2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew

I wish I could have spent more time in the Grand Caravan to fully judge the interior of this van versus the Chrysler Town & Country and the others that recently passed through our garage. But for ten grand less than the Honda Odyssey and five grand less than the Chrysler and the Toyota Sienna, this Dodge is tough to quibble with. In fact, the most glaring complaint I have about the Caravan still holds in the Town & Country: the light gray plastic on the doors is too plasticky and also is a bad choice as a color, since it is too light and will immediately look scuffed, worn, and dirty in the hands (and feet) of any family.

The rest of the interior is much improved and, although not up to the standard set by the Odyssey, is perfectly acceptable and, in my opinion, superior to that of the Toyota.

To me, the Grand Caravan is the sleeper of the bunch. Considering the likelihood of getting a more favorable deal on the Dodge, while the Japanese dealers presumably hold out for the last nickel, you could drive away with a real bargain here.

Matt Tierney, Art Director

The Grand Caravan’s subtle styling tweaks for the 2011 model year make a pretty big difference to my eye, and, as a newish dad, I’d be much more comfortable having this Dodge in my garage, even though the interior has been upgraded only to middle-of-the-pack.

Obviously the Grand Caravan is great for family duty, what with its highly configurable interior and oodles of space. After driving a fully loaded 2011 Town & Country over the weekend, though, I was disappointed to find that this Dodge lacked remote start, which is a highly desirable option in January in Michigan. Thankfully, even though it has cloth upholstery, this Caravan still has heated front and middle-row seats and a heated steering wheel. And, on Crew models like this, remote start is part of a $760 option package that also includes rear window shades and a fancy center console.

It was hard for me to detect any new-for-2011 suspension-tuning differences on slick roads, but the steering felt better than the 2011 T&C. It’s the R/T edition, just unveiled at the Chicago auto show, that should earn extra credibility in the soccer-field parking lot, though. Too bad it doesn’t have any extra horsepower; sorry kids, no burnouts today.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

2011 Dodge Grand Caravan Crew

Base price (with destination): $29,530
Price as tested: $34,445

Standard Equipment:
3.6-liter V-6 engine
6-speed automatic transmission
Tire pressure monitoring system
Electronic stability control
4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Remote keyless entry
Power locks/windows/mirrors
Cruise control
Power sliding side doors
2nd row bucket with fold-in-floor seats
Media center 430 CD/DVD/MP3/HDD
Audio jack input
30GB hard drive
6.5-inch touch-screen display
Sirius satellite radio
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Tilt/telescoping steering column
Steering-wheel mounted audio controls
ParkView rear backup camera
Sunscreen glass
Options on this vehicle:
Entertainment group #1 — $1300
2nd row overhead 9-inch video screen
Wireless headphones
Video remote control
Overhead DVD console
Driver convenience group — $810
Bluetooth audio streaming
Heated front seats/steering wheel
Remote USB port
Uconnect voice command
Auto-dimming rearview mirror
Infinity 9-speaker sound system with subwoofer — $795
506-watt amplifier
Media Center 430N CD/DVD/MP3/HDD/NAV — $695
30GB hard drive with 4250 song capacity
Garmin navigation system
Flexfuel gasoline vehicle
Passenger convenience group — $595
Heated 2nd row seats
2nd and 3rd row manual sunshades
Removable/rechargeable flashlight
<em<Power liftgate — $425
<em<Deep cherry red crystal pearl exterior paint — $295
Key options not on vehicle:

Fuel economy:
17 / 25 / 20 mpg

Size: 3.6L V-6
Horsepower: 283 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm


6-speed automatic

Curb weight: 4510 lb

Wheels/tires: 17 x 6.5-inch alloy wheels
225/65R17 Michelin Energy Saver all-season tires

Competitors: Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Nissan Quest

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Buying Guide
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17 City / 25 Hwy

Cargo (Std/Max):

NA / 144 cu. ft.

Horse Power:

283 @ 6400