The smooth ride in this van makes you feel like you?re in a car. The brakes are not too sensitive, so there?s no jerkiness ? you just stop when you need to stop, without having to step hard on the brakes.
Dodge made a good decision to put the shifter up on the dashboard so it?s out of the way. This allows for more storage space, which is great for a family van. The Grand Caravan also has lots of cup holders, which is also great for family use? and that?s why most people buy vans. Going on with the family idea, the auto-opening side slider doors are a great feature when your hands are full of groceries or a baby.
On the downside, I noticed that the rear seat headrests reduced rearward visibility, but later I discovered that you can flip these down, which really improves your field of view. The side-view mirrors also could be larger to improve visibility.
The 2011 Dodge Caravan comes with a reasonably potent 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine? and a 6-speed automatic transmission, and the van provides 17 MPG in the city, and 25 MPG on the highway, with a combined real-world mileage of 20 MPG. You can put the van into fuel economizer mode with the push of a button. This changes the way the transmission behaves to maximize your mileage, and it?s not obtrusive as long as you wait until you?re on the freeway to use it.
The 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan starts at about $25,000 and you can get a fully loaded van in the low $30s.
The bottom line on the new Grand Caravan is just this: the stigma of uncoolness usually associated with a minivan is gone from this vehicle ? it?s an enjoyable drive.