About the Dodge Caravan
Known for its car-like interior, with dashboards and instruments found on cars, the Dodge Caravan has led the minivan market. The original models, based on the Dodge K-car, started the trend of car-influenced styling. Originally equipped for seven passengers in three rows of seats, its seating configuration differentiates it from the maxi passenger vans that offer four rows of seating and a 15-person capacity. A single-side sliding passenger door allows access to the rear seating; the last row of seats is removable to allow for increased cargo space.
Current models offer Stow ‘n Go seating, which allows the seats to fold flat for ample cargo space. Sliding doors now appear on both sides of the vehicle, making it easier to get in and out.Dodge Caravan Features
The 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan offers safety, comfort, and affordability for today’s busy families looking for a minivan.
A 3.6-liter V-6, 283 hp engine is standard, as well as an Autostick six-speed automatic transmission. The four-wheel independent suspension, electronic stability control, and traction control helps drivers keep the van on a steady course when weather or driving conditions are less than perfect. The advanced anti-lock braking system ensures that you can stop when you need to, even when the hydraulic boost system senses braking failure.
The interior of the Dodge Grand Caravan is roomy and comfortable. Convenient features, such as the floor console with bins and sliding doors, can help you stow away important items during a trip. When you’re not using the Stow ‘n Go seat option, you can store additional items in the floor (where the seat would be stored). LED lighting provides illumination to all areas of the passenger cabin. The optional DVD entertainment system can keep back-seat passengers occupied on long car trips.
There is additional storage space available behind the third row of seats, which is easily accessed via the liftgate. Whether you’re hauling groceries or garden supplies or lugging around a full-sized stroller or a set of golf clubs, the Dodge Grand Caravan has the cargo space to satisfy your storage needs.
When you’re packing for a road trip, you’ll have space galore for your luggage and incidental items, but if you really need room, there’s an optional roof rack that will allow you to maximize your storage space. If you’re into camping or boating or need to tow a small trailer, the Trailer Tow group lets you increase the towing capacity of the Grand Caravan from 1600 pounds to 3600 pounds.Dodge Caravan Trims
Dodge offers several trim packages for the modern Grand Caravan.
The AVP (American Value Package), which serves as the base model for the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan, offers 16-inch steel wheels, power front windows, dual zone air-conditioning, heated mirrors, a four-speaker audio system with CD player, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and second-row Stow ‘n Go bucket seats.
The SE offers triple zone climate control (with a rear air conditioner), tinted rear windows, and a six-speaker audio system. There is an additional SE Plus group of options that includes alloy wheels, front/rear power windows, and Uconnect (leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and iPod/USB interface).
In addition to the options currently available in the SE and SE Plus trim levels, the SXT trim level includes a power liftgate, power sliding doors, remote start, a rear DVD system, and power-adjustable pedals.
The Crew trim level includes the SXT options plus roof rack, fog lights, a power driver’s seat, touchscreen display, and an upgraded audio system. A back-up camera and navigation system are also available.
The R/T trim level includes 17-inch alloy wheels, improved suspension and brakes, and leather seating in the first two rows.Dodge Caravan Evolution
The Dodge Caravan was introduced in 1984. A cargo version of the Caravan, called the Mini Ram Van, was introduced later. Dodge renamed it the Caravan C/V in 1989. A camper version of the vehicle lasted only two years. A three-speed automatic transmission and a five-speed manual are available on early models. A computer-controlled, four-speed automatic transmission was introduced in 1989.
The Caravan C/V was discontinued in 1995. Integrated child safety seats are available on the 1992 model. A short wheel base option, called the Caravan was introduced around this time, as well as a long wheel base option (Grand Caravan). Anti-lock brakes were introduced in 1991, as well as the first driver’s side airbag in a minivan (standard in 1992).
The model added a second sliding door in 1996. This serves as only part of a major redesign of the minivan. In 1999, the Grand Caravan got new front styling.
Redesigned in 2001, this van model features a larger body frame with modified headlights and taillights. Power sliding doors and power hatch were introduced between 2001 and 2007, and the Caravan C/V returned.
Dodge discontinued the short wheel base model between 2008 and 2011. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard on the new models. Electronic Stability Control is also a standard feature.