2010 Dodge Grand Caravan Review

Consumer Reviews
2 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
October 6, 2009

The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan puts its money on its flexible interior and entertaining features, but its performance is matched and styling bettered by newer competition.

TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven several different versions of the Dodge Grand Caravan to bring you this hands-on road test. TheCarConnection.com has also researched available road tests for the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan to provide a companion review of opinions from around the Web and to help you figure out which opinions matter when reviews differ.

The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan is the latest example of a fundamentally sound idea that continues to resonate with families on the go, more than 25 years after its introduction. Not a full-size van, but certainly not a station wagon, the Grand Caravan minivan offers enough seats for eight passengers, a carlike ride, smooth acceleration, and reasonable fuel economy. In Dodge's opinion, it's a "family room on wheels." Redesigned completely in 2008, the Grand Caravan only gets minor drivetrain tweaks this year as Chrysler sorts out its new alliance with Italy's Fiat.

Available only as a long-wheelbase minivan, the latest look for the Dodge Grand Caravan is squared-off and edgy, compared to the Clorox-bottle shape of the previous generation. It's more integrated with the muscular look of other Dodge cars, but the T-squared lines somehow make the Grand Caravan look less impressive and less upscale than previous editions. It's also harder to tell the Dodge apart from its Chrysler Town & Country counterpart. From the front, though, it's obviously a Dodge; the sporty cross-hair grille telegraphs the family links to the Ram truck and the Charger sedan. Inside, the boxy theme prevails again, with lots of hard plastic corners and imposing rectangles dominating the cabin. Light-colored upholstery helps, along with big glass areas, but the interior's moved into a cheap-and-cheerful territory that Dodge had all but superseded with the previous Grand Caravan.

Dodge outfits the 2010 Grand Caravan with a choice of three engines, either a four-speed or six-speed automatic, and front-wheel drive. (All-wheel drive has fallen off the ordering sheet.) Besides the 3.8-liter V-6 that makes up the majority of TheCarConnection.com's experience, two other V-6s are available: a 175-hp 3.3-liter V-6 and a 251-hp 4.0-liter V-6. The two larger engines are teamed to a six-speed automatic, and the combination in either case provides more than adequate performance for this class of vehicle. Pass on the 3.3-liter V-6 and the four-speed automatic that comes with it. The Dodge Grand Caravan weighs more than two tons, so power is an important component of overall driving safety and satisfaction. If you want better acceleration while actually boosting fuel economy, take the big six; it earns 17/25 mpg in EPA testing, while the 3.8-liter six gets 16/23 mpg and the 3.3-liter six manages 17/24 mpg. Handling and ride aren't any better or worse than in most minivans, which makes the performance rating among minivans more a fuel-economy derby.

Review continues below

The Grand Caravan is more solidly built than before, and offers so many interior configurations, it would be the top-ranked minivan for comfort and quality-if only its plasticky interior felt and looked better. All three rows of seats in any Grand Caravan have ample head and shoulder room, with third-row seats offering acceptable space for adults, due to a long 121.2-inch wheelbase. Storage is excellent, especially with the Stow 'n Go seating system that lowers seats into the floor and the Swivel ‘n Go system, with its second-row seats that swivel 180 degrees to face the third row. Order the latter and you'll also get a removable table that installs between the two rows, in-floor covered storage bins, and fold-in-the-floor third-row seating. The Swivel ‘n Go option is only for use by children; adults will find the face-to-face configuration cramped. As for quality, the interior is slathered in hard plastic and carpet that's a nod to the durability needed by families-but a distinct step back from the 1996-2007 minivans that felt richer and looked better than the current Grand Caravan.

The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan earns good safety scores, though not best in class. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) gives it five-star scores across the board, and the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) calls its front and side-impact performance "good." In rear impacts, the IIHS says it's "marginal," which keeps it from being a Top Safety Pick. Dual front, side, and curtain airbags are standard, along with anti-lock brakes, as well as traction and stability control. Available as options are a blind-spot monitor, a rearview camera system, and rear parking sensors. Integrated child seats also can be fitted to the second-row seats.

Because of its vastly reconfigurable interior, the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan gets a great features rating from TheCarConnection.com. It earns the best rating possible because of the long list of options offered for entertaining kids on the road-a public service that shouldn't go unsung. There's a MyGIG entertainment system with a music hard drive and navigation, if ordered; Sirius Satellite Radio and Travel Link real-time information; Backseat TV with a limited palette of kid-oriented, live satellite TV; and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with twin screens that also rotate for viewing in the rear two rows.

7

2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

Styling

With its more masculine style, the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan gains some fans but loses some important admirers.

The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan is the latest example of a fundamentally sound idea that continues to resonate with families on the go, more than 25 years after its introduction. Not a full-size van, but certainly not a station wagon, the Grand Caravan minivan offers enough seats for eight passengers, a carlike ride, smooth acceleration, and reasonable fuel economy.

Available only as a long-wheelbase minivan, the latest look for the Dodge Grand Caravan is squared-off and edgy, compared to the Clorox-bottle shape of the previous generation. It's more integrated with the muscular look of other Dodge cars, but the T-squared lines somehow make the Grand Caravan seem less impressive and less upscale than previous editions. It's also harder to tell the Dodge apart from its Chrysler Town & Country counterpart. From the front, though, it's obviously a Dodge; the sporty cross-hair grille telegraphs the family links to the Ram truck and the Charger sedan.
Cars.com says Dodge "really hit the mark with the new styling. It didn't go overboard trying to make it look like something other than a minivan." Kelley Blue Book calls the look "masculine," while Motor Trend chimes in, describing the influences of "Dodge's 'masculine' Charger and Magnum." They also note its "broad shouldered...handsome, expensive presence...[it] actually looks mean looming up in a rear view mirror." On the flip side, Edmunds deems it "unpretentious," and CNet says the shape "doesn't break any new ground," while Autoblog damns it by stating, "the last time we saw sheet metal this flat and unadorned was on a UPS truck."

Inside, the boxy theme prevails again, with lots of hard plastic corners and imposing rectangles dominating the cabin. Light-colored upholstery helps, along with big glass areas, but the interior's moved into a cheap-and-cheerful territory that Dodge had all but superseded with the previous Grand Caravan. MotherProof says the inside of the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan is "rather space-shuttley with its boxy, line-y interior design." The review also notes, "This square theme abounds in other Dodge models; it's not exactly warm and inviting."

Review continues below
7

2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

Performance

The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan performs like most other minivans, with good fuel economy and a smooth ride.

Dodge outfits the 2010 Grand Caravan with a choice of three engines, either a four-speed or six-speed automatic, and front-wheel drive. (All-wheel drive has fallen off the ordering sheet.) There's a 175-hp 3.3-liter V-6, a 197-hp 3.8-liter V-6 and a 251-hp 4.0-liter V-6.

The two larger engines are teamed to a six-speed automatic, and the combination in either case provides more than adequate performance for this class of vehicle. Consumer Reports observes, "The 3.8- and 4.0-liter engines are a bit noisy and not very fuel efficient," but Car and Driver calls this version of the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan a "strong performer."

TheCarConnection.com recommends you pass on the 3.3-liter V-6 and the four-speed automatic that comes with it. If you want better acceleration while actually boosting fuel economy, take the big six; it earns 17/25 mpg in EPA testing, while the 3.8-liter six gets 16/23 mpg and the 3.3-liter six achieves 17/24 mpg. Kelley Blue Book points out the midline 197-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 has "no problem transporting the medium-size loads to which we subjected it," but Motor Trend reports "for an additional $630 and no sacrifice in EPA fuel economy figures," you can get the more powerful 4.0-liter V-6, which serves "up 251 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque." The bigger six-cylinder minivans also get the six-speed automatic, which Automedia says "operates so smoothly that gear changes are barely noticed." Even with the big engine, Autoblog finds nothing special about the Grand Caravan's power: "While it drove alright for a vehicle that weighs around 4,300 pounds, it's no tire-smoker."

Handling and ride aren't any better or worse than in most minivans, which makes the performance rating among minivans more a fuel-economy derby. Autoblog calls the Dodge Grand Caravan a "smooth rider," and Car and Driver notes, "brake-pedal feel is superb." Automedia agrees: "Ride quality in a Dodge Grand Caravan SXT is outstanding, at least on smooth pavement." They also observe it has "more confident handling than before, with especially positive steering."

Review continues below
8

2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

Comfort & Quality

The comfort and utility of the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan overmatch its pedestrian interior materials.

The Grand Caravan is more solidly built than before, and offers so many interior configurations, it would be the top-ranked minivan for comfort and quality-if only its plasticky interior felt and looked better.

All three rows of seats in any Grand Caravan have ample head and shoulder room, with third-row seats offering acceptable space for adults, due to a long 121.2-inch wheelbase. According to Cars.com, the 2010 Grand Caravan comes in a myriad of configurations; there's a "standard second-row bench seat and a manual 60/40-split folding third row," while covered cargo holds in the second-row floor; "Stow 'n Go second-row captain's chairs with the manual folding third row," which hide those second-row seats in the floor when not in use; and Swivel 'n Go, with its "rearward-facing second-row seats with the manual third row." The Grand Caravan, unlike the Ford Flex and others, doesn't offer a power-fold option for third-row seats.

By all accounts, at TheCarConnection.com and around the Web, storage in the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan is excellent, especially with the available Stow 'n Go and Swivel ‘n Go systems. Along with other sources, Motor Trend admires the newly optional "Swivel 'n Go second-row chairs [that] flip around 180 degrees." Cars.com also appreciates the Stow 'n Go second-row seats, "which fold into the floor"; Car and Driver calls them "a masterpiece of accommodating design." Autoblog remarks that the third-row seat "flips backwards for tailgate seating that's more comfortable than any bare-metal pickup truck bed." MotherProof considers the seating "fun," but the writer has difficulty removing the optional table that fits between the second- and third-row seats. The Swivel ‘n Go option is only for use by children; adults will find the face-to-face configuration cramped.

As for quality, the interior is slathered in hard plastic and carpet that's a nod to the durability needed by families-but a distinct step back from the 1996-2007 minivans that felt richer and looked better than the current Grand Caravan. Most reviewers come down hard on the materials used on the dash and door panels of the Dodge; the interior "has a cheap-motel look about it, too, with plastic gestures everywhere-obvious plastic, blatant plastic," says Car and Driver, adding that the big center console is "rickety." Motor Trend likes the "convenient LED reading lamps [that] dot the cabin, and there's an available overhead 'halo' light that bathes the interior in soft blue." The Washington Post feels much more charitable, calling the Caravan "luxurious ... like being in your living room or a family room." ConsumerGuide acknowledges the Grand Caravan as "possibly the quietest minivans."

Review continues below
9

2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

Safety

The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan is nearly at the top of its class in terms of safety; the high-tech safety options vary in usefulness.

The 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan earns good safety scores, though not best in class. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) gives it five-star scores across the board, and the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) calls its front and side-impact performance "good." In rear impacts, the IIHS says it's "marginal," which keeps it from being a Top Safety Pick.

According to Motor Trend, the curtain airbags protect all three rows of passengers. Cars.com reports that in the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan, anti-lock brakes and an electronic stability system are both included as standard equipment, as well as front, side, and curtain airbags. An integrated booster seat is offered in Swivel 'n Go versions, Cars.com states.

Other safety options include a blind-spot monitor, a rearview camera system, and rear parking sensors. Autoblog tests a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan outfitted with the backup camera and doesn't have kind words. They say "using it was worse than trying to watch football on one of those 6-inch TVs sold at drug stores."

Review continues below
10

2010 Dodge Grand Caravan

Features

Most are optional, but the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan's features are second to none.

Because of its vastly reconfigurable interior, the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan gets a great features rating from TheCarConnection.com. It earns the best rating possible because of the long list of options offered for entertaining kids on the road-a public service that shouldn't go unsung.

Among the low-tech features, Autoblog lists "a removable, cordless, rechargeable flashlight in the cargo area, power sliding doors and rear hatch, adjustable pedals and overhead LED reading lights for all three rows of seating."

It's the high-tech options that wow drivers and the editors at TheCarConnection.com. There's a MyGIG entertainment system with a music hard drive and navigation, if ordered. "MyGIG lets you access music by artist, song, album, genre, and year, among others," CNet says. "It's a full-featured music player, and we found that it worked very well."
There's also Sirius Satellite Radio and Travel Link real-time information; when coupled to the available navigation system, it pipes information on traffic, weather, movie listings, and sports scores into the car's screen. The Washington Post calls it a "navigation, telecommunications, and an audiovisual entertainment system that will ignite your senses more than a stay in a $1,000-a-night room in the MGM Grand Detroit Hotel and Casino."

Then there's Sirius Backseat TV, one of the best features on the Dodge Grand Caravan. With this option, you get the three most popular kids channels (Nickelodeon, Disney, and Cartoon Network) free for the first year on two separate overhead LCD screens, each of which can broadcast a different channel. Cars.com observes it's a "new way to keep the kids entertained."

Last but not least, the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan can be equipped with Bluetooth connectivity for safer, hands-free calling.

Review continues below
Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

2 Reviews
5 star
4 star
3 star
50%
2 star
50%
1 star
Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
June 13, 2016
2010 Dodge Grand Caravan 4-Door Wagon SE

Only thing I enjoy about it is the colour.

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Before the van even had it's 5th birthday......air conditioning went. The right passenger window lost the electronic use. The stereo went berserk, the back window wiper motor went. The heat shield at the rear... + More »
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
April 28, 2016
2010 Dodge Grand Caravan 4-Door Wagon SXT

Lots of mechanical issues

  • Overall Rating
  • Interior/Exterior
  • Performance
  • Comfort and Quality
  • Safety
  • Features
  • Fuel Economy / MPG
  • Reliability
Have had 2 Dodge Grand Caravans (2001 & still have my 2010) and both had to have the transmissions replaced. NEVER will I buy another one.
people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
USED PRICE RANGE
$2,233 - $18,999
Browse Used Listings
in your area
8.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 7
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety 9
Features 10
Fuel Economy N/A
Compare the 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Dodge Grand Caravan?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used