Elsewhere inside, the Grand Caravan is comfortable to the max. Minivans are about utility—passengers and cargo—first and foremost, and the fold-away second-row seats are a better idea. We've never heard a kid beef about the trade-off of skinny seat cushions, though admittedly the harder-to-remove business-class seats in the Sienna and Odyssey would be the preferred choice for touring adults. The base van has seven-spot, three-row seating; add on Stow 'N Go for fold-away second- and third-row seats, and you'll get a new twist for 2011 in the form of a one-touch fold-down mechanism, and power folding for the third-row bench.
While the interior of the 2011 Grand Caravan is refined and quiet, ride quality is mediocre at best compared to rival vans. Even with retuned shocks, the Caravan bounds more than it needs to over strings of low bumps. It's resolute, conservative to any response, with a smothering instinct that will shame lots of the moms and dads who actually will drive it, pretty much the polar opposite of the taut, tightly-sprung (well, for a van) Honda Odyssey.