Shopping for a new Dodge Grand Caravan?
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Along with the steady procession of new sedans and crossovers this model year, the Dodge Grand Caravan's been revamped for 2011. The rehab gives the Grand Caravan a new interior and new powertrains, and another ladle of tech features that make this minivan one of the most connected family vehicles on the road.We're giving the 2011 Grand Caravan a perfect score of 10, for all its improvements and for the basics it does so well--in flexibility, features, and safety.
It hasn't changed much on the outside, but the Grand Caravan's creaky, plasticky cabin has been tossed, and not a moment too soon. The low-rent feel unfairly marred what's one of the most functional, flexible interiors in the car world. Capped in new materials and finishes, the flipping, folding, totally accommodating Grand Caravan keeps its place at the top of the minivan ladder, with its hide-away second-row and third-row seats. Good for up to eight people--with the smallest ones in back, of course--the Grand Caravan can go from a storage bin with more than 120 cubic feet of space, to an eight-seater with clever storage bins in front of the middle row, all baked into its platform to retain a flat floor. The Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey have more plush chairs in the second row, but they're difficult to remove, and don't disappear at the tug of a lever. The Grand Caravan also has more cupholders and storage bins molded into its panels, as if you needed one more cubby to check for toys.
For safety, Chrysler's held the minivans to a high standard. Stability control is standard, and the Grand Caravan still offers a package of options including a rearview camera and blind-spot monitors, as well as parking sensors. We'd recommend all of them--and still consider the Chryslers among the safest vans on the road, though the NHTSA has yet to confirm its ratings for the 2011 model year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says the vans earn "good" ratings for front- and side-impact protection.