By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
The minivan market has shrunk over the years, but the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan remains a major player, right alongside the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. The Grand Caravan’s clean, boxy exterior may look boring compared to the more stylish designs from Honda, Kia and Nissan, but it provides maximum interior space, which is what families care about most. Inside, features such as the 2nd-row Stow ‘n Go seating give the big Dodge an advantage over other minivans, as does its low sticker price. And, although the entry-level AVP trim costs thousands less than its rivals, the Grand Caravan delivers the most powerful V6 engine in its class, standard.
If a minivan is the only vehicle that can accommodate your family’s hauling needs, Dodge’s Grand Caravan for 2016 will give you everything you need at the best price possible. Impressive power comes standard, thanks to a 283-horsepower V6.
The 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan doesn’t have the same reliability and resale history as the Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna. You’ll get a longer warranty with the Kia Sedona and better fuel economy from the Honda Odyssey. All-wheel-drive fans have only one choice: Toyota Sienna.
KBB Expert Ratings
There are no major changes for the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan minivan.
While no minivan is really fun to drive, the Dodge Grand Caravan for 2016 lags behind the ride and handling of its newer rivals. The 283-horsepower V6 and 6-speed automatic...
... deliver world-class acceleration and smoothness, and the brakes feel strong and competent. All that power comes in handy when hauling not just the Grand Caravan’s seven passengers and their gear, but an additional 3,600 pounds when equipped with the optional towing package. While the Grand Caravan’s suspension returns a smooth ride, it takes a back seat to the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna in the areas of cornering and turning radius. Though Dodge loads the Grand Caravan with lots of cool features, its aging architecture negates certain electronic safety and infotainment features found on newer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
3.6-LITER V6 ENGINE
One of the best V6 engines in the industry, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is a perfect match to the Grand Caravan, delivering smooth operation, instantaneous power and decent fuel economy.
The 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan’s ace in the hole is its remarkably low starting price. Even in its most basic form, the Grand Caravan still comes nicely equipped, giving families on a budget a break where it counts most.
The 2016 Grand Caravan by Dodge offers 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.
If you think form should follow function, you're going to love what Dodge has done with the 2016 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 wheel, power windows, power locks, steering-wheel-mounted controls for the audio system and cruise control, 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 SE Plus package adds 2nd-row power windows, the Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth, along with streaming audio. 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. Other options include parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring with cross-path detection, dual DVD screens, Garmin navigation radio, load-leveling suspension, heated front seats and steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers.
Only one engine is available for the 2016 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)
Dodge’s Grand Caravan AVP for 2016 carries a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a little under $23,000, including the destination charge. The SE adds about $3,000 to that price, but the $28,600 SXT model offers the best blend of features and price, in our opinion. The R/T starts at about $32,000, 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 $7,000 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 or Korean competitors.