2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
Versatile interior; comfortable ride; tons of storage space
There are five Grand Caravan trims for 2012: American Value, SE, SXT, Crew and R/T. All Grand Caravans come with a 3.6L V6 engine that makes 283 hp and a 6-speed automatic with Autostick manual control.
Anti-lock brakes, tire-pressure monitoring, multi-stage front air bags and supplemental side curtain air bags for all three rows of seats are standard equipment, which contributed to its across-the-board 5-star safety ratings from the NHTSA. All Grand Caravans also get the electronic stability program. The Crew gets a ParkView back-up camera.
Convenience is a must in any minivan. All Grand Caravans get the 3rd-row Stow-and-Go seats that fold completely into the floor to maximize cargo space.
The new-for-2012 American Value Grand Caravan makes the price of admission a little lower. This trim is a little more spartan than last year's entry-level model, but still decently equipped, especially for the price. It comes with heated mirrors, variable wipers, a CD/MP3-compatible stereo, an audio input jack, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows and locks, keyless entry, dual-zone air conditioning and stability control.
The SE trim adds rear air conditioning, easy-clean floor mats and body-color exterior trim as well as the option of adding aluminum wheels and 2nd-row power windows by way of the SE Plus Group.
The SXT brings standard aluminum wheels, sunscreen glass, power rear-quarter windows and 3-zone air conditioning. Add the Entertainment Group the Grand Caravan gets SIRIUS satellite radio, a 2nd-row DVD entertainment system and a rear back-up camera.
The Crew trim adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, roof rails, fog lamps and power-sliding doors. The stereo becomes a complete media center including a 30GB hard drive, a 6.5-inch touch screen, a DVD player and satellite radio. Both front seats are power-adjustable, the steering wheel is leather-wrapped and there's a real 115V power outlet.
The Crew offers as optional, a "Safety Sphere" package that includes automatic headlamps a blind-spot and rear cross-path detection system, park assist sensors and rain-sensing wipers. A luxury-oriented Driver Convenience package adds Bluetooth, heated seats, a heated steering wheel, rear heated seats and window shades.
The R/T equips the van with performance-tuned suspension, leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a back-up camera. The optional Media Center 730 includes a 40GB hard-drive stereo, a 6.5" touch-screen interface, navigation and Bluetooth.
The Grand Caravan can be outfitted for towing up to 3,600 lbs. with the Trailer Tow Group, which includes a heavy-duty radiator, transmission oil cooler, load-leveling and wiring harness.
A new entry-level American Value Package helps to drive the price of admission to below $21,000. The trims have gotten a bit of a revision, and are named the SE, SXT, Crew and R/T.
The Grand Caravan was one of the first minivans to make it big in North America, and it's still one of the best. The base Grand Caravan starts under $21,000 and that brings a 6-speed automatic, heated power mirrors, keyless entry, 2-zone air conditioning and standard stability control, tire pressure monitoring and a host of air bags. EPA-estimated mileage on the highway is a strong 25 mpg.
* EPA mileage estimates and EPA fuel economy methods based on models beginning with
the indicated model year. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models
before the indicated model year. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how
you drive and maintain your vehicle.