Solid performance in the minivan realm means many different things. For an eight-passenger vehicle, the Grand Caravan accelerates strongly and corners well enough--and it delivers gas mileage on par with its class, too.
Dodge's minivan isn't the fuel-economy leader, but it does well enough to cluster with the most commonly seen versions of its chief competitors, the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey.
There's just a single powertrain configuration--the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic--so the figures apply to the entire model range. The Grand Caravan also has an "economizer" switch, which isn't the Doctor Who feature it sounds like. It's an electronically controlled mode that fiddles with shift timing to let the minivan sip a little less fuel.
The end result? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the 2013 Grand Caravan at 17 miles per gallon city, 25 miles per gallon highway. That's on par with the numbers generated by the Sienna, which loses its four-cylinder option for the 2013 model year, and for base versions of the Odyssey. The Honda minivan leads the pack, but only with its most expensive version, which gets a six-speed automatic and gas mileage of up to 28 mpg highway.There's no hybrid or diesel edition of the Grand Caravan, and with a replacement due in the 2014 model year, no other powertrains are expected before that major model change.