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The Car Connection
The latest versions of the original minivan went on sale in early 2004 as '05 models. While little was changed from the basic package, which still stands near the top of the minivan pack in terms of value and versatility, Grand Caravan models now offer Chrysler's new "Stow 'n Go" seating system. Now, instead of having to physically remove and store the second- and third-row seats for added cargo volume, both the rear bench and middle captain's chairs can easily fold flat into the floor. Now, for example, five passengers can share the ride with a chest of drawers by stowing one of the middle-row seats, or a room addition's worth of building materials can be hauled by folding away all of the rear seats. A 150-horsepower 3.3-liter V-6 powers the base SE model, while the SXT gets a 180-horsepower version of the 3.3-liter V-6, and the EX gets a 215-horsepower 3.8-liter V-6. All powertrains are mated to a four-speed Autostick automatic transmission. Extended-length Grand Caravan models can be equipped with all-wheel-drive. As is pretty much mandatory among contemporary minivans these days a wide range of available features is offered, including power-operated rear sliding doors and liftgate, a DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones, navigation system, tri-zone climate control, a removable center console, and heated leather seats.
2005 Dodge CaravanEnlarge Photo