EDITORS NOTEBOOK: 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan, Day 1

Automobile Staff
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2008 Dodge Grand Caravan Front View

Read Sam Smith's comments on driving the 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan.

Wow, does this thing feel German. Not in the build quality - the hollow doors and clunky control feels and the razor-sharp mold edges on the interior plastics - but in high-speed feel and highway heft. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I don't remember Caravans and Chrysler minivans of old feeling this tied-down on the highway. Tick along at a hundred? Sure. No sweat; there isn't even an excess of wind noise. Hell, it's even kind of quick. No wandering, no wavering, a nice heft to the steering - if you didn't know better, you'd think you were driving something . . . er, fun.

That said, it's still a minivan, and it's still a Chrysler product. And to that end, it's still a little rough around the edges, both literally and figuratively. The plastics and control edges are all sharp and feel crude (check a Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter if you want durable and inexpensive that still retains a premium feel). The ergonomics and button layouts remind me of import stuff from five years ago.

Didn't really use the Swivel 'n Go, but it seems clever and relatively spacious...

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