Had to drop the Dart off for service, and this was the only Chrysler product Enterprise had to offer me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ just another rental to
hoon drive like a responsible adult.
(UPDATE) So, I originally thought I’d only have this for one day. Well, part of the service visit was to have them figure out why my dash wouldn’t recognize when the trunk was opened, in addition to oil change and state inspection. Turns out they need to order a new Body Control Module and its going to take 2-3 days for them to get it. So I am still stuck
hooning driving a minivan (I’m 26 and childless). So I figured I do a short review.
Its a 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT with approx. 8k miles on it. We’ll grade on a 40 point scale. (I apologize in advance for my poor writing. I’m just quickly putting my thoughts down)
This body style has been around for almost 10 years. FCA has made very minor tweaks (i.e. taillights and wheels) to the exterior over that period, so its definitely showing its age. Its not flashy, body lines are clean but its biggest issue is its just bland and not very exciting. Also, more cars should use the smoked headlight bezels as these just look too bright (see R/T trim). Just looks better IMO, and they should have ditched the “chrome” on the grille since that is the only “chrome” on this van.
Its a Dodge, so you are not getting anything fancy. That said for what you would pay, for this (priced at approximately $27,990, after current incentives) its actually quite nice. This particular model has the black/light Graystone Interior colors and black “leather and suede” seats. There are some soft touch material along the doors but everything else is hard plastic. Steering wheel is “leather” wrapped and has a nice feel to it. The backlighting on the dash is a cool white, which I like the look of. Seats are soft but not sure how supportive or comfortable they would be for very long drives, but for the time I’ve spent driving, they aren’t uncomfortable.
And since its a minivan, HOLY CUBBIES AND CUP HOLDERS, BATMAN! Them puppies are everywhere! (10/10 just for the storage!)
Drive-ability/Handling (6/10, for a minivan)
This model has the 3.6L V6 with the 6-spd auto, which is good for 283hp and a “touring suspension” (whatever that means, Dodge). Power is good and it easy to get the front wheels spinning on acceleration. The Transmission isn’t offensive, it will rev out when given the chance, but the downshifts when trying to accelerate hard are a bit clunky. Under normal conditions, shifts felt smooth and I never really felt it couldn’t make up its mind on what gear it wanted.
There is hella body roll, but it is a minivan so what do you expect. Its a bit rough over bumps but not really jarring, you can just feel them a bit more than I would have expected for a minivan. There are brakes. They can feel a bit grabby which causes quite the nose dive, otherwise it stops. Steering is where I’m most impressed. I’ve driven plenty of cars and CUVs where the steering felt like a wet noodle. The steering in this van is nicely weighted, smooth and inputs feel precise IMO.
This van has power sliding doors, power liftgate, remote start, auto up/down front driver and passenger windows and the nifty vent windows in the rear. It also has the stow n go seating which is helpful. Like all current minivans, the center passenger windows “roll” down as well. Otherwise, there really isn’t anything else. The radio is a very basic, small touchscreen with USB input capabilities and SiriusXM (a 2015 mazda6 touring MT didn’t come with this as a option which is why I mention it). Sound quality is as good as you would expect.
When compared to Honda and Toyota, which have completely bypassed FCA in the minivan market, the almost 10 year old Grand Caravan just can’t keep up. But if you are a family on a budge and what a new vehicle, This is a bargain at $27k, that is until the transmission shits the bed like the generations before it. Its honestly a middle of the road vehicle. Its not going to be ranked up there with the likes of Honda and Toyota, and if you spend the money on the upper trim levels, you get a decently appointed vehicle at a value compared to others in the segment.
TLDR: I don’t hate it, now get your shit together and get in the van. Soccer practice starts in 20 min and we’re going to be late.