2020 Dodge Grand Caravan

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2019
The Car Connection
2019
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
September 29, 2019

Buying tip

Most Grand Caravans are sold to fleet buyers, so resale value is very, very low.

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan may appeal to drivers who want a new van at a low price,but its sticker and its utility are overshadowed by low safety scores.

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan is the oldest minivan for sale today. New back in the last decade, it’s been surpassed by minivans from other brands—most of all by the Chrysler Pacifica, a TCC Best Car To Buy winner. With a low price tag in the plus column, we give it 3.8 out of 10 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

New in 2008, the latest Dodge Grand Caravan received a major refresh in 2011, and hasn’t been substantially revised since. For 2020, the Grand Caravan gets fold-away seats standard, better upholstery, and a power driver’s seat on the SE Plus model.

If you’ve seen any Grand Caravan since 2011, you’ve seen the 2020 model. Its familiar shape is comforting in a way, but more nostalgic than exciting in any way, shape, or form. A 283-horsepower V-6 and 6-speed automatic provide adequate acceleration, but fuel economy is as old-school as the powertrain, and handling is below par when compared with vehicles such as the Pacifica and the Honda Odyssey.

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Base Grand Caravans have a third-row seat that fold away, and the second-row fold-away (Stow ’n Go) seats on higher trims are the biggest selling point of this otherwise outdated van.

Safety scores leave a lot to be desired, with results that look straight out of 2008 and no active safety features to speak of. While other minivans offer a wide variety of family-friendly options, plug-in hybrid powertrains, airline-style seats, and in-vehicle wi-fi, the Grand Caravan is firmly stuck in the past.

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2020 Dodge Grand Caravan

Styling

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan looks its age.

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan has worn the same look since 2008, and other minivans—including FCA’s own Pacifica—prove that minivans don’t need to be boxy. It’s fine, but it’s too familiar. We give it a 3 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Sedona, and even Honda Odyssey to some eyes have proven that minivans don’t have to be ungainly and unattractive. All three of those vans have been introduced or completely redesigned since the Grand Caravan has been on sale, making the Dodge look positively dated in comparison with its halogen headlights and boxy styling.

The interior is somehow drearier, with a tall center stack that harkens back to another era, and with finishes that detract from the straightforward, functional design.

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2020 Dodge Grand Caravan

Performance

The 2020 Grand Caravan has an engine with enough grunt, but its handling is subpar.

The 2020 Dodge Caravan has a powertrain that can still keep up, but its suspension hasn’t aged nearly as well. We give it 4 out of 10 here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

All Grand Caravan models come with a 3.6-liter V-6 with front-wheel-drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission. This stalwart powertrain is good for 283 horsepower, which is plenty of grunt for getting up to highway speeds with confidence, and the transmission shifts smoothly with minimal complaints.

While the engine is still adequate, the suspension and steering don’t handle the power as well as they can. The ride is comfortable enough, but the Grand Caravan leans and bounds through turns and over bumps that newer vans handle with even-keeled composure. While the steering is direct, it provides too much feedback without proper weight. The Chrysler Pacifica was FCA’s chance to remedy these shortcomings, and the engineers nailed it there. The Grand Caravan, as a result, has been left in the dust.

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2020 Dodge Grand Caravan

Comfort & Quality

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan is excellent at hauling people and stuff, but with questionable quality.

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan is great for hauling lots of stuff and people, but not in particular comfort or luxury. We give it 6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

With the available fold-away rear seats, the Grand Caravan doubles as a cargo van behind the front seats, with 140.3 cubic feet of storage space. Behind the second row, there’s still 78.9 cubic feet, and 31.3 cubes with all three rows in place. Those figures are what make minivans the most versatile vehicles on the road, and singlehandedly represent the Grand Caravan’s strongest appeal. Unfortunately, other vans do it just as well and with better style, comfort, and safety.

Speaking of comfort, the Grand Caravan’s 7 total seats provide a decent amount of space for each passenger, but material quality is inexpensive in appearance even in higher-end models, and the base cloth upholstery feels thin and flimsy. If you’re buying a new minivan to haul materials or wild animals, this is the van for you. 

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2020 Dodge Grand Caravan

Safety

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan gets lackluster crash test scores and offers no modern safety equipment.

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan has crash test scores and safety equipment that hail from another era. We rate it 2 out of 10 here. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The NHTSA gives the Grand Caravan four stars overall, but for a family vehicle, you shouldn’t accept anything less than five. The IIHS also gave the Grand Caravan “Poor” ratings for its headlights and small front-overlap crash safety—and those scores that haven’t improved in years. Due to the age of its platform, the Grand Caravan also eschews any active or passive safety technology, offering only a rearview camera that’s now federally mandated.

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2020 Dodge Grand Caravan

Features

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan is still too expensive for what it is.

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan offers a low price and a smattering of standard equipment. It’s been a better value in the past, frankly, and base trims omit essential equipment. We give it 4 out of 10 for features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Available in SE, SE Plus, and SXT trim, we recommend starting your shopping with the SE Plus trim or above. The SE trim has power locks and windows, 17-inch wheels, three-zone climate control, and an outdated 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Bluetooth costs extra, and the second-row bench seat doesn’t fold into the floor, though the standard third row does.

Start with the SE Plus trim, which now includes fold-away bucket seats in the second row and a power driver’s seat, along with better upholstery, a center console, and Bluetooth among other features. 

The top Grand Caravan SXT makes most features standard, including automatic headlights, leather upholstery, satellite navigation, heated front seats and steering wheel, and more. At over $32,000 though, it’s definitely not worth the cost of entry.

The Grand Caravan also offers minivan comforts like a rear seat entertainment system and many USB ports, but its 9.0-inch screen is tiny, especially when kids these days all have a tablet with streaming capabilities.

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2020 Dodge Grand Caravan

Fuel Economy

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan gets only 20 mpg combined, making it the least fuel-efficient minivan.

The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan manages fuel economy that harkens back to 2008. With 20 mpg combined at most, it sits at the bottom of the minivan class for a score of 4 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

All versions of the Grand Caravan get 17 city, 25 highway, and 20 combined. Newer vans manage close to 30 mpg or above on the highway.

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3.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 3
Performance 4
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety 2
Features 4
Fuel Economy 4
Compare the 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan against the competition
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  • 2020 Honda Odyssey

    6.7
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  • 2020 Toyota Sienna

    5.5
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