The minivan that started it all.
Other manufacturers have quit the minivan segment altogether, but the Grand Caravan is sticking around. According to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, the Grand Caravan’s sibling, the Chrysler Town & Country, will eventually be replaced by a crossover, leaving the Grand Caravan to carry the company’s minivan mantle. Freshened in 2011 with a standard 3.6-liter 283-hp V-6, the Grand Caravan became the most powerful minivan on the market. It’s the most affordable, too, with the AVP (American Value Package) model starting at less than $21,000. The Grand Caravan comes with power windows, locks, and mirrors; A/C; seven air bags; second-row Stow ’n Go seating; and much more. The SXT includes dual powersliding doors, a power liftgate, and power-adjustable pedals. The Crew adds features like seventeen-inch wheels, chrome exterior accents, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, a backup camera, an eight-way power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and satellite radio. The Grand Caravan is a family machine, not an enthusiast’s dream, but there is a sportier R/T model available. It has a black leather interior with red accent stitching, nine speakers with an amplifier and subwoofer, and a suspension with retuned shocks and higher spring rates. The Grand Caravan is determined to take a back seat to no other people mover.
Chrysler Town & Country
new for 2013
Dodge started selling the American Value Package model last year. This year, it has decided to reduce the AVP’s price to just under $21,000. A dual-screen Blu-ray DVD system is available on Crew and R/T models.
Front, knee, side, and side curtain air bags; stability and traction control; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. Rear park assist, a rear backup camera, blind-spot monitoring, and a rear cross-path detection system are available.
Lots of kid-friendly features
Low starting price
Bland exterior styling
Only one powertrain
Base Price Range: $20,990–$30,990
TRIM LEVELS: AVP, SE, SXT, Crew, R/T
BODY STYLE: Minivan, 7-passenger
ENGINE: 3.6 L V-6, 283 hp, 260 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 156.1–163.5 cu ft
CAPACITIES: Towing 3600 lb; cargo (behind third/middle/front seats) 33.0/83.3/143.8 cu ft