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1998 Dodge Grand Caravan Review
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Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan represents a long-wheelbase version of Dodge’s family minivan. The Caravan debuted in 1984 along with the Plymouth Voyager, its nameplate variant. The Grand Caravan, however, made its debut three years later in 1987.
The Grand Caravan has two sister vehicles, the Chrysler Grand Voyager and Chrysler Town & Country, which sell as separate models. Sold around the world under different nameplates, the 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan and other Chrysler minivans rank as the 13th bestselling automotive nameplates in the world.
Engines: 3.0-liter V-6, 3.3-liter V-6, 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Grand Caravan SE, Dodge Grand Caravan LE, Dodge Grand Caravan ES
The 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan offers a new engine option, a 3.8-liter V-6 engine. The extended-wheelbase minivan also features rear seat-mounted hooks for holding grocery bags and other items. Entry and exit improves this year with the new Quad seating arrangement. The 1998 model also improves in terms of safety, with next-generation airbags that have a lower force of deployment.
The 1998 Grand Caravan uses the Chrysler NS platform and offers conventional good looks. It has an aerodynamic styling and smooth bodylines at the side as well. The front uses the trademark crosshair grille of Dodge. The minivan sits on a wheelbase of 119.3 inches, which stretches a good nine inches more than the short-wheelbase Caravan. The 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan also varies from the regular Caravan in terms of length. It reaches an overall length of 199.7 inches. The van has a width of 76.8 inches and a height of around 68 inches.
The Grand Caravan falls into Generation III of the Caravan line, and has undergone some significant improvements over Generation II. Space seems abundant for all seats in the front and at the rear for the average adult, which marks one of the improvements from the previous generation. The large windshield, side windows, and a rear window offer great visibility to the driver.
The dashboard of the 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan has been well-designed, with all controls sitting in a lower position. Although the climate controls seem a little confusing and the gearshift column looks oddly shaped, the dashboard remains rather attractive with its curved design and ease of use.
The 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan has a low step-in height, making entry and exit very easy for the front and rear. Entry and exit gets even easier with the driver-side sliding door. The switches for the power window and controls are illuminated, making them easier to use in the dark. The innovative removable seats provide a useful feature, but they tend to be too heavy at 90 pounds and need two people to carry them in and out of the van.
The Grand Caravan offers a large number of interior storage options, with storage bins, nooks, and crannies added for storing different items.
Performance & Handling
The 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan offers three engines. The three-liter V-6 delivers 150 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque, and the 3.3-liter V-6 delivers 158 horsepower and 203 lb-ft of torque. The final option, a 3.8-liter V-6, delivers 166 horsepower and 227 lb-ft of torque. All engines come with a four-speed automatic transmission.
The smallest engine offers decent performance but quickly gets overpowered when the van contains a full load of passengers. The 3.3-liter engine provides just enough power for day-to-day driving and can reasonably withstand the full load of the 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan. The 3.8-liter engine makes the best option in terms of performance, giving the Grand Caravan enough power to drive through traffic with ease.
The 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan earns four out of five stars for driver and passenger safety in frontal-impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Good acceleration with the 3.8-liter engine
- Smooth ride quality
- Lots of passenger and cargo room
You Won't Like
- Noisy on the road
- Poor fuel economy
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