Great value; plenty of options; much-improved interior quality; flexible seating configurations; available Cargo Van version
Outdated exterior design; lacks premium vibe and cutting-edge technology of some rivals; no all-wheel-drive option
The Grand Caravan receives only minor updates for the 2014 model year. Such revisions include the removal of the Crew trim level and three new standard features for the high-end Grand Caravan R/T: a power lift gate, an alarm and a rearview camera.
The Grand Caravan offers several enticing models, including the novel R/T, which is about as close as any automaker comes to a sporty minivan. But the best deal is the Grand Caravan SXT, which includes everything a parent might want -- such as dual sliding doors and tri-zone climate controls -- along with a few nice features such as a power lift gate and alloy wheels.
The 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan comes in four trim levels -- American Value Package (AVP), SE, SXT and R/T. Each trim level comes standard with the 283-hp V6, a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.
For around $21,500 with shipping, the AVP model offers 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, heated exterior mirrors, power accessories, dual-zone manual climate control, cruise control, handy Stow 'n Go rear seats, a full roster of safety equipment and a 4-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio jack.
The SE ($25,000) adds body-color exterior accents, tri-zone manual climate control, a removable center console with four cupholders and a 6-speaker audio system.
The SXT ($27,690) steps up to 16-in alloy wheels, dual power-sliding doors, a power lift gate and power adjustable pedals.
Last year's upscale Crew model is dropped, meaning the high-end R/T ($30,500) takes over as the luxury-oriented Grand Caravan. In addition to its newly standard power lift gate and rearview camera, the R/T offers sport-tuned suspension, black leather upholstery with red stitching, a power front passenger's seat and a 9-speaker Infinity audio system with a subwoofer.
Notable options include iPod connectivity, Bluetooth and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with a 9-in flip-down screen.
The Grand Caravan is also sold under the name RAM Cargo Van as a windowless work van -- the only current minivan to have undergone such a conversion.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
Honda Odyssey -- The recently redesigned Odyssey boasts comfy accommodations and an impressive technology suite, including an optional vacuum in the rear cargo area. The Odyssey suffers from dull dynamics and a body design some will find questionable.
Nissan Quest -- Based on a Japanese-market van, the Quest is taller and narrower than the rest, but it also has the nicest interior and an eager-to-please V6 engine.
Toyota Sienna -- Also recently redesigned, the Sienna offers the unusual option of a 4-cylinder engine. Customers not obsessed with fuel efficiency will appreciate the 3.5-liter V6. The Sienna also offers a novel split-screen entertainment system that allows two kids to do their own thing simultaneously.