and price, in our opinion. The R/T starts at about $31,000, and with options, can run into the $38,000 range. The Dodge's price advantage over the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna is clear: The base price on a Sienna is nearly $6,000 higher, while a base Honda Odyssey LX is nearly $8,000 higher than a Grand Caravan AVP. Before heading to the dealer, be sure to check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying in your area. Also, note that while the prices are lower in the beginning, the Dodge doesn't hold its value as well as its Japanese competitors.
By Meg on Thursday, December 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "So much fun to drive, comfortable, good looking"
Cons: "Resale value"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Got this vehicle for the safety features and I love the way it drives. No one really gets car sick, even in the very back seats. I have taken it twice to Disneyland which means going through the grape vine. Was able to run A/C at temps of 98F. Second time we began over heating but it was 107F. The space inside is great and I can fold down seats to put my 150 Alaskan Malamute in back. Its comfy, mileage is great and the 3.6L 283 horse engine never leaves you looking for more."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By wesn001 on Thursday, December 04, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: To trade up to newer model
Pros: "Best in the world for trips and "curb shopping"
Cons: "Need more and better designed cup holders"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned nothing but a voyager/caravan (with the exception of the Pontiac Montana) since 1986. Had some transmission problems with the earlier models, but I think that has been solved and haven't had any problems with the last three. I traded up from a 2012 to a 2014 Gr Caravan. I love the "store and go", and the auto sliding side doors and windows. The only reasons for my "8" rating are that it's a little under-power in mountain country; I hate the seat belt chafing on my neck (but I don't think I'm going to find any car/model that fixes that); and the lack of an ashtray. I know I shouldn't be smoking, but an actual built in ashtray would make it easier to avoid ash deposited everywhere. I also wish that automatic headlights was a standard feature."
By Ty n Ali on Wednesday, November 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,464overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Price, drives very nice in the city/highway"
Cons: "second row seats decline is minimal for kids"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle came with everything except navigation, which I didn't need since I had a smart phone. Compartment in the floor, swivel seats, bucket seats front and second row, satellite TV (cartoons), Satellite Radio, MP3, Hard Drive to download music, multi channel CD player, Touch Screen panel in radio, Boston Acoustic Speakers, interior mood lights, sun roof, roof rack, allow wheels, fold and stow third row seats, leather seats, front and passenger seat warmers, system monitoring indicator, hands free rear lift gate (opens and closes), hands free, sliding side doors (opens and closes), anti theft system, wheel locks, tow package, V-6 engine (great gas mileage). Looks like a nice minivan on the outside, but once inside the luxury is better than most premium SUVs. If youre in need of a nice family vehicle, this is the one for you, she has been maintained in peek condition. Come see it and take it for a test drive."
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful