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STYLING | 7 out of 10
You guessed it -- it's "more aggressive."
There are only so many ways you can redesign a box, so it’s no surprise that the 2011 Grand Caravan’s exterior is very similar to last year’s model.
The Odyssey has a lightning bolt baked into its sides, and the Sienna has a certain tarted-up swagger--and Nissan's Quest apes some of the foxy-box proportions of the Ford Flex. Meanwhile, the Dodge Grand Caravan soldiers on with a functional shape, inside and out, that no longer looks thrifty and understyled, as it once did.
There's an honesty to the Grand Caravan that looked underdone, when the current van was introduced in the 2008 model year. This minivan replaced a very good-looking one, one with overt oval styling cues. The transition from handsome to merely efficient and boring still leaves the Dodge minivan looking dated, compared to its newest rivals. That said, there are a handful of small touches faired in nicely on the one-box body. The headlights are rounded suggestively, while the Dodge crosshair grille has been plumped up. The R/T's few distinctive touches connect a little more directly to the usual Dodge buyer and their more brash tastes. The LED taillamps that ring the tailgate mimic the ones on the Charger sedan, where the comparison ends, definitively.Moving inside through the front-hinged doors, the Caravan's dash and door panels have bailed on the grainy plastics of the 2008-2010 model years, for something more substantial. From the sliding side doors back, not much has changed—it's still crayon-and-vomit-proof—but facing the senior family members is an uncluttered, upgraded dash with better materials all around. The detail that snags: the Caravan's chintzy base cloth upholstery, which feels a little fuzzy, and looks a bit like something out of a 1980s Korean car. Leather's worth the upgrade, but it's an option only on the top two trim packages.
Functional to a fault, the Grand Caravan's honest looks and nicer interior still don't strike much fear in the hearts of Toyota or Honda.