2015 Dodge Grand Caravan

 
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan
 
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan
 

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan

MSRP 
$22,790
Invoice 
$22,635
Target 
 
 

Vehicle Highlights

  • Fuel Economy: 17 mpg City, 25 mpg Hwy
  • Engine: 3.6 L Regular Unleaded V-6, 283 HP
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive Train: Front Wheel Drive
  • Passengers: 7
  • Doors: 4

View More Features and Specifications

What You Will Like

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, standard stability control, tire pressure monitoring and a host of air bags. EPA-estimated mileage on the highway is a strong 25 mpg.

Compare the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan against similar models

What's New For 2015

The Dodge Caravan is largely unchanged entering into 2015. The only major change is the addition of a Plus Package available on SE and SXT trims. The plus package adds various popular optional items to the Grand Caravan, improving exterior looks with new wheels while simultaneously improving interior appointments through the use of nicer materials and addition of several amenities.

Warranty

  • Basic Warranty: 3 Years / 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Warranty: 5 Years / 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance: 5 Years / 100,000 Miles

A vehicle's warranty can significant impact your maintenance costs after you drive off the dealer's lot, and it's important to understand the different parts. Typically, a new car warranty includes a Basic warranty, which covers everything except the wear items such as brakes and tires; and a Drivetrain warranty, that covers all the parts that make the car move, such as the engine and transmission

NHTSA Crash Test Rating

  • Frontal Driver: 4 stars
  • Frontal Passenger: 4 stars
  • Side Driver: 5 stars
  • Side Passenger: 5 stars
  • Rollover Rating: 4 stars

The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) provides consumers with vehicle safety information based on independent testing, primarily front and side crash rating results, and more recently rollover ratings, to aid consumers in their vehicle purchase decisions.

Select options for 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan

Est Target Price With Options

$22,790

Est. Savings Of MSRP Price

$0

 
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Specifications for 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan

Standard Equipment

  • Safety Options
    • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
    • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
    • Side Impact Beams
    • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
    • Low Tire Pressure Warning
    • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
    • Curtain 1st, 2nd And 3rd Row Airbags
    • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
    • Driver Knee Airbag
    • Rear Child Safety Locks
    • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Entertainment Features
    • Radio: Uconnect 130 AM/FM/CD/MP3
    • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock and Aux Audio Input Jack
    • 4 Speakers
    • Fixed Antenna
    • Steering Wheel Mounted Audio Controls
  • Exterior Features
    • Wheels: 17" x 6.5" Steel
    • Tires: P225/65R17 BSW Touring
    • 17" Wheel Covers
    • Spare Tire Mobility Kit
    • Clearcoat Paint
    • Body-Colored Front Bumper
    • Body-Colored Rear Step Bumper
    • Black Bodyside Moldings
    • Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
    • Black Door Handles
    • Black Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
    • Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper, Heated Wiper Park and Defroster
    • Light Tinted Glass
    • Variable Intermittent Wipers
    • Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
    • Lip Spoiler
    • Chrome Grille
    • Sliding Rear Doors
    • Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
    • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
    • Aero-Composite Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off
    • Perimeter/Approach Lights
    • LED Brakelights
  • Interior Features
    • 2nd Row Bench w/Rear Stow 'N Go 60/40
    • 4-Way Driver Seat -inc: Manual Recline and Fore/Aft Movement
    • 4-Way Passenger Seat -inc: Manual Recline and Fore/Aft Movement
    • Full Folding Front Facing Manual Reclining Fold Forward Seatback Cloth Rear Seat w/Manual Fore/Aft
    • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
    • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Transmission Fluid Temp, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
    • Fixed Rear Windows and Manual Vented 3rd Row Windows
    • 7 Person Seating Capacity
    • Fixed Split-Bench Cloth 3rd Row Seat Front, Manual Recline and 3 Fixed Head Restraints
    • Front Cupholder
    • Rear Cupholder
    • Valet Function
    • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 2 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
    • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
    • Dual Zone Front Manual Air Conditioning
    • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts and Headliner/Pillar Ducts
    • Locking Glove Box
    • Driver Foot Rest
    • Interior Trim -inc: Simulated Wood Instrument Panel Insert, Simulated Wood Door Panel Insert and Chrome Interior Accents
    • Full Cloth Headliner
    • Vinyl Door Trim Insert
    • Urethane Gear Shift Knob
    • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
    • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors
    • Mini Overhead Console w/Storage, Conversation Mirror and 4 12V DC Power Outlets
    • Front Map Lights
    • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
    • Full Carpet Floor Covering
    • Carpet Floor Trim
    • Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Mobility Kit
    • Cargo Space Lights
    • Instrument Panel Bin, Covered Dashboard Storage, Interior Concealed Storage, Driver And Passenger Door Bins
    • Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Down
    • Delayed Accessory Power
    • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
    • Trip Computer
    • Outside Temp Gauge
    • Analog Display
    • Driver And Front Passenger Armrests
    • 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
    • Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
    • Sentry Key Engine Immobilizer
    • 4 12V DC Power Outlets
    • Air Filtration
  • Mechanical Features
    • Engine: 3.6L V6 24V VVT FlexFuel
    • Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic 62TE
    • 3.16 Axle Ratio
    • Touring Suspension
    • GVWR: 6,050 lbs
    • 50 State Emissions
    • Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode, AUTOSTICK Sequential Shift Control and Oil Cooler
    • Front-Wheel Drive
    • Engine Oil Cooler
    • 730CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
    • 160 Amp Alternator
    • Towing w/Trailer Sway Control
    • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
    • Front Anti-Roll Bar
    • Hydraulic Power-Assist Steering
    • 20 Gal. Fuel Tank
    • Single Stainless Steel Exhaust
    • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
    • Torsion Beam Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
    • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control

Tech Specs

  • Brakes Features
    • Brake ABS System - 4-Wheel
    • Disc - Front (Yes or ) - Yes
    • Disc - Rear (Yes or ) - Yes
    • Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in) - 11.9
    • Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in) - 12
  • Cargo Area Dimensions Features
    • Cargo Box (Area) Height (in) - 48.6
    • Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (ft³) - 143.8
    • Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (ft³) - 83.3
    • Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (ft³) - 33
  • Electrical Features
    • Cold Cranking Amps @ 0° F (Primary) - 730
    • Maximum Alternator Capacity (amps) - 160
  • Engine Features
    • Engine Order Code - ERB-B
    • Engine Type - Regular Unleaded V-6
    • Displacement - 3.6 L/220
    • Fuel System - Sequential MPI
    • SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM - 283 @ 6400
    • SAE Net Torque @ RPM - 260 @ 4400
  • Exterior Dimensions Features
    • Wheelbase (in) - 121.2
    • Length, Overall (in) - 202.8
    • Width, Max w/o mirrors (in) - 78.7
    • Height, Overall (in) - 67.9
    • Tread Width, Front (in) - 65.6
    • Tread Width, Rear (in) - 64.8
    • Min Ground Clearance (in) - 5.6
  • Fuel Tank Features
    • Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal) - 20
  • Interior Dimensions Features
    • Passenger Capacity - 7
    • Passenger Volume (ft³) - 163.5
    • Front Head Room (in) - 39.8
    • Front Leg Room (in) - 40.7
    • Front Shoulder Room (in) - 63.7
    • Front Hip Room (in) - 58.4
    • Second Head Room (in) - 39.3
    • Second Leg Room (in) - 36.5
    • Second Shoulder Room (in) - 64.1
    • Second Hip Room (in) - 65
    • Third Head Room (in) - 37.9
    • Third Leg Room (in) - 32.7
    • Third Shoulder Room (in) - 62
    • Third Hip Room (in) - 48.7
  • Mileage Features
    • Fuel Economy Est-Combined (MPG) - 20
    • EPA Fuel Economy Est - City (MPG) - 17
    • EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy (MPG) - 25
  • Steering Features
    • Steering Type - Rack-Pinion
    • Turning Diameter - Curb to Curb (ft) - 39.1
  • Summary Features
    • Vehicle Name - Dodge Grand Caravan
    • Body Style - Passenger Van
  • Suspension Features
    • Suspension Type - Front - Strut
    • Suspension Type - Rear - Torsion Beam
    • Suspension Type - Front (Cont.) - Strut
    • Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.) - Torsion Beam
  • Tires Features
    • Front Tire Order Code - TU3
    • Rear Tire Order Code - TU3
    • Front Tire Size - P225/65SR17
    • Rear Tire Size - P225/65SR17
  • Trailering Features
    • Dead Weight Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. (lbs) - 3600
    • Dead Weight Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. (lbs) - 360
    • Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Trailer Wt. (lbs) - 3600
    • Wt Distributing Hitch - Max Tongue Wt. (lbs) - 540
  • Transmission Features
    • Drivetrain - Front Wheel Drive
    • Trans Order Code - DG2
    • Trans Type - 6
    • Trans Description Cont. - Multi-Speed Automatic w/OD
    • First Gear Ratio (:1) - 4.13
    • Second Gear Ratio (:1) - 2.84
    • Third Gear Ratio (:1) - 2.28
    • Fourth Gear Rato (:1) - 1.45
    • Fifth Gear Ratio (:1) - 1.00
    • Sixth Gear Ratio (:1) - 0.69
    • Reverse Ratio (:1) - 3.21
    • Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) - 3.16
  • Vehicle Features
    • EPA Classification - 2WD Minivans
    • Annual CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year - 9.0 (Est)
  • Weight Information Features
    • Base Curb Weight (lbs) - 4321
  • Wheels Features
    • Front Wheel Size (in) - 17 X 6.5
    • Rear Wheel Size (in) - 17 X 6.5
    • Front Wheel Material - Steel
    • Rear Wheel Material - Steel

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan Photos & Colors

Photos

Below are pictures of the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. Select the picture you want to view below

Available Colors

Below are the available colors for the 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan. Select the color to see a close-up view.

  • Billet Silver Metallic Clearcoat Bright White Clearcoat Brilliant Black Crystal Pearlcoat Cashmere/Sandstone Pearlcoat Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearlcoat Granite Crystal Metallic Clearcoat Redline 2 Coat Pearl True Blue Pearlcoat
  • Billet Silver Metallic Clearcoat
  • Bright White Clearcoat
  • Brilliant Black Crystal Pearlcoat
  • Cashmere/Sandstone Pearlcoat
  • Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearlcoat
  • Granite Crystal Metallic Clearcoat
  • Redline 2 Coat Pearl
  • True Blue Pearlcoat

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Introduction

Dodge Grand Caravan and the similar but more luxurious Chrysler Town & Country are the most popular minivans, accounting for nearly half the U.S. market.

For 2015, a new Grand Caravan SE Plus model features 17-inch Satin Carbon aluminum wheels, heated mirrors, silver accent stitching and piano black interior accents. Also introduced for 2015, Grand Caravan SXT Plus includes power sliding doors, a power liftgate, chrome roof rack, foglamps, automatic headlamps, and black leatherette seats. Both are actually option groups. The Blacktop Package, introduced for 2014, remains available. Today’s Grand Caravan is a fifth-generation product launched as a 2008 model. It was revised for 2011, but little has changed since.

Grand Caravan rides smoothly and does not wallow and float. It is a large vehicle, however, and it can be a beast to handle in tight quarters. Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna, Nissan Quest, and Honda Odyssey are all roughly the same size: extra large.

Power is provided by Chrysler’s 3.6-liter V6 mated to a mediocre 6-speed automatic transmission, resulting in a combination that delivers barely adequate response.

The interior is attractive, with soft-touch door tops, boldly contemporary gauges, and some nice bits of trim, but hard plastic dominates the dashboard as is typical for the class. The seats are comfortable. Entertainment features include hard-drive radios, SiriusXM satellite radio, video entertainment, a wireless cell phone link, and a mobile internet hot spot.

Super Stow ‘n Go second-row seats fold into the floor, offering useful cargo space with those seats up or down. Third-row seats fold into the well behind them. With all seats down, Grand Caravan can accept a 4×8 sheet of plywood.

Lineup

The 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan is offered in six models. All come with a 283-hp 3.6-liter V6 and 6-speed automatic transmission.

Grand Caravan AVP or American Value Package ($21,395) comes with cloth upholstery; dual-zone manual climate control; interior air filter; tilt/telescoping steering column with cruise and audio controls; folding, reclining and removable second-row bench seat with in-floor storage; 60/40 spilt Stow ‘n Go third-row seat; power windows; power door locks; heated power mirrors; remote keyless entry; four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input jack; trip computer; rear window wiper, washer and defroster; chrome grille; and P225/65R17 tires on 16-inch steel wheels with wheel covers.

Grand Caravan SE ($24,195) comes with cloth upholstery; tri-zone manual climate control; an interior air filter; tilt/telescoping steering wheel with cruise and audio controls; Super Stow ‘n Go second-row bucket seats, 60/40 split Stow ‘n Go third-row seat; power windows and locks; heated power mirrors; remote keyless entry; six-speaker stereo; trip computer; rear-window wiper, washer and defroster; removable floor console with four cupholders; deep-tint sunscreen glass; and P225/65R17 tires on steel wheels with covers. SE Plus ($24,995) adds unique 17-inch aluminum wheels, body-color heated mirrors, black cloth seats, black leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an overhead console, second-row power windows, SiriusXM radio, and Uconnect voice command.

Grand Caravan SXT ($27,295) adds a power liftgate, dual power sliding doors, a more elaborate Super Console, power rear and rear-quarter windows, a black Stow ‘n Place roof rack with side rails, and 225/65R17 all-season tires on 17-inch alloy wheels. SXT Plus ($28,095) includes 17-inch polished aluminum wheels, foglamps, automatic headlamps, black leather seats with suede inserts, and a 10-way power driver’s seat.

Grand Caravan R/T ($29,995) upgrades to black leather upholstery; Infinity 506-watt sound system with subwoofer and three additional speakers, DVD and HDD capability; sports suspension; and rearview camera. It’s distinguished by body-color grille trim and Satin Carbon alloy wheels. R/T loses the roof rack.

The Blacktop package includes 17-inch polished aluminum wheels with black pockets, a black grille and headlamp bezels, all-black interior, and black cloth seats with silver accent stitching.

Option packages include a Driver Convenience Group ($895) with heated front and second-row seats, heated steering wheel, USB port, Uconnect with voice command, Bluetooth streaming audio and cell phone link, overhead console system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and second- and third-row window shades; Uconnect Hands Free group ($690) with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, SiriusXM satellite radio, Uconnect phone, voice recognition, and auto-dimming rearview mirror; DVD Entertainment Group ($1,495) that includes a single-screen rear DVD entertainment system, SiriusXM satellite radio, 40GB hard disc drive, rearview camera, and 115-volt outlet; Security Group ($395) with remote engine starting and an alarm; and a Trailer Tow group with heavy-duty engine cooling, load-leveling rear suspension, and a trailer wiring harness. Stand-alone options include a removable second-row console instead of a more elaborate unit (no charge); the Infinity sound system; and the load-leveling suspension.

Safety features include dual front airbags, front side airbags, driver’s knee airbag, all-row curtain side airbags, active front headrests, tire-pressure monitor, four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS and brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution, traction control, and electronic stability control. Options include a rearview camera, rear park assist, Rear Cross Path Detection, and Blind Spot Alert. All-wheel drive is not available.

Walkaround

Though dated, Dodge Grand Caravan looks crisp and tidy but not boxy. Up front is a curvy, almost car-like fascia with mesh inserts above and below the main bumper. Filling the upper grille are the trademark Dodge crosshairs, finished in matte black with a chrome outline; except on the R/T, where the chrome parts are replaced with body color.

Rear-end styling is more clever than conspicuous. On each side, the rear roof pillar unites with the taillight cluster to form a single surface, which then bulges out just slightly to become the rear bumper and step plate before retreating back up to the roof via the taillight on the opposite side of the van. Recessed into this gentle U-shape is a subtly convex liftgate, integrating a body-color roof spoiler.

Seventeen-inch tires on steel wheels are standard on lower-level models, but we think the available 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels look better.

Still, a minivan shape does not lend itself to artistic sculpture. A description of the overall shape of this current generation of the Dodge Grand Caravan wouldn’t sound too much different from a description of the 1984 model, with some gentle curves added. There is a big box behind, where all the people and cargo fit, and a smaller box in front, for the engine. That very efficient outline defines every minivan on the road.

All the leading minivans, including Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Nissan Quest and Chrysler Town & Country, measure within an inch or two of the Grand Caravan in overall dimensions. They’re all big, and with a 202.8-inch overall length and a 121.2-inch wheelbase, the Chrysler vans are the biggest of the bunch.

These so-called minivans are quite large. However, they share their basic architecture with cars, using unit-body structures and front-wheel drive platforms, with the engine mounted transversely. Conversely, bigger-yet full-size vans, such as the Chevrolet Express, are built on truck platforms, with body-on-frame structures, rear-wheel-drive platforms and giant, longitudinally mounted V8 engines. Minivans are lighter, more fuel-efficient and offer more responsive handling than the full-size vans.

Interior

Grand Caravan boasts a rich and inviting interior, characterized by strong, decisive lines and shapes and thankfully free of visual gimmicks.

The dashboard is hard plastic, but that’s the norm for this class. The look and feel is that of a flowing, one-piece design. Door tops are padded, adding a touch of comfort, and both the standard-level cloth upholstery and the R/T-grade leather have a look of quality.

Instrumentation consists of black dials offset by blue-tinted graphics and chrome trim. Big divisions let you read each 5-mph increment on the speedometer. The shift lever sticks out just to the left of the center stack, an efficient location.

The handsome, three-spoke steering wheel incorporates trip computer, phone, audio, cruise control, and, when ordered, navigation controls. It telescopes as well as tilts, even with the basic American Value Package, allowing more drivers to find an ideal seating position. The optional heated steering wheel is nice on cold winter mornings.

The sloped A-pillars allow good visibility, but the long hood means the driver sits back a bit from the front bumper, so it’s a little hard to gauge the distance when parking.

Center consoles come in three grades (or four, if you count the open storage bin in the AVP). SE has a removable console with four cup holders. Optional on SXT is a Premium console, also removable, which slides fore and aft for use by either the front or rear passengers. Standard issue on SXT and R/T is a Super Console with capabilities between basic and Premium.

Grand Caravan is designed well for hauling youngsters, with some thoughtful features. Among them is the convex conversation mirror, which is handy for talking to those in the rear seats without having to turn around. We like this clever little feature, which has been around for some time.

The DVD entertainment system is a snap to play, which is important because some of them, even those in much more expensive vehicles, are not easy to use. Plug in the DVD, press Play, and it works; the screen drops down from the ceiling and the viewing begins. Video can be shown on the front touch-screen when the transmission is in Park. It comes with wireless headphones for rear seat passengers and has jacks to plug in video game systems. When the DVD screen is deployed, the driver loses some visibility in the rearview mirror, so more attention needs to be paid to the side mirrors.

Late in the 2013 model year, the Grand Caravan introduced an industry-first Blu-Ray DVD video system on upper models. Blu-Ray discs offer four times the definition of conventional DVDs. The dual-screen system designed for the Grand Caravan features a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) input for video game systems, a 115-volt power outlet, and two USB ports so customers can charge their cell phones, laptops, tablet PCs or MP3 players. The Blu-Ray player can play both standard DVDs and Blu-Ray discs.

Two Uconnect systems are available for upper models, and we like both. Each comes with a 6.5-inch touchscreen. The base version has a 30-gigabyte hard-drive that can hold about 6,700 music files. Another version has an integrated Garmin navigation system that works just fine but has cartoonish graphics. It also has a 30-gigabyte hard-drive, but it can hold about 4,250 songs because some of the space is used for Navigation map information.

With either of the systems offered, songs can be ripped from CDs, and music and pictures can be downloaded from thumb drives via a standard USB port. The hard drive is a great way to have ready access to your music collection without toting around a bunch of CDs. For further connectivity, Uconnect Web, a mobile wi-fi router, is offered as a Mopar accessory.

The second-row bucket seats are stationary, but the back folds forward and the seat tips up to allow access to the third row, all with the pull of a lever. Open the bins in the floor and you can then push the seats into them.

This system, called Super Stow ‘n Go, works superbly well. For a fairly simple invention, it’s a masterpiece. To test it, we hauled a couch. In just a minute or so, and without having to refer to the manual, we dropped the second- and third-row seats flat into the floor. We unloaded the kids, then went to the furniture store to pick up a long leather couch. We converted the Grand Caravan from soccer bus to cargo van in 60 seconds, and easily carted the couch home.

Only the base AVP version gets a second-row bench seat that reclines, folds, and is removable for added cargo room. It does not fold into the floor, but still comes with the concealed, under-floor storage bins that are normally part of the Super Stow ‘n Go system. The bins can keep valuables out of sight while the van is parked. Second row Super Stow ‘n Go seats can be added to the AVP as an option.

Standard on all Grand Caravan models is a 60/40 split-folding third-row seat that also folds flat into the floor. This third-row seat will fit three kids or two adults. It’s as useful and comfortable as most competitors’. While the overall interior volume in the Grand Caravan isn’t class-leading, it’s close, yielding a whopping 143.8 cubic feet of space with all the seats folded down. The competition offers more legroom, but all of these minivans are big inside and the Grand Caravan is comfortable for kids.

The step from SE to SXT is about $3,000, but it may be well worth it just for the convenience of not having to physically slide your minivan’s side doors open or closed (there are two of them, by the way), or lift the liftgate. The SXT should offer better resale value, also. Minivan owners tend to have full, busy lives, and small conveniences such as a power tailgate that rises as you walk up with your arms full can be worth a lot. The buttons are located on the headliner between the front seats, and using them imparts a wonderful sense of ease and convenience.

The Grand Caravan leads the minivan field when it comes to interior convenience, capability and versatility. Chrysler has been working to give its minivans a competitive advantage in these areas for a long time, and those efforts show.

Driving Impressions

Minivans tend to generate pages of notes on the interior, but little on driving impressions. The Dodge Grand Caravan is a transporting machine, not a driving one. That said, beginning with the 2011 model, Dodge made several changes to help rectify that deficiency.

The basic layout hasn’t changed: The rear end is still supported by coil springs and a twist-beam axle steadied by a track bar. In other words, it’s not an independent rear suspension, so it’s not as sophisticated as the setups in some rivals, particularly the sporty Honda Odyssey. (A Trailer Tow Package includes self-leveling rear shock absorbers.)

As a result, the latest Grand Caravans are more controlled than the ones Dodge built just a few years ago. The van still leans a bit in turns, but acceptably so, and it gathers itself quicker to head back in the opposite direction. It no longer feels like you’re at the helm of a ship.

While drivers will feel road imperfections, the ride is still quite supple and a Grand Caravan won’t jostle you or the kids over anything but the worst bumps. Better yet, the float and wallow that was too evident on earlier models is now long gone. So is the copious lean, so passengers’ heads won’t be tossed about with every flick of the steering wheel, stab of the throttle or push on the brakes.

The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 delivers 283 horsepower. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 17/25 mpg City/Highway, or 20 mpg in Combined city and highway driving. With E85 fuel, efficiency falls off to an ethanol-guzzling 12/18 mpg, according to the federal government, which subsidizes and mandates this inefficient fuel.

The 3.6-liter V6 is competitive with the other V6s in the class. It’s smooth and quiet, offering decent punch from a stop and enough in reserve for passing. Add the towing package, and the V6 packs enough grunt to pull 3600 pounds. However, it doesn’t feel as powerful as the 283-horsepower figure would suggest. This same engine feels stronger in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which is based on rear-wheel drive.

We were disappointed with the 6-speed automatic transmission, which doesn’t seem to communicate well with the engine or react well to the driver’s right foot. That may be because it’s tuned for fuel economy and producing good EPA numbers, rather than responsiveness. We’d prefer a better balance of power and efficiency. There’s also a button to push for an even more fuel-efficient operating mode. Obviously, that only exacerbates the situation.

A couple of safety options are worthy of note. The Blind Spot Monitoring system uses radar sensors to detect vehicles in the van’s blind spots and warns the driver with lights in the side mirrors or a driver-selectable chime that sounds like the seatbelt chime. We found it worked well, but like similar systems offered by other manufacturers, it can sometimes give false readings. We’ve never seen one of these systems not detect a car that was there, however. But we think it’s still important to look before you change lanes. The blind-spot system is an additional aid, not a replacement for awareness.

The Rear Cross Path system is activated when the van is in reverse. It uses radar sensors to detect vehicles crossing behind the Grand Caravan and warns the driver with lights in the side mirrors and that same chime. The system won’t detect small objects, such as pedestrians, so it’s still important to proceed slowly. It does, however, detect vehicles up to 65 feet away, and is programmed to recognize the speed of oncoming vehicles and alert the driver only if they are traveling at a speed that could lead to an accident. So, stationary and very slow-moving vehicles probably won’t register. We like this system. It works well and is a useful aid in crowded parking lots.

Summary

The Dodge Grand Caravan offers amazing versatility, with one of the most convenient cabins in its class. The flexible seating, abundance of storage space, and impressive entertainment options can make life easier for busy owners. Add to that ride and handling characteristics that have greatly improved in recent years, and it’s no wonder that the Grand Caravan is America’s favorite minivan.

Sam Moses reported from the Columbia River Gorge, with NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Kirk Bell reporting from Chicago, and John F. Katz from south central Pennsylvania.

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Your Monthly Payment: Calculated Monthly Payment
Other 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan styles
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan 4dr Wagon R/T
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan 4dr Wagon SE
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan 4dr Wagon SE Plus
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan 4dr Wagon SXT
2015 Dodge Grand Caravan 4dr Wagon SXT Plus

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About These Prices

As you know, pricing cars is particularly complicated. One of our duties at CarQuotes.com is to help our customers comprehend this process better.

Three important prices we may show on a particular vehicle

CarQuotes.com Estimated Target Price is for research purposes only. It reflects a typical, negotiated price (before taxes and other customary fees and charges, such as dealer documentation fees, tire and battery disposal fees, license and registration, and where applicable, finance charges) generally found for the vehicle that you selected. The Estimated Target Price is NOT a price quote from CarQuotes.com or any other dealer. If you request a price quote from a dealer via CarQuotes.com displaying an estimated target price, your price may differ.

Invoice is commonly known as the published amount that the dealer paid the manufacturer for the vehicle. This may or may not represent a close relation to the dealer’s actual cost, but can be beneficial as a benchmark. This figure is available on many other web sites however CarQuotes.com adds an estimate of local and regional fees from manufacturer to the dealers to this price, which makes it very close to the actual invoice amount for cars at your local dealer.

MSRP is the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. This is a proposed price only. For most vehicles, the CarQuotes.com price is below this amount. Some high demand cars may be priced over this amount.

Estimated Target Price

The CarQuotes.com Target Price is to be used as a general guide that reflects a typical, market price (before taxes and other customary fees and charges) generally found for the vehicle that you selected. This price is based on our research and estimates of supply and demand in the marketplace. There are many factors that go into the final price of a particular vehicle including local supply and demand. Your final price may differ.

CarQuotes.com Estimated Target Prices include

The ’base’ price of the vehicle
All options that you select
Base Destination Charges — this is a charge that is added to the base price for every vehicle
Any related Estimated Manufacture to Consumer Cash Rebates. Note: rebates are subject to change at any time. Please make sure to confirm any consumer Cash rebates with your dealer representative at the time of purchase.

CarQuotes.com Estimated price(s) do NOT include any of the following:

Local taxes, license fees and other local fees, such as dealer documentation fees, tire and battery disposal fees, and where applicable, finance charges — these fees are also excluded from Dealer Invoice and MSRP and would be excluded from most advertisements you might see.
Random ’special qualification’ rebates — i.e., for new college grads only; for customers trading in a specific type of car.  Ask your dealer Representative for more information on ’special qualification’ rebates.

CarQuotes Estimated Dealer Price

The Estimated CarQuotes Dealer Price is an estimate of the pricing presented to CarQuotes members from CarQuotes Authorized Dealers in your area, and is calculated by subtracting an estimated savings value from the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price ("MSRP") as well as a value that relates to invoice for the "ideal vehicle" you configured. Dealer documentation, administrative or similar processing fees are not included in the price estimate. Any vehicle configured on the CarQuotes website is an "ideal vehicle" and may not exist at a CarQuotes Authorized Dealer or any other partner dealer. Each Dealer attempts to match a member’s vehicle preferences with the best possible selection from current, in-stock inventory.

Estimated Savings

The Estimated Savings represents the estimated amount of savings off of MSRP available to you from CarQuotes Dealers for a vehicle consistent with your configured preferences plus any customer incentives currently available.  This is also true when it comes to CarQuotes estimated target prices. Your actual savings will depend on several factors including market conditions, the style of vehicle you select, installed options, dealer coverage, and applicable manufacturer incentives. Each dealer sets its own pricing.

Advertised Rebates, Special Manufacturer Financing or Leasing Programs

In most cases, you must choose between these programs OR a customer rebate or a special manufacturer-to-dealer incentive that may or may not already be included in your CarQuotes.com Target Price. So, your final price may go up if you take advantage of special manufacturer financing. Credit Union members should contact their Credit Union loan department to determine what type of loan and financing options are right for you.

Please note that CarQuotes.com strives to include identified manufacturer incentives within the CarQuotes.com Target Price. CarQuotes.com does not administer these programs, which are subject to and often change without notice. Eligibility for these programs is subject to verification by a licensed auto dealer.

Ask your dealer representative for complete manufacturer program details for your area, and how participation in these programs will affect your price.

Base Vehicle

The base vehicle is the vehicle before any optional equipment or destination fees have been added. All of the standard features are included in the base vehicle.

Options

This is the total charge for all optional equipment included in the configuration of your virtual vehicle. The Options charge varies depending on whether it is calculated based on the Factory Invoice or MSRP. Options are not included in the base vehicle price and are not considered standard features.

Regional Fees

A Regional Fee is the fee a manufacturer charges a dealer to advertise and promote the vehicle in the dealer’s market. CarQuotes also includes estimated manufacturer preparation charges (manufacturer charges to the dealer to cover any work done on the car prior to delivering it to the dealership) and fuel charges (the charge for the fuel in the tank when the buyer purchases the vehicle) in this total. CarQuotes attempts to include regional ad fees in its Factory Invoice calculations; other sites at times do not.

Destination Fees

These are the amounts that manufacturers charge to deliver a vehicle from the factory to the dealership.

Customer Incentives

Customer incentives are also commonly known as customer cash or bonus incentives. These incentives are offered by manufacturers as a way of enticing buyers into purchasing a vehicle.

 

Note: Dealer Invoice amount might not be the amount that the dealer paid to the manufacturer

Dealer Invoice price may or may not bear close relation to a dealer’s actual cost for the vehicle. In some cases, a cost for a vehicle may be significantly less than the invoice price originally paid for the vehicle. Any difference between invoice price and the dealer’s final cost may be caused by many factors including factory refunds, rebates, allowances, or incentives which the manufacturer or distributor may provide to the dealer.

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