Dodge Caravan can handle the works
With its endless number of cubbyholes, the all-new 2008 Dodge Caravan won’t help your clutter problem, but will make a good companion on long road trips.
Stuff. It won’t go away. You’ll put it all out at a garage sale and end up buying it back five years later, forgetting who owned it in the first place. Kids and pets amplify the problem to the point of spilling into the garage, onto the patio, and yes, into the family van.
The all-new 2008 Dodge Caravan probably won’t help the problem. It may make it worse. Just think of the cubbyholes!
Starting at $26,495, the Grand Caravan SE has a good range of standard features, including a 3.3-litre V6 engine that produces 180 horsepower. Inside, the third-row seating uses Stow ‘n Go (rear seats fold into a space in the floor), dual front-, side- and curtain airbags, electronic stability control, ABS, tire pressure monitoring system, overhead console, power door locks, dual glove boxes, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player, keyless entry with anti-theft engine immobilizer, and in-floor covered storage bins.
Inside, the Grand Caravan SE Stow ’n Go offers anti-stain seat fabrics, power adjustable pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power heated mirrors and a compass.
The Grand Caravan SE Stow ‘n Go adds second-row Stow ‘n Go, anti-stain seat fabrics, dishwasher-safe cupholders, and a centre console for second-row passengers; it retails for $28,795. Optional is the Swivel ‘n Go seat system that allows the second row seats to rotate when the vehicle is stationary.
Finally, the Grand Caravan SXT tops out at $30,495, adding fog lights, remote start, second-row power windows, power adjustable pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power heated mirrors, 16-inch aluminum wheels, trip computer, and compass. Optional powertrain is a 3.8-litre V6 engine that produces 197 hp and comes mated to a (first for a minivan) 6-speed automatic transaxle. Available options include the Swivel ‘n Go seat system, rear backup camera, MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System, single and dual DVD entertainment system, trailer tow package, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.
There are lots and lots of choices, where a little more coin may get you better useability, performance, features, or all three. Our pick is the SXT with the Swivel ‘n Go seat and 3.8-litre V6 options, mainly because the 6-speed automatic it’s hooked up to should give noticeably better fuel economy, performance, and reduced noise levels compared to other minivans.
It’s easy to see minivans as just family truckster transportation, but they have the possibility to be companions on a long road trip, help pacify antsy toddlers, and accommodate at least a few years of childhood memories.
The new Caravans will be hitting dealership lots soon. Just remember to make the salesperson help transfer a few armloads of stuff from your old minivan.
Dodge Grand Caravan SXT
Type: Mid-size 7-pass. van FWD
Engine: 3.3-litre V6 DOHC
Horsepower: 180 @ 5000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 210 @ 4000 rpm
Highlights: A place for your stuff, list of options to shame Mercedes, new lower prices, amazing functionality.