The Dodge Grand Caravan isn't just a descendant of the original minivan - it has become the standard bearer for all minivans, great and small. From the base model Caravan eX to the Grand Caravan ES, every Caravan comes loaded with the goodies that have made the model so popular.
Caravan is well-known for its spacious cargo area, voluminous hidden storage compartments and robust safety features. No other minivan in its class is as popular at the Caravan. The 2012 Grand Caravan models make good use of their size. They're packed with even more of what the buying public appreciates and wants.
For 2012, Dodge is releasing five Grand Caravans - the Grand Caravan Sport, Grand Caravan ES, Caravan SE, Grand Caravan eX and Caravan eL. Each version seats seven passengers. As the size increases, the engine strength grows as well. Each successively larger version has a proportionately stronger engine for extra towing authority.
From the 180 horsepower, 3.3-liter V-6 of the base model to the 215 horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 sport model, the Grand Caravan is meant to get you from here to there quickly and comfortably. Twenty years after being invented, the Caravan's power sliding door and liftgate remain its most popular standard features. Both openings are protected by an obstacle detection system to prevent accidents.
The 2012 Caravan is packed with innovative safety features. Front seat belt pretensioners reduce the slack in the belt before deploying the airbags. A four-wheel disc antilock brake system helps maintain traction when braking to prevent collisions. In the event of a side impact, the energy is absorbed by the collapsing structure of the body. Front, side and head-curtain airbags protect the passengers in all three rows of seats from side-impact crashes. There's even an airbag for the driver's knees. Safety experts believe the 2012 Caravan is safer than the five-star rated 2002 model.
Creature comforts are everywhere. The Grand Caravan has three-zone automatic temperature control - the first ever in a minivan. Other improvements include wireless audio headsets, a heated steering wheel, a roomy center console with ambient lighting and middle-row bucket seats with swing-out cup holders.
The 2012 Caravan will continue leading the pack with state-of-the-art connectivity and entertainment amenities like Chrysler's Uconnect voice-activated navigation system and a top-of-the-line audio system. Subscription-based satellite TV systems with three family-oriented channels; USB, iPod and Bluetooth interfaces; and a dual-screen DVD system are included with the premium package.
Practical features include Dodge's clever Stow 'n Go seating. The third-row bench seat and second row captain's chairs fold into the floor to add cargo space when necessary. The second row seats conceal two covered storage bins in the floor that are great for hiding cameras, purses and other valuables when parked. Perhaps the most popular dealer-installed option turns the Caravan into a Wi-Fi- hot spot on wheels for connecting notebooks, laptops or iPads. An Internet provider is required for this feature.
The 2012 Grand Caravan will most likely retain its basic shape and styling. Most changes will be seen inside the Caravan.